You will require this permit if you intend to undertake building or development work. This includes any construction, alteration, removal or demolition of any new or old building or structure.
Further examples of development work include:
- constructing sheds, carports or garages
- raising fences, signs, masts, antennas, pergolas or verandas
- building retaining walls or stairways
- re-blocking, re-stumping and re-roofing
- installing swimming pools, spas, doors or windows
- any renovations.
As part of the permit approval, you may be required to submit management plans that describe how you intend to deal with things like bushfire, waste, flooding, termite risk, or trees and vegetation.
A building permit has commencement (six to twelve months) and completion (six to thirty-six months) time limits that will apply depending on the nature of the building works.
Additional requirements also apply to the reconstruction of class 1a buildings that were destroyed in the 2009 Victorian Bushfires. Furthermore, any building taking place in bushfire prone areas may be subject to additional requirements under the Building Code of Australia.
Exemptions to this permit exist for minor structures and may depend on such things as size, nature and type of work proposed. Examples of exemptions include some pergolas associated with houses, garden sheds with a floor area less than ten square meters and repair work done for maintenance purposes, such as replacing rotted weatherboards.
An application for a building permit may be made to a municipal or private building surveyor. A municipal building surveyor works at the local council where your project is located. Some municipal building surveyors issue permits outside their municipal district, whereas a private building surveyor will issue a permit in any municipality.
Have a discussion with your municipal or preferred private building surveyor before applying to them for a building permit. To ensure your preferred private building surveyor is registered, search for them through the eToolbox.
Please note that once a council municipal building surveyor has commenced assessing a building permit, you cannot switch to a private building surveyor.