Building permits are controlled by the Building Act 2011 and the Building Regulations 2012. A permit is required for any building works involving the construction of structures, alterations or extensions and changes to ground levels.
Works include (but are not limited to):
- Commercial buildings including fitouts and refurbishments
- Residential dwellings including additions and alterations
- Carports, sheds, garages and workshops
- Decking, patios, verandahs, gazebos and pergolas
- Swimming pools and spas
- Rainwater tanks
- Front fences and retaining walls.
A building permit must be obtained before commencing any building work. If you are unsure whether a building permit is required, please contact the City’s Building Services team on 9474 0777.
Certified and uncertified applications
There are two types of building permit applications, certified and uncertified. Applicants must consider whether to lodge a certified or an uncertified building permit application.
- Certified applications are submitted when the applicant has already engaged a private building surveyor to check the plans and specifications of the proposed building. They then complete a certificate of design compliance, confirming that the proposal complies with the applicable building standards. This takes place before the application for a building permit is submitted to the City to assess. The City then has 10 business days to decide on a certified application.
- Uncertified applications are submitted directly to the City without a certificate of design compliance. An independent building surveyor is appointed by the City to check the proposal and provide a certificate of design compliance. The City has 25 business days to decide on an uncertified application.
Building Permit application requirements
- Application for Building Permit Form either certified or uncertified
- One set of drawings on paper with architectural and structural drawings, site plan and details (scale of 1:100 for architectural and structural; 1:200 for site plan; and 1:50 or 1:10 for details), please provide electronic copies of plans larger than A3
- The architectural drawings must include a site and floor plan of every storey, with all elevations and a section that provide all dimensions, levels, height of each storey and the construction details of walls and roof. Structural details must be signed by a certified practicing structural engineer
- The site plan must include all setbacks from boundaries, contour levels, floor levels, lot number, house number, street name, north point, existing and proposed buildings, sewer and stormwater lines and easements, position of street trees, light poles, crossovers and street drainage
Please note that:
- All conditions of Development Approval should be cleared with the City’s Planning Services team before submitting a Building Permit application, accompanied by a clearance letter issued by the City’s Planning Services team
- The building permit drawings must match those of your Development Approval stamped drawing and DA Conditions Clearance drawings
- Accompanying the drawings should be the specifications, an addendum and other information such as termite treatment and energy efficiency compliance checklist.
Please take the time to check that the application is complete. An incomplete application may be returned and the fees forfeited.
Lodging your Building or Demolition Permit application
An application can be lodged using one of the following methods:
- Hardcopy in person at the Civic Centre, 8.30am-4pm. Please note, outside of the drop-in times (10am-12pm, 2-4pm) applications are to be submitted via the dropbox in the Civic Reception area and you will be contacted by phone for payment of fees.
- Hardcopy by post to the Civic Centre. Fees are paid by enclosing a cheque or by credit card after submission. Please note, you will be contacted by phone for payment of fees.
Building Application Customer Enquiries
One of our Building Information Officers is available to attend to general building application enquiries or lodgement during business hours. Enquiries can be made as follows:
By phone - a message will be taken by the Customer Service Team if the Building Information Officer is unavailable
In person - by appointment at the Civic Centre. Please call to make an appointment
In person - from 10am-12pm or 2-4pm at the Civic Centre (no booking required)
By email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications can NOT be lodged by email. There is currently no online option.
Do I need development approval?
In many situations Development Approval is required prior to submitting a Building Permit application.
If you are uncertain whether approval is required for your development, it is highly recommended to obtain the City’s written planning advice. To request the City’s written advice, complete the Application for Preliminary Advice - Requirement for Development Approval.
Building Permit applications that do not meet these requirements may be refused and fees forfeited.
Where can I find more information?
For more information regarding the requirements of the Building Act 2011 and the Building Regulations 2012, please visit the Building Commission's website. Their Building Approval Process Guide will help you understand the process for obtaining approval to build and occupy a building in Western Australia.
You are responsible for building a retaining wall if you change the level of the land on your property either by excavation or building. This ensures there is no risk of earth movement. The responsibility for maintaining the wall passes on to any person buying the property.
If the retaining wall is higher than 500 mm, you will need a Building Permit and Planning Approval. The height of the retaining wall is measured from the natural ground level to the top of the wall.
A demolition permit is required before a structure can be demolished or removed from your property in the City of South Perth.
Prior to approving a Demolition permit, a rat baiting program must be carried out and evidence provided to the City of South Perth. Baits must be placed in the ceilings, subfloor spaces and outbuildings at least seven days prior to demolition.
During building operations, a Verge Licence is required if the builder intends to store any materials on the verge. During building operations, other than for the placement of goods on the verge for immediate transportation onto the building site, a builder is required to submit an Application to Store Materials on Verge to Deposit Building Material on, or Excavate Near a Street as prescribed in the Building Regulations.
Application for Refund of Road Reserve Access Bond
On completion of building/demolition work, please complete the Application for Refund of Road Reserve Access Bond and return it to the City.