Types of Council permits required for a new build or renovation


What are the Council permits required to build a new house or renovate the existing house?

There are numerous specific council permits that the property owner must obtain at various stages throughout the designing and building process.  The permit requirements of each local Council can differ slightly, so before you start a new house or renovation project, you should consult your Council’s website and discuss the permit requirements with your architect and builder.  You will need to fill out a separate application form, lodge the required documents and pay a fee for each permit.

Below is a summary of the most common Council permits in approximate chronological order.

Town Planning Permit (see FAQ No. 14(b) for full details)
Town planning permits are required if your project involves land subdivision, building more than one dwelling, or your property has a “planning overlay” such as a “heritage building” “vegetation” or “flood level” restrictions.


Report and Consent for a Building Dispensation
This permit is only required if the design of your building does not comply with the Council’s town planning guidelines or the building regulations. Areas of a building design that may not comply are things like, front fence heights, building setback measurements, the maximum site coverage percentage etc.


Demolition Permit
Most local Councils require a demolition permit prior to demolishing any existing dwelling.  If your property has a “heritage overlay”, you probably will not be allowed to demolish the current house.


Tree Removal or Pruning Permit
Most local Councils require a permit prior to pruning or removing a “significant tree”.  For example, Bayside Council defines a significant tree as having a trunk circumference greater than 155cm measure at 1.0M above ground level or is a tree listed on the Councils “Register of Significant Trees”.


Vehicle Crossing Permit
A vehicle crossing permit is required prior to building a new vehicle crossing or re-locating an existing crossing.  The vehicle crossing permit is sometimes subject to special conditions on the town planning permit and will require an inspection by the Council by-laws inspector before pouring the concrete for the new crossing.


Asset Consent Permit (road opening / storm water tapping)
Before the plumbing contractor can install the new storm water plumbing system you must obtain a “legal point of discharge” letter from the Council Engineering Department.  The builder will also need to obtain an asset consent permit from the Council that approves the excavation of the footpath and roadway and the tapping (connection) of the new storm water discharge pipe into the Council drainage system.  The plumber must also have the storm water connection inspected by the Council drainage engineer prior to back filling the excavation.


Road Occupation Permit
At several times during the building process, the builder may need to have materials or equipment located on the footpath, nature strip or roadway.  Councils do not allow this to happen without a “road occupancy permit”.  This occupation permit also applies to each time the builder uses a mobile crane or concrete pump and must be applied for seven days in advance


Asset Protection Permit and Bond
Prior to issuing a demolition permit, the Council will require the property owner to apply for an asset protection permit and to pay an asset protection bond.  This bond is retained by the Council for the duration of the building project to cover the cost of any damage to the road, footpath or other Council assets if any rectification works are not satisfactorily completed.


Hoarding Permit
If a builder’s temporary fence or hoarding encroaches onto the footpath or roadway, a “hoarding permit” must be obtained by the builder prior to installing the hoarding.


Consent to Build over an Easement
If there is an easement on your property and you wish to build over any part of this easement or your proposed building comes within 1.0M of the easement, you will need to apply for Council consent.  If there are any “non-council assets” i.e. sewer drains or Melbourne Water drains, located in the easement, you will need to obtain “build over’ consent from these authorities as well as the Council.


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