Building Permits
You need to make sure your building or renovation work complies with the rules laid down by your council and other regulatory authorities.

Building permits

The building process is a complicated one and starts with the permits that are required. There are two main permits, a building permit and a planning permit and they are very different.

A planning permit covers such things as development projects, land use changes and tree removal depending on the council's requirements.

A building permit is required for most development proposals including new buildings, extensions, sheds and in some cases fences and retaining walls.

You will need to check with your council on what they require for your project.

Building Permits








Applying for a permit

The first thing that should be done is to contact your local council and discuss their planning controls. I t's also worthwhile talking to other people about their dealings with council, as well as to other professionals including a town planner.

The council will advise on what documentation is required with your application. The most common requirements are all plans, photos and reports. You will then have to pay the necessary fees along with providing a copy of the title and covenant details.

During the next phase of the process, the council will check the completeness of your application and advise if they require any further documentation. The council at this stage may require modifications to the original plans. They may even request the matter be placed on referral for further consideration.

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Public notice

Council requirements vary, so once again, it's wise to contact them to find out what they require.

Councils require the lodgement of a public notice to allow people affected by an application the opportunity to comment on the proposal before a decision is finalised.

A building application is a public document and will be made available for review at council offices. Many councils will also advertise the lodgement of an application in a local newspaper. It is also likely that they will send a letter to properties nearby as well as requiring a sign on the property advising of the application.

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Assessing an application

The council will then assesses your application against the planning scheme requirements. The council still has the opportunity to come back to you again for further changes. Applications can still be rejected, if in the council's opinion, the application will not have a positive impact on the environment. Such ongoing negotiations are why many applications can seem to take so long before final approval is given.

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The decision

At the conclusion of this process the council can come to one of three possible decisions:
  • A permit can be issued with few if any conditions. This is normally the case
    where there have been no objections.
  • If an objection has been lodged, the council will issue a notice of decision with
    conditions outlined.
  • The permit application may be refused outright.

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The decision review process


If you are unhappy with the council's decision and want to pursue the matter further, you can apply for a review. Anyone lodging an objection can also challenge the decision. This process does vary between States. The HomeSource legal team can advise you on the best way to challenge a decision in your State.


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