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.
A building permit application must be accompanied by:
- Application for Building Permit Form either certified or uncertified
- Two sets of drawings on paper not less than A4 size 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).
- 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.
- 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.
Application forms and further information are available on the Building Commission website.
Lodging your Building Permit application
An application can be lodged using one of the following methods:
- Hardcopy in person at the Civic Centre. Fees are paid on lodgement by cash, money order, credit card or cheque to the Cashier
- Hardcopy by post to the Civic Centre. Fees are paid by enclosing a cheque (contact the City for a quote)
Applications can NOT be lodged by email. There is no online option.
Do I need development approval?
It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure that if required, development approval is granted prior to any building permit applications being submitted and to make sure that the building drawings match those of your development approval.
If development approval is not required, the Single House Verification Certificate and Assessment Sheet must be submitted with your building permit application.
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.