Building permits

A Building permit must be granted prior to starting any building works unless the work is exempt under Part 18 and Schedule 8 of the Building Regulations 2006.

We issue Building permits for the construction, demolition, alteration, extension or change of use for all types of buildings.

This includes both domestic and commercial projects, ranging from the smallest garden shed or verandah to the largest office building, factory or hospital building.

Our services are available to all residents and property owners, builders, developers and designers.


Building regulations

Under the Building Regulations 2006 we must ensure that all construction and demolition works are carried out to specific standards. These standards cover health, safety, amenity and energy efficiency matters.


Energy ratings

You will need to provide evidence to us that your building design complies with energy efficiency regulations when applying for your building permit.

Your builder will have the knowledge or will know who to contact to assess your design. 

Sustainability Victoria can provide you with more information.


Building advice and assistance 

Our staff in Building and Customer Service are available for advice and assistance at all stages from initial design to application processing and approval, inspections and completion of your building project. 

Contact us to see how we can help.


Building permit fees

Fees are based on the total value of your building works/project, and may include the following:
  • Application fee (includes assessment, Building permit, mandatory inspections and Occupancy permit or Certificate of Final Inspection)
  • Asset Protection permit (a fee to cover the inspection of the road, footpaths and drains before and after building works).
Other fees will be applicable if separate permits or consents are required.

Our staff can advise you on the fees that will be applicable to your application.


Building permit levy

The Building permit levy applies to most building projects. It is payable when you lodge your application for a building permit and it is forwarded to the Building Commission when the permit is issued.

The levy applies to all applications where the value of the works exceeds $10,000. An additional levy applies to all domestic projects.


Building permit exemptions

There are times when you may not need a building permit - it's always a good idea to check with us first.

A range of minor building works are exempt from the requirements for permits and inspections, however in most cases the actual construction must still comply with the provisions of the Building Regulations.

The following list gives examples of building works for which a Building Permit and associated inspections are not required (please refer to the link below for more detail):
  • Buildings used temporarily during building works for construction or display purposes.
  • Garden sheds having a floor area not exceeding 10m2 (if on the same allotment as an existing dwelling).
  • Repair work done for maintenance purposes ie. re-roofing using similar materials (does not include re-blocking).

Domestic building work

Domestic building work includes:

  • all construction, demolition and alteration of all dwellings and associated works
  • all construction, demolition and alteration of buildings (including garages, carports, pools etc) on residential zoned land
Note that farm sheds are excluded.


Building investigations, complaints and enforcement

We investigate a wide range of building-related matters that have been reported to us in writing.

Some matters may proceed to enforcement action.

Common Questions

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Building Inspections - How much do they cost?
There is no additional fee for the mandatory inspections listed on Building Permits we have issued - the permit fee paid initially includes the cost of these inspections.

Where multiple re-inspections have to be carried out because the works were not complete or satisfactory, we reserve the right to charge for the additional inspections. The additional charge is determined individually for those jobs where it applies.

Where a final inspection is required for a permit beyond its expiry date an additional fee will be applicable for each additional inspection.

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Building Inspections - When are they required?
If you have had your plans approved by us, the required inspections are listed on your Building Permit, together with the phone number for bookings.

If you have had your building permit issued by a private building surveyor, they will let you know the stages to be inspected.

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Building Permit Applications - What do I need to provide?
You will require other documentation when applying for your Building Permit.

You may need a Planning Permit or planning approval regardless of whether a building permit is required.

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Building permit applications - What else may I need?
Depending on what you intend to do, other permits, consents and approvals may be required.

Other authorities such as Barwon Water may also have specific requirements.

Our staff can assist you in determining what additional permits and consents may be required.

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Building Permit Applications - Where can I lodge one?
We provide you with a number of options on where to lodge your Building Application:
  • Call into any of our Customer Service Centres
  • Visit our Building Services Unit at 100 Brougham Street,Geelong
  • Post it to us at PO Box 104, GEELONG VIC 3220

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Building permits - Do I need one?
Before undertaking almost any building or demolition work, a Building Permit is required.

Some minor works are exempted though. To determine whether or not you need a Building Permit, refer to the table When a Building Permit is Required.

If you have any further Questions, please do not hesitate in Contacting Building Services on 03 52 724 450. We are always happy to help.

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Building permits - How long do they take to be approved?
Times can vary from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the following factors:
  • completeness of the documentation lodged with the application;
  • any other permits and/or consents required;
  • complexity of the project;
  • levels of activity in the building industry.
You are invited to discuss your specific needs with us and we will endeavour to work within your timeframes.

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Building setback- Can I build closer to the front of my property?
For single dwellings on residential allotments, Part 4 of the Building Regulations covers the property 'setback' requirements.

In this situation, you would need a Council Consent to vary your setback.

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Building Site Toilets - Who helps with these issues?
Worksafe Victoria can take care of any complaints you may have about toilets on a building site.

Workcover can be contacted by phoning 03 5226 1200.

For more Workcover information, use the website link.

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Domestic building work - What is it?

Domestic building work includes:

  • All construction, demolition and alteration of all dwellings and associated works
  • All construction, demolition and alteration of buildings (including garages, carports, pools etc) on residential zoned land

Note that farm sheds are excluded.


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Energy Rating - What is my building design energy rating?
Your builder will have the knowledge or will know who to contact to assess your building design.

This information, along with evidence of the energy rating, should be provided when you apply for your building permit.

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