Building Permits

 

The Building Act 1993 states that the Permit must be issued before commencement of the building work. A Building Permit ensures that structures are built to an acceptable and safe standard, in accordance with building regulations.

Failure to obtain the necessary Building Permit is a serious matter and offenders may be prosecuted.

When do you need a Building Permit?

A Building Permit is required for all major building projects including new homes, home extensions, garages and commercial projects. A Permit is also required for many small projects including sheds, retaining walls, fences, decks, carports, verandahs, swimming pools and spas.

Building Permits are required for these projects regardless of the cost of the building project. To confirm if a particular building project requires a Permit, visit the Planning Desk at the City of Ballarat, The Phoenix, 25 Armstrong Street South during business hours. Bring a detailed floor plan, site plan, and copy of title for assessment and advice.


How Do I Get a Building Permit?Top of document.

A Building Surveyor is responsible for issuing a Building Permit at the commencement of a building project.

The surveyor should be engaged at the very start of the process, and can advise on documentation necessary to obtain the Permit.

After the Building Permit is issued, the building surveyor will carry out a series of inspections at different stages throughout the project to ensure that the building work meets minimum standards.

A Building Permit is required for many small projects including sheds, retaining walls, fences, decks, carports, verandahs, swimming pools and spas. Building Permits are required regardless of the cost of a building project.  


Projects Requiring a Building PermitTop of document.

Buildings

  • New homes
  • New bungalows, outbuildings or studios
  • Re-locatable buildings
  • Commercial buildings
  • Alterations/additions
  • Additions to a building
  • Re-blocking or re-stumping
  • Adding or removing structural parts of a building
  • Alterations to a commercial building including layout changes
  • Alterations to, or introduction of, an Essential Safety Measure including fire hose reels, fire hydrants, exit doors,fire extinguishers, exit signs, emergency lights, sprinklers.
  • Verandahs (roofed structure)
  • New verandahs
  • Impermeable shade sails
  • Pergolas (unroofed structure)
  • New pergolas with a floor area greater than 20m²
  • Permeable shade sails with a floor area greater than 20m²

Conversions

  • Converting a garage or shed into a habitable room
  • Changing the use of a room/area in a residential or commercial building

Swimming pools and spas

  • New swimming pools or spas capable of a water depth greater than 30cm
  • Pool or spa safety barriers

Fences

  • On corner blocks, front and side timber fences greater than 1.5m in height, within 3m of the front or side street boundary.
  • On corner blocks, front and side masonry/brick fences greater than 1.2m in height, within 3m of the front or side street boundary.
  • On corner blocks, any fence greater than 1m in height within 9m of the street corner point, measured in both directions along the boundary line of the block.
  • Any side fence, between properties that is greater than 2m in height.
  • Front and side timber fences greater than 1.5m in height, within 3m of the front boundary.
  • Front and side masonry/brick fences greater than 1.2m in height, within 3m of the front boundary.

Decks and landings

  • All decks and landings

Sheds, garages and carports

  • All garages, sheds and carports

Retaining walls

  • A retaining wall within 1m of a boundary or another building
  • A retaining wall greater than 1m in height

Masts and Antennas

  • Greater than 3m above the building to which it’s attached
  • Greater than 8m above the ground.

Demolition

  • Demolition/removal of any building with masonry features
  • Demolition of a building with a floor area greater than 40m²

Projects NOT Requiring a Building PermitTop of document.

Alterations

  • Replacement of non-structural external building components, for example weatherboards, doors or windows, if the building is not on a Heritage Register and the work will not adversely affect the public.
  • Replacement of non-structural internal building components, for example kitchens, bathrooms and laundry units, if the building is not on a Heritage Register and the work will not adversely affect the occupiers.
  • Wood heaters

Garden Sheds

  • Construction of a steel or timber garden shed at the backyard of a dwelling, which has a floor area less than 10m² and is less than 3m in height, or less than 2.4m in height when within 1m of a boundary.

Pergolas

  • Construction of a timber pergola at the backyard of a dwelling, which has a floor area less than 20m² and is less than 3.6m in height.

 

Case Studies

Retaining walls : A 600mm high timber retaining wall is proposed to be located 400mm
from a boundary. A Building Permit is required as the retaining wall will be supporting or
protecting adjoining land

Decks / landings :  A low timber deck is proposed to be constructed. A Building Permit is required for all decks or landings


Garden sheds
: A 4.0m(L) X 2.4m(W) X 1.8m(H) freestanding steel garden shed is proposed to be installed at the backyard of a dwelling close to the rear and side boundary. A Building Permit is not required as the shed is less than 10m² and less than 2.4m in height


Verandahs (roofed)
: A verandah is proposed to be constructed attached to a building. A Building Permit is required for all attached verandahs


Pergolas
(unroofed) : A 6m(L) X 4m(W) X 2.7m(H) timber and shade cloth pergola is
proposed to be constructed attached to a building. A Building Permit is required as the pergola is greater than 20m²


Carport
: A 6m(L) X 4m(W) X 2.7m(H) timber framed and metal roofed carport
is proposed. A Building Permit is required as the carport is greater than 10m²


Change of use
: A garage is proposed to be used as a habitable room.

(a) A Building Permit is required to upgrade the building to reach the minimum standards required for the new use 

(b) An existing retail shop is proposed to be used as a restaurant A Building Permit is required to upgrade the building to reach the minimum standards required for the new use


Swimming pool or spa
: A spa with a depth greater than 30cm and with a lockable lid is
proposed. A Building permit is required as the spa depth exceeds 30cm and a lockable lid is not an approved safety barrier


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