Building & Planning

Building Approval Process - An Overview

Process Overview

This guide outlines the types of permits that can be obtained and the roles and responsibilities of those involved. It highlights opportunities to ensure a smooth and efficient approval process through simple and practical advice.

If you are submitting, assessing or approving an application for a permit, there are several things you can do to get the most out of the new system – we call these the keys to quick approvals. The advice in keys to quick approvals is based on the Building Act 2011 (the Building Act), which is part of a suite of building laws introduced in Western Australia.

The Building Act’s key objectives are to:

  • provide a comprehensive system of building control in Western Australia;
  • set standards for buildings and demolition work in Western Australia; and
  • deal with building or demolition work that affects other land.

Application & Permit Types

Certified

The Building Act 2011 introduced certified applications for all permits. This is a process where a registered building surveyor checks the plans and specifications of a proposed or an existing building. The building surveyor will then complete and sign a certificate of compliance confirming the proposed or existing building complies with the applicable building standards. An application can then be made to the relevant permit authority. In most cases, the permit authority is the relevant local government. The permit authority then assesses the application to ensure it complies with all other legislative requirements such as town planning. When these requirements have been met, the permit is issued.

The process is much quicker and more effective if a complete application is submitted to the permit authority. However if information is missing, the permit authority can request the applicant to provide it. After the missing information is received, the permit authority can issue the permit provided all other legislative requirements are met.

Applications must be accompanied by:

  • a CDC signed by an independent building surveyor;
    click here to view the Register of Building Surveying Practitioners and Contractors 
  • copies of all plans and specifications specified in the CDC;
  • a copy of each technical certificate relied on by the building surveyor;
  • copies of any necessary approval from other statutory bodies (eg planning approvals) and/or notifications to the Heritage Council;
  • appropriate consent forms or court orders where work encroaches onto or adversely affects other land;
  • evidence that the required insurance provisions under the Home Building Contracts Act 1991 have been met, if  applicable;
  • payment of the prescribed fee; and
  • residential building work valued over $20,000 requires an indemnity insurance certificate to be supplied prior to issue of building permit..

Uncertified (single residential building class 1a & 10)

Please note:
Effective from 2nd July 2014 the Shire of Ashburton will  no longer be accepting uncertified applications for Class 2 to 9. (All applications for class 2 to 9 will be required to be submitted via a certified application form (BA1) together with a Certificate of Design Compliance (BA3) to be obtained from an Independent Building Certifier)

For Class 1 & 10:
A building permit application may be made to the permit authority without engaging a registered building surveyor to certify compliance with the relevant building standards. This is referred to as an uncertified application.

A CDC is not submitted with an uncertified application and the permit authority must appoint an independent building surveyor to check the proposal and provide the CDC. For this reason the uncertified process may take up to 25 days as opposed to 10 days for a certified application. Minimum requirements for completing an uncertified application are outlined in the 'Guide to Lodging an Uncertified Building Permit Application'.

As with Certified applications residential building work valued over $20,000 requires an indemnity insurance certificate to be supplied prior to issue of building permit.

Demolition Permit

When is it required?
A demolition permit is required for the demolition, dismantling or removal of a building or incidental structure.

Are there exemptions?
Yes. Under regulation 42 of the Building Regulations 2012, any Class 10 building that does not exceed 40m2 may be exempt.

Application must be accompanied by:

  • copies of all plans and specifications;
  • copy of any planning approvals and/or notifications to the Heritage Council that are required;
  • appropriate consent forms or court orders where work encroaches onto or adversely affects other land;
  • details of the contractor where asbestos is present; and
  • payment of the prescribed fee.

Occupancy Permit

When is it required?
An occupancy permit must be obtained before a building can be occupied.Occupancy permits cover a number of different scenarios, including:o

  • ccupying a completed new building;
  • changing an existing building’s use or classification;
  • retrospectively authorising an unauthorised building; or
  • temporarily occupying an incomplete building.

Are there exemptions?
Yes. Occupancy permits are not needed for existing buildings, unless the use or classification is to be changed. The permit authority can determine that an occupancy permit is not required for minor alterations or where a building permit is not required. Class 1a and 10 (single residential) buildings do not require an occupancy permit.

Application must be accompanied by:

  • a certificate of construction compliance for new buildings or certificate of building Compliance for existing buildings;
  • evidence of any prescribed authorities’ approval;
  • evidence of any prescribed notifications given; and
  • payment of the prescribed fee.

Occupancy Permit - Strata

When is it required?
An occupancy permit strata is used to obtain strata titles from Landgate. It cannot be used to occupy a building.

Are there exemptions?
No.

Application must be accompanied by:

  • a certificate of building compliance;
  • evidence of any prescribed authorities’ approvals;
  • evidence of any prescribed notifications given;
  • appropriate survey diagram identifying proposed lots; and
  • payment of the prescribed fee.

Building Approval Certificate

When is it required?
A building approval certificate is used to retrospectively approve any building work completed without a building permit being issued, or certifies an existing building’s compliance with the relevant standards.

Are there exemptions?
Building approval certificates are voluntary, however if you have unauthorised building work you may be required to demolish it if you do not have one.

Application must be accompanied by:

  • a certificate of building compliance;
  • copies of all plans and specifications specified on the CBC;
  • a copy of each technical certificate;
  • evidence of any prescribed authorities’ approval;
  • evidence of any prescribed notifications given;
  • appropriate consent forms or court orders where work encroaches onto or adversely affects other land; and
  • payment of the prescribed fee.

Building Approval Certificate - Strata

When is it required?
A building approval certificate strata can be used to obtain strata titles from landgate. It cannot be used to certify compliance for works carried out without a building permit.

Are there exemptions?
It is not compulsory to strata title a building, however if someone wants to they may need to obtain a building approval certificate strata.

Application must be accompanied by:

  • a certificate of building compliance signed by an independent building surveyor;
  • evidence of any prescribed authorities’ approval;
  • evidence of any prescribed notifications given;
  • appropriate consent forms or court orders where work encroaches onto or adversely affects other land;
  • appropriate survey diagram identifying proposed lots; and
  • payment of the prescribed fee.

Please see below links for details on fees that may be incurred:

Building Act Fees

Building Services Levy

BCITF Levy

 

Last updated: 6 November 2014