When do I need a building permit?

New Building Approval Process from 2nd April 2012

The Building Act 2011 will change the current building approval process in WA and provide flexibility and choice for both builders and consumers when making an application.

The new Act separates the process of certifying that a design complies with building standards from the administrative process of the local government issuing building approval.

A certificate of design compliance is issued by a registered building surveyor (private practice or local government) to confirm certification, and a building permit is issued by the local government permit authority to confirm approval to build. Building companies are free to contract (but not directly employ) registered building surveyors and offer certification as part of the building service to their customers.

In addition, the new Act introduces new requirements for construction and completion. For all classes of building the builder must submit a notice of completion within seven days of finishing work under a permit. This notice establishes the end date of the building permit for compliance and record keeping purposes, and signifies the point from which the builder has fulfilled his obligations regarding compliance with the Act.

A notice of completion does not affect contractual matters such as the contents or timing of a notice of practical completion or any requirements to make good any defects to a building before a final certificate is issued.

The new Act allows for the establishment of a mandatory inspection regime during construction, but there will be no inspection requirements on commencement of the legislation.

The commencement of the Building Act 2011 will also introduce a new Building Services Levy, information of this can be found via the Building Commission Website:

Further information advice and guidance notes regarding the new legislation which is now in force can be found on the Building Commission website.

Please Note: Under the new legislation the Shire is not permitted to accept incomplete applications - as such please ensure all required information is provided.

Building Approvals

A Building Permit is required for the erection of dwellings, additions, alterations or extensions, out buildings, patios, carports, shade structures (either attached to the dwelling or free standing) and swimming pools, either above or below ground.

Approval is also required for the erection of any business signage greater than 0.2m2 in area. This is provided in the form of a Signs Licence, click here for the Application for Sign and Hoardings license.

As Broome is located in a cyclone prone area, plans submitted must recognise the relevant provisions of the Building Code of Australia. A Structural Engineer can design your building to comply with the wind loading code to resist a cyclone that may pass through the area.

Any construction of a residential nature in a Residential Zone (refer to Town Planning Scheme) must comply with the requirements of the Residential Design Codes in order to avoid undue delay in the Building Licence. To assist we have produced general information handouts regarding setbacks for Residential Buildings in Residential Areas and Outbuildings in Residential Areas.

Variations may be considered by Council where specific requirements or Heritage requirements impact. Consideration should be given to orientation of buildings on site to suit the climate and capture breezes. Council looks favourably on variations that incorporate the Broome character.

Need help with your House Energy Rating?

The building code of Australia requires all new homes to meet minimum standards of thermal performance so that they can stay naturally warm in winter and cool in summer and use less energy for artificial heating and cooling.

A home with high thermal performance need not cost more to build. It just needs smart design and the right choice of materials.

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