I won’t mention any names but not all Perth Building Surveyors are up to date with the new regulations and will automatically say everything needs a Building Permit, as was the case under the old legislation.

In today’s blog we will be looking at work that does not require a Building Permit. This information comes from the Building Regulations of 2012 Schedule 4 as at 02 Apr 2013 and may change in time. Please be aware that although the act does not require that a Building Permit be issued by the Permit Authority, the structure should still comply with the Building Code of Australia, so it would be prudent to obtain a Certificate of Design Compliance anyway.

Construction, erection, assembly or placement of a freestanding Class 10a building that —
(a) has a floor area not exceeding 10 m2; and
(b) is no more than 2.4 m in height; and
(c) is not located in wind region C or D as defined in AS 1170.2.

So as you can see, a lot of those small sheds from hardware stores don’t need a Building Permit anymore in most areas.

Renovation, alteration, improvement, repair or maintenance of a building or incidental structure if the building work —
(a) will not adversely affect the structural soundness of the building or incidental structure and does not include —
(i) an increase or decrease in the floor area or height of the building or incidental structure; or
(ii) underpinning or replacement of footings; or
(iii) the removal or alteration of any element of the building or incidental structure that is contributing to the support of any other element of the building or incidental structure;
AND
(b) is done using materials commonly used for the same purpose as the material being replaced; and
(c) will not change the use or classification of the building or incidental structure; and
(d) will not adversely affect the safety and health of the occupants or other users of the building or incidental structure or of the public; and
(e) will not affect the way in which the building or incidental structure complies with each building standard that applies to the building or incidental structure; and
(f) is not work of a kind to which section 76, 77, 78 or 79 relates; and
(g) is not subject to an order, agreement or permit under the Heritage Act.

Most of this is fairly self explanatory. If you would like clarification contact our Building Surveyor for advice. Some items to note:
adversely affect land includes —
(a) reduce the stability or bearing capacity of the land or a building or structure on the land; or
(b) damage, or reduce the structural adequacy of, a building or structure on the land; or
(c) the changing of the natural site drainage in a way that reduces the effectiveness of the drainage of the land or existing or future buildings or structures on the land

Section 76 deals with encroachments;
Section 77 deals with adversely affecting adjoining land ;
Section 78 deals with protection structures in or on other land; and
Section 79 deals with affecting party walls without consent.

Construction, erection, assembly or placement of a temporary office, shed or sanitary facility to be used by a builder in connection with building work carried out on the land on which the office, shed or sanitary facility is, or is proposed to be, located.

This one is fairly self explanatory.

Construction, erection, assembly or placement of a fence, screen or similar structure, other than a fence forming part of an enclosure for a private swimming pool, if — 
(a) the fence, screen or similar structure is constructed in accordance with a local law made under the Local Government Act 1995 section 9.60 that applies to the construction of the fence, screen or similar structure in the district in which the fence, screen or similar structure is, or is to be, located; or
(b) (b) the fence, screen or similar structure is, or is to be, located in a district in which there is no local law of a type referred to in paragraph (a) and the fence, screen or similar structure —
(c) (i) if constructed of masonry, is no more than 0.75 m in height; and
(d) (ii) if constructed of a material other than masonry, is no more than 1.8 m in height; and
(e) (iii) is not located in wind region C or D as defined in AS 1170.2.

All swimming pool fences need approval.
Section 9.60 of the Local Government Act 1995 gives Councils the ability to make local laws, so your fence will need to comply with these, otherwise a Building Permit is required.

Construction, erection, assembly or placement of a mast, antenna or similar structure that —
(a) is not located in wind region C or D as defined in AS 1170.2; and
(b) if attached to a building —
(i) is no more than 2 m in height above the highest point of attachment to the building; and
(ii) will not affect the way in which the building complies with each building standard that applies to the building;
and
(c) if not attached to a building, is no more than 3 m in height.

Construction, erection, assembly or placement of a retaining wall that — 
(a) retains ground no more than 0.5 m in height; and
(b) is not associated with other building work or with the protection of land adjoining the land on which the retaining wall is located; and
(c) is not work of a kind to which section 76, 77, 78 or 79 relates.

Section 76 deals with encroachments;
Section 77 deals with adversely affecting adjoining land;
Section 78 deals with protection structures in or on other land; and
Section 79 deals with affecting party walls without consent.

Construction, erection, assembly or placement of a pergola associated with a Class 1 building that — 
(a) is no more that 2.4 m in height; and
(b) is not located in wind region C or D as defined in AS 1170.2; and
(c) covers an area not exceeding 20 m2.

Pergola means an open structure that does not have a roof but may have a covering of open weave permeable material.

Construction, erection, assembly or placement of a water storage tank with a capacity of 5 000 L or less.

Building work for a park home or annexe as those terms are defined in the Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Act 1995 section 5(1).

Attachment of photovoltaic panels or solar hot water systems to the roof of a Class 1 or Class 10a building that is not located in wind region C or D as defined in AS 1170.2.

So solar panels in Perth don’t require approval.

Building work for which a building licence was not required under the former provisions if, before commencement day — 
(a) the on site building work had commenced; or
(b) a contract to carry out the building work was entered into.

If the work previously didn’t need approval or approved before the 2/4/12 – don’t worry – it’s still ok.

Building work for buildings owned or occupied by, or under the control or management of the Crown in right of the State or a department, agency or instrumentality of the Crown in right of the State that — 
(a) commences before 30 June 2014; and
(b) has, when it commences, an estimated value of less than $50 000.

Small projects for the crown. The crown is still bound by the Act.

If you’re looking for further advice on what does and doesn’t require a Building Permit or need to speak to a Building Surveyor, send us an email or give us a call and we will be happy to assist.

Breaking News: The Building Commission must have been thinking the same thing as me – that this matter needs some clarification. Just today they released an industry bulletin hoping to give some clarity to the situation. Industry Bulletin 23.

As you can see a lot of fit outs may need a Building Permit.

Also please be aware that your job may still require planning permission.

Click HERE to email us if you have any questions about the process or would like to discuss your project.

Thanks for reading!

Due to constantly evolving legislation the information provided within this blog may no longer be valid. The advice given on this site is general in nature and does not take into account your specific circumstances. Please email one of our building surveyors to check what is right for you.

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