Shipping containers

Shipping containers may be temporarily located on premises for a maximum of 90 days before needing to obtain any type of approval from Council. This enables residents to unload furniture, household goods and the like within a reasonable timeframe.

Permanently locating a shipping container on premises may cause issues relating to residential amenity and building safety. If you intend to permanently locate a shipping container on your property you must gain all appropriate approvals prior to installation.

A Development Permit for Building Work will always be required to site a shipping container permanently on premises, regardless of the zoning of the land or the intended use.

  • To obtain a Development Permit for Building Work you will need to engage a Private Building Certifier.

    To consider the following:

    • Structural stability of your shipping container. This may be provided by anchoring the container to a designed concrete foundation. The Building Certifier may require a design by a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) accompanied by a Form 15 Design Certificate.
    • Structural strength of the container. The Building Certifier may require documentation from the manufacturer of the container or an assessment by a RPEQ accompanied by a Form 15 Design Certificate.
    • If the container is to be used as a Class 1a building, such as a house or unit, additional information will be required such as a floor layout plan, energy efficiency assessment and bushfire/flood assessment (if applicable).
  • The proposed shipping container will be self assessable against the provisions of Council’s Amenity and Aesthetics Policy:

    • Shipping containers are to be placed behind the dwelling house and shall not be visible from the street.
    • Shipping containers are to be screened by landscaping or a suitable screening structure (i.e. lattice) to minimise its visual accessibility from the streetscape and adjoining sites.
    • Only one shipping container can be established on a site.
    • Shipping containers are to be painted to match the colour of the dwelling to minimise the visual dominance of the structure on the site, from adjoining sites and from the streetscape.
    • Shipping containers are to comply with the setback provisions outlined in the dwelling house code contained in the Fraser Coast Planning Scheme 2014. When a structure cannot comply with one or more of these acceptable outcomes, a concurrence referral must be lodged with Council for assessment.
  • Any shipping container located on a vacant lot will be unable to meet the requirements of the Amenity and Aesthetics Policy and will require a concurrence referral response from Council.

  • If you intend to convert the shipping container to a Class 1a building, such as a house or unit, a Development Permit for Building Work will be required. Please contact a Private Building Certifier to discuss your proposal.

  • If your property is located with Council’s Coastal Protection, Heritage and Neighbourhood Character or Fraser and Great Sandy Strait Islands Overlays, additional application may be required. Please contact Council to discuss your proposal further.

  • Council’s Development and Planning Team will assess your proposal against the relevant requirements of the Amenity and Aesthetics Policy or the Fraser Coast Planning Scheme 2014. This involves a review of potential impacts to the amenity of the surrounding neighbourhood.

  • If your application is successful, Council will issue a Concurrence Agency Response, which will form part of the Development Permit for Building Work that will be issued by your Building Certifier. The Concurrence Agency Response and Development Permit will include approved plans and a list of conditions. You are obligated to comply with the approved plans and conditions of approval at all times.

  • If your concurrence referral is unsuccessful, your Building Certifier will be unable to issue a Development Permit for Building Work.

  • Council is obligated to investigate all complaints received, and will undertake a site inspection to ensure you are complying with the conditions of your development permit.

Contact us

For further information, please contact Council's Customer Service Centre on 1300 79 49 29 or email