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9.4.3 Filling and excavation code

9.4.3.1 Application

(1) This code applies to assessing:
(a) operational work for filling or excavation requiring compliance assessment if this code is an applicable code identified in the assessment criteria column of a table of assessment for operational work (section 5.8); or
(b) operational work for filling or excavation which is self-assessable or code assessable development if this code is an applicable code identified in the assessment criteria column of a table of assessment for operational work (section 5.9) or an overlay (section 5.10); or
(c) a material change of use or reconfiguring a lot if:
(i) assessable development where this code is identified as a prescribed secondary code in the assessment criteria column of a table of assessment for material change of use (section 5.5) or reconfiguring a lot (section 5.6); or
(ii) impact assessable development, to the extent relevant.

Note—This code does not apply to building work that is regulated under the Building Code of Australia.

Note—A development application involving a rock anchor within an adjoining site is submitted with proof of consent from an adjoining land and building owner.

Editor’s note—Guidance on managing the spread of invasive species in filling or excavation activities is provided in Minimising Pest Spread Advisory Guidelines prepared for the Petroleum industry.

Editor’s note—Where filling or excavation is conducted on land previously occupied by a notifiable activity or on land listed on the Environmental Management Register or the Contaminated Land Register, the relevant State Government department should be contacted for advice and guidelines.

(2) When using this code, reference should be made to section 1.5 and section 5.3.3.

Note—Where this code includes performance outcomes or acceptable outcomes that relate to:

Editor’s note—For a proposal to be compliance assessable, it must meet all the compliance outcomes of this code and any other applicable code. Where it does not meet all compliance outcomes, the proposal becomes assessable development and a development application is required. Where a development application is triggered, only the specific compliance outcome that the proposal fails to meet needs to be assessed against the corresponding acceptable outcome or performance outcome. Other compliance outcomes that are met are not assessed as part of the development application.

Editor’s note—For a proposal to be self-assessable, it must meet all the self-assessable outcomes of this code and any other applicable code. Where it does not meet all self-assessable outcomes, the proposal becomes assessable development and a development application is required. Where a development application is triggered, only the specific acceptable outcome that the proposal fails to meet needs to be assessed against the corresponding assessable acceptable outcome or performance outcome. Other self-assessable outcomes that are met are not assessed as part of the development application.

9.4.3.2 Purpose

(1) The purpose of the Filling and excavation code is to assess the suitability of development for filling or excavation.
(2) The purpose of the code will be achieved through the following overall outcomes:
(a) Filling or excavation does not adversely affect the visual character and amenity of the site or the surrounding area and provides access for maintenance to any structure as a result of filling or excavation.
(b) Filling or excavation does not adversely impact significant vegetation, water quality or drainage of upstream, downstream and adjoining land.
(c) Filling or excavation effectively manages the impacts associated with the activity.
(d) Filling or excavation and any retaining structure is designed and constructed to be fit for purpose and to protect services and utilities.

9.4.3.3 Assessment criteria

Part A—Criteria for development requiring compliance assessment

The following table identifies the assessment criteria for development requiring compliance assessment.

Table 9.4.3.3.A—Criteria for compliance assessment
Compliance outcomes
Section A—Conditions of a development permit
CO1
Filling or excavation is undertaken in accordance with the standards and requirements in the conditions of a development permit for the development.
Section B—If lodging a development application for operational work whether or not in conjunction with a development application for a material change of use or reconfiguring a lot
CO2
The total height of any cut and fill, whether or not retained, does not exceed:
(a) 2.5m in a zone in the Industry zones category;
(b) 1m in all other zones or if adjoining a sensitive zone.
CO3
Filling or excavation does not involve disturbing more than 2,500m2 of land and sediment and erosion control plan is prepared and implemented.
CO4
Filling or excavation does not involve the construction of open drainage.
CO5
A retaining structure including footings, surface drainage and subsoil drainage, is wholly contained within the site. If the total height to be retained is greater than 1m:
(a) any retaining wall at the property boundary is no greater than 1m above ground level;
(b) all further terracing from the 1m high boundary retaining wall is 1 vertical unit: 1 horizontal unit;
(c) the distance between each successive retaining wall (back of lower wall to face of higher wall) is no less than 1m horizontally and incorporates planting areas.

Note—A retaining structure is contained wholly within the site except for a rock anchor where a letter of consent is provided by the adjoining land and building owner.

CO6
A retaining wall over 1m in height protects root growth of trees on the site and on adjoining land by avoiding cutting of roots.
CO7
A retaining wall finish that presents to adjoining land is maintenance free if the setback is less than 750mm from the boundary.
CO8
A retaining wall over 1m in height is designed and constructed in compliance with the structures section of the Infrastructure design planning scheme policy and certified by a Registered Professional Engineer Queensland.
CO9
Filling only involves clean fill that does not include any construction rubble, debris, weed seed or viable parts of plant species listed as an undesirable plant species in the Planting species planning scheme policy.
CO10
Services and public utilities are protected and any alteration or relocation of services or public utilities meets the standard design specifications of the responsible service authorities.
CO11
All surface water flows are directed to a lawful point of discharge, if surface water diversion drains are incorporated, they are located at the top or toe of a retaining wall.
CO12
A retaining wall provides subsoil drainage that is directed to a lawful point of discharge.
CO13
No dust emissions including dust from construction vehicles entering and leaving the site extend beyond the boundary of the site.
CO14
A management plan for control of dust and air emissions is prepared and implemented.
CO15
Filling or excavation only occurs between 6.30am and 6.30pm Monday to Saturday, excluding public holidays.
CO16
Filling or excavation does not cause ground-borne vibration beyond the boundary of the site.
CO17
Heavy trucks hauling material to and from the site:
(a) occurs for a maximum of 3 weeks;
(b) uses a major road to access the site;
(c) only uses a minor road for the shortest most direct route that has the least amount of environmental nuisance, if there is no major road alternative.
CO18
Filling or excavation does not expose the environment or community to contaminated land.
CO19
Landscaping is designed in compliance with the standards in the Landscape design guidelines for water conservation planning scheme policy.

The following table indicates which corresponding acceptable outcomes and performance outcomes apply to assessable development when not meeting a specific compliance outcome.

Table 9.4.3.3.B—Corresponding acceptable outcomes and performance outcomes that apply to assessable development if development does not meet specific compliance outcomes
Compliance outcome
Acceptable outcome
Performance outcome
CO1
All
All
CO2
AO1
PO1
CO3
AO7.1 and AO7.2
PO7
CO4
AO6
PO6
CO5
AO2.1 and AO3
PO2 and PO3
CO6
AO2.2
PO2
CO7
AO2.3
PO2
CO8
AO2.2
PO2
CO9
AO2.4
PO2
CO10
AO4
PO4
CO11
AO5.1
PO5
CO12
AO5.2
PO5
CO13
AO8.1
PO8
CO14
AO8.1
PO8
CO15
AO8.2
PO8
CO16
AO9
PO9
CO17
AO10
PO10
CO18
AO11
PO11
CO19
AO12, AO12.2 and AO12.3
PO12

Part B—Criteria for self-assessable and assessable development

The following table identifies the assessment criteria for self-assessable and assessable development.

Table 9.4.3.3.C—Criteria for self-assessable and assessable development
Performance outcomes
Acceptable outcomes
PO1
Development for filling or excavation minimises visual impacts from retaining walls and earthworks.
AO1
Development ensures that the total height of any cut and fill, whether or not retained, does not exceed:
(a) 2.5m in a zone in the Industry zones category;
(b) 1m in all other zones, or if adjoining a sensitive zone.
PO2
Development of a retaining wall proposed as a result of filling or excavation:
(a) is designed and constructed to be fit for purpose;
(b) does not impact adversely on significant vegetation;
(c) is capable of easy maintenance.

Editor’s note—A retaining wall also needs to comply with the Building Regulation and embankment gradients will need to comply with the Building Regulation.

Note—Guidance on the protection of native vegetation is included in the Biodiversity areas planning scheme policy.

AO2.1
Development of a retaining structure, including footings, surface drainage and subsoil drainage:
(a) is wholly contained within the site;
(b) if the total height to be retained is greater than 1m, then:
(i) the retaining wall at the property boundary is no greater than 1m above the ground level;
(ii) all further terracing from the 1m high boundary retaining wall is 1 vertical unit:1 horizontal unit;
(iii) the distance between each successive retaining wall (back of lower wall to face of higher wall) is no less than 1m horizontally to incorporate planting areas.
AO2.2
Development of a retaining wall over 1m in height protects significant vegetation on the site and on adjoining land and is designed and constructed in accordance with the structures standards in the Infrastructure design planning scheme policy and certified by a Registered Professional Engineer Queensland.
AO2.3
Development provides a retaining wall finish that presents to adjoining land that is maintenance free if the setback is less than 750mm from the boundary.
AO2.4
Development for filling only uses clean fill that does not include any construction rubble or debris.
PO3
Development ensures that a rock anchor is designed and constructed to be fit for purpose.
AO3
Development ensures that a rock anchor:
(a) is constructed in accordance with the standards in the Infrastructure design planning scheme policy;
(b) where it extends beyond the property boundary, is supported by a letter of consent from the adjoining land and building owners.
PO4
Development protects all services and public utilities.
AO4
Development protects services and public utilities and ensures that any alteration or relocation of services or public utilities meets the standard design specifications of the responsible service authorities.
PO5
Development provides surface and sub-surface drainage to prevent water seepage, concentration of run-off or ponding of stormwater on adjacent land.
AO5
Development ensures all flows and subsoil drainage are directed to a lawful point of discharge of a surface water diversion drain, including to the top or toe of a retaining wall in accordance with the stormwater drainage section of the Infrastructure design planning scheme policy.
PO6
Development ensures that the design and construction of all open drainage works is undertaken in accordance with natural channel design principles, being the development of a stormwater conveyance system for major flows, by using a vegetated open channel or drain that approximates the features and functions of a natural waterway to enhance or improve riparian values of those stormwater conveyance systems.

Editor’s note—Guidance on natural channel design principles can be found in the Council’s publication Natural channel design guidelines.

AO6
No acceptable outcome is prescribed.
PO7
Development for filling or excavation:
(a) does not degrade water quality or adversely affect environmental values in receiving waters;
(b) ensures site sediment and erosion control standards are best practice.
AO7.1
Development for filling or excavation provides water quality treatment that complies with the stormwater drainage section of the Infrastructure design planning scheme policy.
AO7.2
Development provides erosion and sediment control standards that are in accordance with the stormwater drainage section of the Infrastructure design planning scheme policy.
PO8
Development for filling or excavation is conducted such that adverse impacts at a sensitive use due to noise and dust are prevented or minimised.

Note—A noise and dust impact management plan prepared in accordance with the Management plans planning scheme policy can assist in demonstrating achievement of this performance outcome.

AO8.1
Development ensures that no dust emissions extend beyond the boundary of the site, including dust from construction vehicles entering and leaving the site.
AO8.2
Development for filling or excavation activity only occurs between the hours of 6:30am and 6:30pm Monday to Saturday, excluding public holidays.
PO9
Development ensures that vibration generated by the filling or excavation operation does not exceed the vibration criteria in Table 9.4.3.3.D, Table 9.4.3.3.E, Table 9.4.3.3.F and Table 9.4.3.3.G.

Note—A noise management report prepared in accordance with the Noise impact assessment planning scheme policy can assist in demonstrating achievement of this performance outcome.

AO9
Development involving filling or excavation does not cause a ground-borne vibration beyond the boundary of the site.
PO10
Development ensures that heavy trucks hauling material to and from the site do not affect the amenity of established areas and limits environmental nuisance impact on adjacent land.
AO10
Development ensures that heavy trucks hauling material to and from the site:
(a) occur for a maximum of 3 weeks;
(b) use a major road to access the site;
(c) only use a minor road for the shortest-most-direct route that has the least amount of environmental nuisance if there is no major road alternative.
PO11
Development for filling or excavation protects the environment and community health and wellbeing from exposure to contaminated land and contaminated material.
AO11
Development does not involve:
(a) excavation on land previously occupied by a notifiable activity or on land listed on the Environmental Management Register or the Contaminated Land Register;
(b) filling with material containing a contaminant.
PO12
Development provides for:
(a) landscaping for water conservation purposes;
(b) water sensitive urban design measures which are employed within the landscape design to maximise stormwater use and to reduce any adverse impacts on the landscape;
(c) stormwater harvesting to be maximised and any adverse impacts of stormwater minimised.
AO12.1
Development provides landscaping which is designed using the standards in the Landscape design guidelines for water conservation planning scheme policy.
AO12.2
Development ensures that the design and requirements for irrigation are in compliance with the standards in the Landscape design guidelines for water conservation planning scheme policy.
AO12.3
Development provides areas of pavement, turf and mulched garden beds which are drained.

Note—This may be achieved through the provision and/or treatment of swales, spoon drains, field gullies, sub-surface drainage and stormwater connections.

Table 9.4.3.3.D— Recommended intermittent vibration levels for cosmetic damage
Type of building
Peak particle velocity (mm/s)
Reinforced or framed structures; industrial and heavy commercial buildings
50mm/s at 4Hz and above
Unreinforced or light-framed structures; residential or light-commercial type buildings
Below 4Hz
4Hz to 15Hz
15Hz and above
0.6mm/s
15mm/s at 4Hz increasing to
20mm/s at 15Hz
20mm/s at 15Hz increasing to
50mm/s at 40Hz and above
Table 9.4.3.3.E— Recommended blasting vibration levels for human comfort
Type of building
Type of blasting operations
Peak component particle velocity (mm/s)
Residences, schools, educational institutions and places of worship
Operation blasting longer than 12 months or more than 20 blasts
5mm/s for 95% blasts per year 10mm/s maximum unless agreement is reached with the occupier that a higher limit may apply
Residences, schools, educational institutions and places of worship
Operations lasting for less than 12 months or less than 20 blasts
10mm/s maximum unless agreement is reached with the occupier that a higher limit may apply
Industry or commercial premises
All blasting
25 mm/s maximum unless agreement is reached with the occupier that a higher limit may apply. For sites containing equipment sensitive to vibration, the vibration should be kept below manufacturer's specifications or levels that do not adversely affect the equipment operation.
Table 9.4.3.3.F— Recommended levels for continuous and impulsive vibration acceleration (m/s2) 1–80Hz for human comfort
Location
Assessment period(1)
Preferred values(3)
Maximum values(3)
Continuous vibration
 
z-axis
x and y axes
z-axis
x and y axes
Critical areas(2)
Day or night
0.005 m/s2
0.0036 m/s2
0.01 m/s2
0.0072 m/s2
Residences
Day
0.01 m/s2
0.0071 m/s2
0.02 m/s2
0.014 m/s2
-
Night
0.007 m/s2
0.005 m/s2
0.014 m/s2
0.01 m/s2
Offices, schools, educational institutions and places of worship
Day or night
0.02 m/s2
0.014 m/s2
0.04 m/s2
0.028 m/s2
Workshops
Day or night
0.04 m/s2
0.029 m/s2
0.08 m/s2
0.058 m/s2
Impulsive vibration
 
Critical areas
Day or night
0.005 m/s2
0.0036 m/s2
0.01 m/s2
0.0072 m/s2
Residences
Day
0.3 m/s2
0.21 m/s2
0.6 m/s2
0.42 m/s2
-
Night
0.1 m/s2
0.071 m/s2
0.2 m/s2
0.14 m/s2
Offices, schools, educational institutions and places of worship
Day or night
0.64 m/s2
0.46 m/s2
1.28 m/s2
0.92 m/s2
Workshops
Day or night
0.64 m/s2
0.46 m/s2
1.28 m/s2
0.92 m/s2

Note—

(1) Day is 7am to 10pm and night is 10pm to 7am.

(2) Examples include hospital operating theatres and precision laboratories where sensitive operations are occurring.

(3) Situations exist where vibration above the preferred values can be acceptable, particularly for temporary or short-term events. Further guidance is given in the Noise impact assessment planning scheme policy.

Table 9.4.3.3.G— Recommended vibration dose values for intermittent vibration (m/s1.75) for human comfort
Location
Daytime(1)
Night time(1)
Preferred value
Maximum value
Preferred value(3)
Maximum value(3)
Critical areas(2)
0.1 m/s1.75
0.2 m/s1.75
0.1 m/s1.75
0.2 m/s1.75
Residences
0.2 m/s1.75
0.4 m/s1.75
0.13 m/s1.75
0.26 m/s1.75
Offices, schools, educational institutions and places of worship
0.4 m/s1.75
0.8 m/s1.75
0.4 m/s1.75
0.8 m/s1.75
Workshops
0.8 m/s1.75
1.6 m/s1.75
0.8 m/s1.75
1.6 m/s1.75

Note—

(1) Day is 7am to 10pm and night is 10pm to 7am.

(2) Examples include hospital operating theatres and precision laboratories where sensitive operations are occurring.

(3) Situations exist where vibration above the preferred values can be acceptable, particularly for temporary or short-term events. Further guidance is given in the Noise impact assessment planning scheme policy.

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