What is a building permit?
A building permit is a written approval by a private or municipal building surveyor. It allows building works to be undertaken according to the approved plans, specifications and other relevant documentation.
A municipal or a private building surveyor will issue you with a building permit which is then submitted to council for record keeping.
A building permit will specify that either an occupancy permit or a certificate of final inspection is required on completion of the building work.
There are times when you will need to present evidence of your building permit, such as when you sell your property. Illegal building works can create significant problems during the sale of a property.
Do I need a building permit?
All building works need a building permit unless they are exempt.
Building permits are controlled by the Building Act 1993 and Building Regulations 2018.
A building permit ensures the building is structurally safe, stable and complies with the above regulations.
You will need to have a building permit as having one means that your building project:
- is built by a registered builder
- has the correct documentation
- is inspected at different stages of work
- is independently assessed as finished and/or suitable for occupation
If you build without the correct permit, you may be ordered to demolish any buildings or works that have been completed without a permit and you could be fined.
You can contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on (03) 5398 0110 to find out if you need a building permit.
If you are completing a residential building, you may need a permit for:
- A new home
- Certain swimming pools or spas and any safety barriers
- Extensions and renovations
- Demolition and building removal
- New fencing, re-stumping, a retaining wall or a boundary wall
- A garage, carport or any building outside or unattached to the main house
- A veranda or pergola
Can I build a structure on my land?
If you are building or renovating on your own land, and you are not a registered builder, you are known as an owner-builder.
If you are an owner-builder, you:
- will need to get a certificate of consent for domestic building works that cost more than $16,000 (including labour costs and materials) before you apply for a building permit.
- can get a building permit for one single home every three years
- must not build for a profit
- must own the land or property you are building on
- must either live in or intend to live in, the single home
You can find out more about owner-builder requirements on the Victorian Building Authority website.
Can I demolish a building?
You must get our permission to do demolition work when:
- the building will be completely demolished
- more than half of the floor area of the building will be demolished
- part or all the front of the building will be demolished
Some demolition work also needs a planning permit from Council as well as a building permit.
If you do not have a planning permit yet, we will not approve your application for consent to demolish.
There is a fee for applying for consent to demolish. You can see the costs of this fee in the Building related fees.
Section 29A Request Form(PDF, 111KB)
What is an easement and can I build over it?
An easement is a section of land that either council or another service has a right to use even though you are the owner.
There are different reasons your land may be used, including providing stormwater drainage, sewerage drains, gas mains, or power lines in or over a section of land.
The authority that manages the service can use and access this bit of land to deliver and maintain the service. For example, to fix or install pipes.
If you are building on your property, you should check your Certificate of Title and Plan of Subdivision to find out if there is an easement and what it is used for.
If there is an easement that you want to build over, you will need to get permission from the relevant authority.
You need to contact us if the easement is used for drainage, as well as any other easement for which Council is listed on the Certificate of Title.