How to Apply for a Building Permit

Building Permits are necessarily rather complicated.  Each of the regulations governing your project can require different information and the actual requirements for the permit will vary depending on the complexity of the project.  The following information will guide you through the application process, but for further information please contact Council. The advice can be obtained either in person at the Civic Centre between 8.15am-5.00pm or by calling 9518 3555. 

The simpler the project is, the fewer pieces of paper you will need.  Building a unit or sub-dividing, for example, is highly regulated and you will need a lot of pieces of paperwork to show your project will comply with all those regulations.  Please note that additional or specific forms may be required for your situation, see Building Application Forms for details.

At a minimum, to apply for your Building Permit, in addition to the completed application form you will need proof of the following information:

  1. Fees
  2. Planning Permit
  3. Proof of Ownership
  4. Registered Building Practitioners' Details
  5. Drains and Storm Water Information
  6. Copies of Design Drawings
    1. Site Plan
    2. Floor Plans
    3. Elevations
    4. Car Parking
    5. Detailed Specifications
    6. Cross-Sectional Elevations
    7. Visual Indication of Existing Structure Alterations
  7. Total Cost of the Project
  8. Impact on Neighbours or Public Property/Assets
  9. Owner-Builder
  10. Roof Truss and Frame Calculations
  11. Energy Efficiency Reports
  12. Earth-moving Work

1.  Fees

The fee which is based on the location, nature and length of your building project and will be determined at the time of application.

This involves:

  • Building Permit fees consist of both Statutory fee & Council adopted fee charges, please refer to the Council's Budget 2016/17 - fees and charges schedule (PDF, 317KB)
  • (Only when the total cost of the project is above $5,000) Building Lodgement Fee. This should be $38.30 for the current 2016/2017 financial year , and the
  • (Only when the total cost of the project is above $10,000) Building Levy, this is calculated at $00.00128 multiplied by the total cost of the building project.

2.  Planning Permits

Planning Permit, along with the approved plans, if a planning permit is required. If the property is less than 500m2, you always need a planning permit.

If the property is under an overlay such as the Heritage or Vegetation Overlay, but your project doesn’t require planning permission, you should provide information as to why.

For example, if you are under the Vegetation Overlay, and you are renovating, (without extending), your bathroom, no planning permission, (for altering vegetation), should be required.

3.  Proof of Ownership of the property

This can be either:

  • A Certificate of Title, (showing you are the owner), or
  • A signed copy of the Contract of Sale (showing you have purchased the property)

4.  Your Registered Building Practitioner’s Details

Even if you are an Owner-Builder, unless you are a licensed plumber or electrician, you will still have to hire a Building Practitioner for anything defined as plumbing or electrical work.

5. Drains and storm water information for the property

This includes:

  1. The position and size of all Downpipes
  2. The position and size of all Stormwater drainage lines
  3. The Legal point of Discharge

6.  Copies of design drawings

Three (3) copies of design drawings are required and will have to include:

6a.  Site Plan

The site plan, drawn to no less than a 1:500 scale, which comprises of the following details:

  1. Siting of the proposed work.  This also has to illustrate the dimensions and locations of the other structures on the property and the next door neighbours on all sides. For example your neighbours' garages, garden sheds and habitable room windows.
  2. Distance to the nearest cross street.  For example, if you are two houses down from the street corner, the distance in metres from your property to that street corner.
  3. Over-looking and over-shadowing diagrams.  If your proposed building will overlook or overshadow any of the neighbouring properties you should show this on the site plan.
  4. The location, dimensions, and area of the private open space that is currently available and what will be available after your proposed project is completed.  Building Regulations require that, at minimum, 80 m2 or 20% of the area of the plot of land should be available to a Class 1 Building, (like a house but not a hotel), as private open space.

6b.  Floor Plan

When the project involves a residential building it should also include the floor plan.

Drawn to a 1:100 scale, the floor plan needs to indicate:

  1. The dimensions, - both overall and internal, - for each individual floor. This needs to give exact measurements of the each individual room and the positioning, (and size) of every window and door
  2. The thickness and composition of the walls - both internal and external.
  3. The ‘proposed use’ of each room by name, such as the bathroom and the kitchen. All the fittings need to be identified; the sinks, baths, shower, kitchen etc.

6c.  Elevations

Elevations, drawn to a minimum scale of 1:100, including:

  • North, South, East & West

6d.  Car Parking

Car parking should show both:

  1. Access for vehicles to the building project. If your project will involve a lot of extra traffic to a residential area you may also need a Traffic Management Plan
  2. Access for vehicles when the project is completed. All Class 1 buildings should have car parking for two cars.

6e.  Detailed Specifications

Detailed specifications must describe:

  1. Materials
  2. Specific components to be used including details of framing and bracing
  3. The stress grade of all timber used or details of how it complies with the relevant Codes and Standards

6f:  Cross-sectional Elevations

Cross-sectional elevations should show:

  1. Footing details including component sizes and spacing. The footing or support structure should be specifically explained.
  2. Structural details of the floor, wall and roof framing. These details will have to cover the individual components, or parts, of floor, wall or roof; specifically the size, span and spacing of each.

6g:  Visual Indication of Existing Structure Alterations

Where the project involves adding to or altering an existing structure; it should show:

  • Colouring or cross-hatching to give a clear visual indication of the difference between existing and new

Conditional Requirements

    7.  Total Cost of the Project

    If the total cost of the project is more than $16,000, you will require:

    • Certificate for Domestic Contract Insurance. As of 1st July 2014, your Building Practitioner is obligated to provide you with this certificate. This insures the building work up to $300,000 to fix structural defects for six years, and non-structural defects for two years.

    8.  Impact on Neighbours or Public Property

    If the project may impact on your neighbour’s or public property, you will need to provide some kind of insurance or protection.

    • Asset Protection Permit: Please note that you will, (almost certainly), need this permit.  You will be able to obtain a Building Permit before receiving an Asset Protection Permit application form.
    • Under the regulations if protection work is required by your Relevant Building Surveyor who will issue the building permit.  Then you are required to provide a contract of insurance against damages and any liabilities.

    9.  Owner-Builder

    If you are an owner builder, and the total cost of the project is more than $16,000, you will require a:

    10.  Roof Truss and Frame

    If the project involves the roof truss and frame, you must provide:

    • One (1) copy of the truss/frame calculations. This needs to be a physical printed copy.

    11.  Energy Efficiency Reports

    If the project involves a new dwelling or more than 50% of an older one, you must acquire:

    • Energy efficiency reports. You’ll have to show that the new or renovated building is consistent with the Six Star Energy requirements

    In practical terms this means you’ll always have to install solar hot water or a rainwater tank for toilet flushing, as well as make sure that the building envelope is rated highly for energy efficiency.

    This rating can be achieved by analysis from a registered surveyer using the NAThers system.

    Consider installing double-glazing, or secondary glazing on your windows, improved insulation under floors, inside walls and in the roof and checking out our other ideas for energy efficiency.

    12.  Earth-moving Work

    If the project involves digging up the ground, you must provide:

    1. Description of the termite protection being undertaken or preserved
    2. Three (3) copies of the soil investigation report. You’ll need a soil investigation report for most structural alterations to an existing dwelling or building a new building. Smaller projects like installing a window, verandah or deck, or landscaping the garden, may not need a report.

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    Last updated: 21 October 2016