Are you wondering whether you need council approval for you shed?
I’m sure you will agree with us when we state: the council approval process can be incredibly confusing.
In this guide we outline what you need to know to get approval for your steel building.
Council requirements for approvals can vary widely throughout Australia. On top of that, state and territory-based laws regarding design and placement can differ greatly. Because of this it is always a good idea to speak to your local planning authority.
There are 3 different processes when it comes to council approval. It will depend on the location, size and use of the building as to which process applies to you. The processes are:
There are also separate requirements within the 3 main processes that apply to Farm Buildings and Industrial/commercial developments.
In NSW, you will need to understand the differences between exempt and complying development and what they mean to you.
Exempt development covers minor, low impact developments that are built on certain rural properties. If your building meets specific development standards, any further planning or building approval is not needed.
This means any construction that does not require a full assessment by council can be done quickly and with lower costs.
Examples of exempt development standards can apply to many farm buildings and sheds less than 200m2. Further details of what structures are exempt can be found here.
Complying development involves a fast tracked approval process for straightforward rural, residential, industrial and commercial developments, provided that your building meets specific development standards.
If you have identified that you building fits within the complying development code, you can lodge for a complying development certificate (CDC) with your local council or accredited certifier. The council or certifier will assess your complying development application. If your plans meet these requirements, you will receive a complying development certificate.
Some benefits of complying development include:
Once your application has been lodged, a council or private certifier will assess your proposal. If your development meets building standards such as height, setbacks and landscaping your complying development certificate can be approved in as little as 20 days, saving you thousands of dollars depending on your project.
When applying for complying development, the development must comply 100% with the development standards, which include:
If you don’t fall within the standards for complying development, then you must submit a Development Application, which we discuss further below.
The requirements for complying development are designed to strike a balance between your rights to building on your land, while minimizing the structure impacts the surrounding areas.
A DA (Development application) is an application process where you provide some basic plans outlining the project and its environmental effects. The council will assess your application and issue approval to proceed with the final planning of your your development. Along with the approval there will be a list of criteria specifying the conditions of the approval.
The Development Application process can be very time consuming, so make sure to consider this in your project timeline.
You will then need to provide further documentation showing how your building development will comply with the criteria specified by the council.
The documentation that you will need to provide will vary between projects, but could include:
You will often need the services of Architects, Town planners, Engineers, building contractors, surveyors and other consultants to prepare this documentation. At Techspan we have a great network of people that can help out in each area so please reach out for advice and we can point you in the right direction.
Once your design documentation is complete you can apply for a construction certificate.
As part of receiving you DA it is normal for the council to request some further information. This information must be supplied before you start any construction. After providing this information you will receive a construction certificate. A construction certificate shows that the proposed development meets the Building Code of Australia and the criteria stipulated in the design approval.
This certificate can be prepared by the Council or a Private Certifer and the benefits of each are described below in the next section
The Construction certificate is the approval to build, so let the fun begin.During construction there will then be intermediate and final inspections carried out by the certifying authority to ensure that the building is built in accordance with the requirements on the constructions certificate.
A private certifier is someone who can approve a project on behalf of a council. Their job is to ensure that the development conditions are met. These condition can be either the predefined conditions of a Complying Development or the more detailed conditions as stipulated by a DA
The main difference with between lodging with your local council or a private certifier is the time it will take. Both will charge fees, however the private certifier will normally be quicker.
Here are the common steps involved in the Permit Process
Be thorough and deliver all materials by the requested dates. Resubmissions and extensions can result in extra costs.Double check that your have all your paperwork is in order. Even if you believe you don’t need to seek planning or building approval, you should get in touch with your local council to check that you are meeting all their guidelines.
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