What is a small or narrow lot in Brisbane?

Posted on: August 11, 2021


New Homes

What is a small or narrow lot in Brisbane?

As Brisbane’s population continues to grow, many large lots are being subdivided to create ‘small lots’. Building on small or narrow lots presents specific conditions that builders and architects need to take into consideration for both the design and build process.


What classifies as a small or narrow lot depends on location. In Brisbane a small or narrow lot is one that has an area smaller than 450m2, or in the case of rear lots, an area is less than 600m2 (excluding the driveway).

Within Brisbane City Council there are specific planning conditions that apply to ‘small lots’. These requirements are outlined in the Dwelling House (Small lot) Code portion of the Brisbane City Plan 2014.

The primary focus of the Small Lot Code is on ensuring that dwellings built on both do not encroach on neighbouring properties, and allow for the privacy and enjoyment of residents.

When building on a small lot, there are some key design elements you need to keep in mind:

Building heights

Overall building height cannot exceed 9.5m, while 7.5m is the limit for side and rear walls.

Privacy screening

Windows that are close to neighbouring properties need to have in place screening that allows for the privacy of both residents.

Boundary setbacks

Building setback refers to the ‘where and how’ dwellings are located on a block. Once again, this ensures that both habitable and non-habitable rooms do not impede on neighbouring properties.

Site coverage

Conditions for site coverage ensure there is a balance of indoor and outdoor space. For smaller lots, dwellings can have greater site coverage.

Read more about considerations of building on a small or narrow block.