Your Project Quick Guide

The Shire of Broome has created a quick guides for anyone seeking to undertake building work or demolitions to existing properties.

This includes the building of ancillary dwellings such as granny flats, retainer walls, fences, crossovers, workshops and other outdoor buildings. 

If you have questions about the eligibility of your property or the planning policy or the development process check out the quick project guides below.

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Ancillary dwellings, commonly known as granny flats, are useful additions to a property. They enable independent living for a family member, or it can be rented out long term.


Self-contained dwelling on the same lot as a single house which may be attached to, integrated with, or detached from, the single house. (WA R-Codes).


Ancillary dwellings are only permitted in Residential, and Rural Residential zones.

State Planning Policy 7.3 WA R-Codes sets the guidelines for an Ancillary Dwelling in R-Code areas.

If the following criteria is met, you wont need a planning approval -

  1. The lot is not less than 350m2.
  2. There is a maximum plot ratio of 70m2 (Plot Ratio = gross total floor area, but not including verandahs, carport, storerooms).
  3. Parking bay (1) is provided.
  4. Located behind the street setback line.
  5. Designed to be compatible with the colour, roof pitch, and materials of the single house on the same lot.
  6. Does not affect the open space and outdoor area of the main dwelling.
  7. Complies with all other provisions ie setbacks, height etc., except - site area, street surveillance, and the outdoor living area.

Rural Residential Areas – a Development Approval is required for an Ancillary Dwelling.


A building application must be submitted before commencing works on site.

You may submit a BA1 Certified application, OR, a BA2 Uncertified application, and the Shire will provide the Certificate of Design Compliance (CDC).

The proposed ancillary dwelling must meet ALL parts of the building code (BCA).

The dwelling must be self-contained which includes its own kitchen, bathroom, toilet and laundry.

Applications can be made on-line – go to Applications and use the checklist.

*NOTE: If the lot is not connected to mains sewer, you may need an upgrade, or new, on-site sewer system. Discuss with the Shire Environmental Health Officer (EHO).

Please contact the Shire on 91913456 or email if you need more information.

Ancillary Dwelling Sample Plans(PDF, 2MB)


Asbestos has to be carefully removed and disposed of at approved waste disposal sites.

Where more than 10m2 is to be removed, a registered contractor is required. Worksafe registers all contractors.  

Further information – Asbestos Management (Public Health and Safety).


 A ‘Bed and Breakfast’ (B and B) is where the landowner lives on site offering a room/s to guests, for short-stay accommodation purposes, (sometimes known as a guest house).

If you would like to use your property as a B and B, Development Approval is required. Under the building code (BCA) a guest house is a Class 1B building and will need a change of use. You will need to apply for a Building Approval Certificate

Other approvals will also be required dependant on dwelling design and type of breakfast provided. In some cases you may need to register as a food premises.



Development Approval for demolition is only required where your property is Heritage listed, either by the Shire or on the State’s Heritage Register.

Check whether you property is heritage listed in our online mapping tool. 


A demolition permit is required for demolition work for a whole building.  It is also required for part of a building or structure when the works are not included as part of a building permit for construction (REF: S.10 of the Building Act 2011). 

There are also Health & Safety requirements to consider, particularly if removing asbestos and decommissioning septic systems. Visit our Public Health and Safety page. 

Some demolition works can only be carried out by a registered demolition contractor.

Refer to Worksafe for further information.

Please use the Schedule of works below, with the application form.

Demolition form BA5  

Demolition Schedule of Works(DOCX, 42KB)

*Note  A builder who holds a permit for building work, does not need a separate demolition permit for demolition work that is part of the building work.


A building permit is required before starting any works on site.


Depending on where the project is located will determine if you need a Development Approval (DA - often called a planning approval).

Go to Intramaps and find your zone under the planning scheme (LPS 6 or 7).

Use the R-Codes (WA Residential Design Codes – SPP7.3) to find the details for your zone, like setbacks from boundaries. Also note that some areas have special planning rules; eg Broome North. Go to the Planning pages for info about Local Structure Plans (sometimes known as Development Plans, or Guide plans)

Septic Systems

If your property is not on deep sewer, you will need to contact the Shire Environmental Health team. A new dwelling needs a septic system approved before we can issue a building permit. An addition to a dwelling may need a septic system upgrade.

Go to the waste water page for more details.

Use our information sheets and Checklist(PDF, 520KB), to see what you need to provide with your application.


Dividing Fences

Fences between you and another landowner are shared property, and are controlled by the Dividing Fences Act 1961, which is administered by Building and Energy

Front Fences

Fences in front of your house, including the side boundary if you are on a corner lot, are considered under the Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) and the Building Act 2011.

Refer to our Planning information sheet for fences

The R-Codes require front fences to maintain connectivity to the street, by permitting good surveillance and enhancing the visual amenity of the area. A fence that allows a visual connection to your neighbourhood, is far more secure that a solid, high fence.

Front fences may be solid up to 1.2m high, and visually permeable above 1.2m (up to 1.8m) measured from natural ground level on the street side of the fence.

Building Permit

As we are in a cyclonic region, our fences need to be built to cyclone standard (region C). If your fence is subject to wind load (i.e. solid) then you will need a permit prior to starting work.

Use our information sheets and Checklist,(PDF, 520KB) to see what you need to provide with your application.



An outbuilding, usually a shed, is an enclosed non-habitable building that is detached from any dwelling. An outbuilding is incidental to a dwelling.

Generally, outbuildings need to be 1.0m from a boundary to meet the building code (BCA).

All setbacks are specified in the R-Codes.

Use our information sheets and Checklist,(PDF, 520KB) to see what you need to provide with your application.


Patios Verandahs, Gazebos, Pergolas and Shade Sails

A Building Permit is required for all buildings in the Shire of Broome, and all structures associated with a building in Broome.

A patio is defined as an unenclosed (open on two or more sides) structure with an impervious roof which is usually attached to a dwelling.

A verandah is attached to a dwelling, and has a raised floor – usually timber framed.

A gazebo is usually freestanding.

Patio, verandahs and gazebos are used for outdoor living and entertainment.

Pergolas and Shade Sails

A pergola is defined as an open-framed structure covered in water permeable material or unroofed, which may or may not be attached to a dwelling.  

Pergolas and shade sails are generally required to be setback 750mm from a boundary.

A Building Permit is required for a pergola in Broome, due to our cyclonic conditions.

Shade sails need a permit where posts and footings are required for the structure.

In all other instances, a Building Permit is required. All building work, whether exempt from a permit or not, must be built to an applicable standard.

Link to Patios, Pergolas and Shade Sails Information Sheet

Development Approval

Development Approval is required for patios, verandahs, gazebos and pergolas if:

  • It does not satisfy the ‘Deemed to Comply’ criteria or the R-Codes; or
  • The property is heritage listed; or
  • It is not a residential property.


Incidental structures that are not associated with a building are exempt under the Building Act. Works that are exempt must still be built to comply with the applicable standards. (Building Act s.37)

Retainer walls for a building > 500mm high require a building permit, and will need structural engineer design.

Posts, flagpoles, etc that are associated with a building, require a building permit, and will need structural engineer design.


  • A freestanding post for a shade sail at your house needs a building permit.
  • A windmill on a station is not associated with a building, so is exempt.
  • A retainer wall in a park, or a boardwalk at a beach, is not associated with a building, so is exempt under the Building Act.

*There may be other approvals required, and ALL building work must be built to a suitable standard.


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