Building permits

Building approval process

Prepared by the Building Commission this guide will help you understand the process for obtaining approval to build and occupy a building in Western Australia.

Information checklists

Different types of building work have different requirements when lodging an application for a building permit. The following information checklists are provided to assist you with the information requirements for lodging a building permit for the different building work types.

What checklist you require depends on the type of structure you wish to apply for. Please refer to the descriptions below to view the checklist that is the most applicable to your development type.

Please note: the information contained within the checklists are not a complete list of all requirements but are a general guide of the minimum information required when submitting an application for a building permit.

  • BA1 Certified Application - Required when submitting a BA1 - certified building permit application.
  • Class 10a Building Work - Building permit required for structures such as patios, sheds, carports, etc.
  • Class 10b Building Work - Building permit required for structures such as swimming pools/spas, retaining walls, water tanks etc.
  • Class 1a Building Work - Building permit required for single residential dwellings, group developments and alterations and additions to existing dwellings.
  • Class 1b Building Work -  Building permit required for a boarding house, guest house, hostel or the like. Guest, boarding or lodging houses which do not meet the criteria for a class 1b building are classified as Class 3 buildings.
  • Class 2-9 Building Work - Building permit required for commercial development, such as warehouses, factories, shops, fit outs, offices, mixed use etc and some group housing developments.
  • Swimming Pool & Safety Barrier - Building permit required for the installation of fencing/barriers to swimming pools and spas.
  • Unauthorised Buildings (Class 1) - If residential building work has commenced on site prior to obtaining a building permit then this type of approval is required.
  • Unauthorised Buildings (Class 2-9) - If commercial development has commenced on site prior to obtaining a building permit then this type of approval is required.
  • Unauthorised Buildings (Class 10) - If class 10 (see above) building work has commenced on site prior to obtaining a building permit then this type of approval is required.
  • Demolition work - This permit is required for proposed demolition of a building or incidental structure.
  • Planning condition matrix proforma - You are required to submit the planning condition matrix proforma with all building approval applications.

Fees for building permits

Permits and process

The Building Act 2011 requires a certificate of design compliance signed by a registered building surveyor to be obtained before a building permit can be issued.

The City can complete the certificate of design compliance as part of an uncertified building permit (BA2) for a residential building (class 1 and 10) or a private certifier can be engaged to issue the certificate of design compliance as part of a certified building permit (BA1).

Commercial buildings (class 2 to 9) require a certificate of design compliance with all certified building permit applications submitted (BA1).

The permit authority has 10 business days to decide on a certified application. Though all prescribed approvals must be obtained and complied with, i.e. planning approval granted etc.

The permit authority has 25 business days to decide on an uncertified application, and all prescribed approvals must be obtained and complied with.

Conditions (s. 27)

A permit authority may impose, add, vary or revoke conditions on a building permit. Any conditions must relate to the particular building work rather than to work of that kind generally. Importantly those conditions cannot modify the certificate of design compliance or the plans and specifications that are specified in that certificate.

Applicants may apply to the State Administrative Tribunal for a review of the decision of the permit authority in relation to a condition imposed on the grant of a building permit.

Variations during construction

During construction some circumstances may arise that require changes or variations to the plans and specifications. Some minor changes may not require any amendment to the plans and specifications. Other changes or variations may require a certificate of design compliance if the changes affect compliance with the building standards. Accordingly a new building permit may be required to reflect those changes. The new building permit may cover the changes only and the previous building permit still covers the other works.

However where there are substantial changes or variations to the design or construction of the building or incidental structure, a new building permit for all the works may be warranted. This ensures that an accurate building record is maintained for that building or incidental structure.

Duration of a building permit

A permit authority may set any validity period for a permit. This is usually done at the request of the applicant. Where the permit authority does not set a validity period, the default is two years. If a project takes longer than expected, an application to extend the permit (BA22) can be submitted to the relevant permit authority.For more information regarding the requirements of the Building Act 2011 and the Building Regulations 2012 including the building permit forms (BA1 and BA2) and associated guides please see the Building Commission's website. Also see the checklists above for the information requirements

Please note:  For developments valued over $2 million please contact customer service staff prior to lodging an application as application fees requiring payment of over $10 000 will require an EFT transfer.

Description of building work for which building permit is not required

Certain building work may not require a building permit. Below is an extract from the Building Regulations 2012 and Building Act 2011 – description of building work for which building permit is not required. Please note that although a building permit may not be required for certain building work (as detailed below), all building work must still comply with the National Construction Code and relevant Australian Standards etc.

Schedule 4, cl.2 – Building Regulations 2012

Item

Description of building work for which building permit is not required

1.

Construction, erection, assembly or placement of a free standing Class 10a building that —

(a)           has a floor area not exceeding 10m2  ; 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.

2.

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.

3.

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.

4.

Construction, erection, assembly or placement of a fence, screen or similar structure, other than a fence forming part of a barrier to 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)   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 —

(i)      if constructed of masonry, is no more than 0.75 m in height; and

(ii)     if constructed of a material other than masonry, is no more than 1.8 m in height; and

(iii)    is not located in wind region C or D as defined in AS 1170.2.

5.

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.

6.

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.

7.

Construction, erection, assembly or placement of a pergola associated with a Class 1 building that —

(a)           is no more than 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 .

8.

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

9.

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).

10.

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.

11.

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.

12.

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 2017; and

(b)          has, when it commences, an estimated value of less than $50 000.

13.

The installation of a roof mounted evaporative cooling unit on a building or incidental structure if —

(a)           the building or incidental structure is not located in a bush fire prone area; or

(b)          the building is a Class 4 to Class 9 building; or

(c)           the building or incidental structure is located in a bush fire prone area and the BAL for the building site is BAL-Low; or

(d)          the building or incidental structure —

(i)      is located in a bush fire prone area; and

(ii)     the BAL for the building site is BAL-12.5, BAL-19 or BAL-29; and

(iii)    the installation of the evaporative cooling unit complies with the requirements for roof penetration in respect of the

         building or incidental structure set out in AS 3959.

 

From the Building Act 2011 – Part 5, Division 2 – Circumstances in which building, demolition or occupancy permits not required.

69. Temporary buildings

      (1)     A permit is not required for a building or an incidental structure that is to remain erected for no longer than one month.

      (2)     However, the permit requirement provisions apply to a building or incidental structure of a kind mentioned in subsection (1) —

                  (a)     that members of the public normally use; or

                  (b)     to which members of the public are permitted access.

70.  Buildings incidental to infrastructure

      (1)     A permit is not required for a building or an incidental structure that is, or is proposed to be, used in the construction,

               operation or maintenance of road, rail, port, harbour, airport, water, sewerage, electricity, oil or gas supply infrastructure.

      (2)     However, the permit requirement provisions apply to a building or an incidental structure of a kind mentioned in subsection (1) —

                  (a)     that is, or is proposed to be, a residential facility or a recreational facility; or

                  (b)     that members of the public normally use; or

                  (c)     to which members of the public are permitted access.

71. Buildings incidental to shipping and boating facilities

      (1)     A permit is not required for a building or an incidental structure that is, or is proposed to be, used in the construction, operation or maintenance

               of a facility of a kind mentioned in the Marine and Harbours Act 1981 section 5(1)(i).

      (2)     However, the permit requirement provisions apply to a building or an incidental structure of a kind mentioned in subsection (1) —

                  (a)     that is, or is proposed to be, a residential facility or a recreational facility; or

                  (b)     that members of the public normally use; or

                  (c)     to which members of the public are permitted access.

72. Buildings incidental to mining operations

      (1)     In this section —

               mining operations has the meaning given in the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 section 4(1).

      (2)     A permit is not required for a building or an incidental structure that is, or is proposed to be, used in the construction, operation or maintenance of a place at

               which mining operations are carried on.

      (3)     However, the permit requirement provisions apply to a building or an incidental structure of a kind mentioned in subsection (2) —

                  (a)     that is, or is proposed to be, a residential facility or a recreational facility; or

                  (b)     that members of the public normally use; or

                  (c)     to which members of the public are permitted access.

73. Buildings incidental to exploiting petroleum and other resources

      (1)     A permit is not required for a building or an incidental structure that is, or is proposed to be, used —

                  (a)     in connection with the exploration for, or exploitation of, petroleum resources, geothermal energy resources and other resources,

                           to which the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967 or Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982 applies; or

                  (b)     in the construction, modification, reconstruction, operation or maintenance of a pipeline as defined in the Petroleum Pipelines Act 1969 section 4(1).

      (2)     However, the permit requirement provisions apply to a building or an incidental structure of a kind mentioned in subsection (1) —

                  (a)     that is, or is proposed to be, a residential facility or a recreational facility; or

                  (b)     that members of the public normally use; or

                  (c)     to which members of the public are permitted access.

74. Buildings incidental to industrial processing plant

      (1)     A permit is not required for a building or an incidental structure that is, or is proposed to be, used in the construction, operation or maintenance of a facility

               that is predominantly an industrial processing plant.

      (2)     However, the permit requirement provisions apply to a building or an incidental structure of a kind mentioned in subsection (1) —

                  (a)     that is, or is proposed to be, a residential facility or a recreational facility; or

                  (b)     that members of the public normally use; or

                  (c)     to which members of the public are permitted access.

Further information regarding Occupancy Permits can be obtained by clicking here

 

Obstruction permit and verge bonds

As part of your building or demolition permit you may be required to pay a verge bond (unless otherwise specified) and may require an obstruction permit. For more information on these please see trees and verges

Contact us

Building services
City of Fremantle
Fremantle Oval
70 Parry Street, Fremantle
T 08 9432 9999
F 08 9430 4634
planning@fremantle.wa.gov.au