Can I be an owner builder?2018-09-29T04:01:16+00:00

Before an owner can undertake any proposed works (valued over $20,000) as an owner builder, the owner is required to apply for approval from the WA Building Commission. An Owner Builder application form and information can be downloaded visiting the following link to the Building Commission’s website. The Owner Builder Approval Application is to be submitted directly to the Building Commission and to be provided as part of your certification.

Do I need to submit plans for a new house to DFES for assessment?2018-09-29T04:08:03+00:00

No. DFES will not assess or comment on single residential houses (Class 1a). The Building Regulations 2012 do not require the submission of plans for DFES assessment on Building Code of Australia (BCA) Class 1 and associated Class 10 buildings.

Do I require a building permit for demolition?2018-09-29T04:00:30+00:00

Yes. A demolition permit is required for the demolition or removal of a building or incidental structure. This can be prepared by a private building surveyor. Planning approval is often also required in heritage areas such as North Perth, Highgate, and Mount Lawley to demonstrate that the building replacing the one to be knocked down is sympathetic to the surrounding heritage homes.

Does private building certification speed up the building approval process?2018-09-29T03:21:05+00:00

Yes. A building permit application may be made to the permit authority without using a registered building surveyor. This is referred to as an uncertified application. The permit authority then appoints an independent building surveyor to check the proposal and provide the CDC. An uncertified permit application can take up to 25 days compared to a legally enforced 10 days for a privately certified applications.

How do I lodge for an application for subdivision approval?2018-09-29T04:09:05+00:00

All applications for the subdivision of land are lodged with the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC), as the Commission determines all subdivision applications in WA. Application forms can be downloaded from the WAPC’s website (under Applications). The WAPC refers subdivisions applications to the City for comment in-accordance with Section 142 of the Planning and Development Act 2005.

Please see the link below for further information. Guide to Planning Fees Western Australia

Subdivision – What is the difference between a Built Strata, Survey Strata and Strata Title?2018-09-29T04:11:16+00:00

Land can be subdivided three ways:

  1. Green title or freehold subdivision (No common property)
  2. Survey strata subdivision (Can include common property, title includes land around building)
  3. Built Strata subdivision (Title usually includes only the building footprint).

Both green title and survey strata subdivisions allow the creation of vacant lots.

The primary difference between a green title subdivision and a survey strata subdivision is the nature of the land titles created – green title allows the creation of individual land titles for each lot, while survey strata creates individual land parcels on one title. Built strata subdivisions may only be used to subdivide land that has existing buildings or structures. Applicants should discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the potential subdivision options available with a licensed land surveyor.


What are the building permit fees payable?2018-09-29T03:49:18+00:00

The fees payable with the building permit application to your Council are based on the contract value of the proposed works (including GST). If there is no contract, the value of the works must include all material costs, labour costs, necessary services, fees payable, overheads, etc (as stipulated in the Building Regulations 2012). The tables below show the fees payable.

Value of Works Types of Fees Fees Payable
Up to $20,000 Application Fee $92.00*
Building Services Levy $40.50
Over $20,000 Application Fee 0.32% of the value of works
Building Services Levy
— Value of works (Up to $45,000) $40.50
— Value of works (Above $45,000) 0.09% of the value of works
Building Construction Industry
Training Fund (BCITF) Levy
0.2% of the value of works
Value of Works Types of Fees Fees Payable
Up to $20,000 Application Fee $92.00*
Building Services Levy $40.50
Over $20,000 Application Fee 0.19% of the value of works
Building Services Levy
— Value of works (Up to $45,000) $40.50
— Value of works (Above $45,000) 0.09% of the value of works
Building Construction Industry
Training Fund (BCITF) Levy
0.2% of the value of works
What do building surveyors do?2018-09-29T03:25:19+00:00

Building Surveyors are experts in a range of building legislation, technical codes and construction standards. They are in high demand by other allied professions like Architects, Engineers, Town Planners and Builders for their knowledge and expertise, and are often called upon to sit on design teams in the early stages of projects to provide their expert advice. A Building Surveyor is required to certify plans and structures in accordance with building legislation and to issue a building permit to start construction.

What documents are required by Council to assess an application for town planning approval?2018-09-29T04:03:34+00:00

When applying for planning approval, the following documents need to be submitted:

  • MRS1 Form of Application for Planning Approval signed by the current owners of the land.
  • Three sets of drawings including an accurate site plan, floor plan and elevations.
  • A report to justify any requested variations from normal requirements as provided by the relevant Planning Framework.
  • Fee payment as listed in the Local Government’s ‘Schedule of Fees.’

In addition, each Local Government has detailed checklists available for some of the common types of applications. Please note that additional information may be requested by the assigned Planning Officer during assessment of an application.

What is a CDC?2018-09-29T02:51:19+00:00

CDC stands for Certificate of Design Compliance. When a registered building surveyor certifies that a building permit application meets and achieves the relevant building regulations, requirements and applicable construction and design standards, they complete a Certificate of Design Compliance (CDC). The Permit Authority is then able to issue the permit within the prescribed 10 business day time frame.

What is a privately certified building application?2018-09-29T02:50:02+00:00

A private certifier (accredited building surveyor) acts as the council and has a professional responsibility to ensure the building application is complete and complies with the Building Rules, including the current version of the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

What is residential density or an R-Code?2018-09-29T04:06:25+00:00

Residential density is identified by a series of numbers within the residential zone on a Council’s town planning scheme map. These numbers are derived from the State Government document called the Residential Design Codes of Western Australia, or the R-Codes for short. Please find the link to the document below which explains in general terms what can be done on each zoning.

Residential Design Codes Western Australia 2015 PDF file

Note: Individual Councils are able to alter many aspects of the R-Codes in Local Planning Policies with the exception of those relating to minimum and average lot sizes for subdivision purposes.

What is the difference between town planning approval and a building permit?2018-09-29T03:55:39+00:00

The Building Permit process regulates the construction and alteration of buildings by assessing proposed buildings, structures and alteration work against the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA). A building permit is required before any building work can be carried out. A registered building surveyor is engaged by the applicant to certify compliance to the building standards by issuing a certificate of design compliance (CDC).

The Planning Approval process, also referred to as Development Approval (DA) regulates the use and development of land by assessing proposals against Council’s planning schemes and the State’s planning legislation. The planning approval process focuses particularly on the impact of a proposal on the site and neighbouring land. It addresses the following sorts of issues:

  • Does it comply with planning scheme requirements?
  • Will it cause overshadowing or loss of privacy to neighbours?
  • Is it located an appropriate distance from boundaries?
  • Is the scale and size appropriate for the area?
  • Is there adequate car parking?
  • Does it create any access or traffic safety issues?
  • Are the hours of operation appropriate for the area?
  • Are there any environmental constraints that need to be considered?

Many Perth Councils are able grant Planning Approval as part of issuing a Building Permit, however you should always check with your Local Council before preparing working drawings as this generally only for proposals that are fully compliant with planning requirements. If you are unsure or not confident your application complies with planning requirements, seek professional advice prior to submitting for approval.

What is the R-Codes or residential design codes of Western Australia?2018-09-29T04:07:17+00:00

The Residential Design Codes of Western Australia (commonly referred to as the R-Codes)is a State Government Policy (SPP3.1) which is inferred power directly through the State Planning and Development Act 2005. The purpose of the R-Codes is to provide a consistent and comprehensive basis for the control of residential development, through all Local Government’s. They are intended to cover all requirements for planning control purposes and to minimise the need for Shires to introduce separate planning policies or variations to these matters.

The R-Codes do not address the physical construction requirements or the specific internal design of buildings – these are matters controlled by the Building Code of Australia.

When is a building permit required?2018-09-29T03:22:12+00:00

A building permit is required for all structures (residential, commercial or industrial) including new works, alterations, additions, swimming pools, spas (below and above ground), pool safety barriers / fence for pools & spas, patios and sheds.