• VCAT

February 4, 2019

Planning permit vs building permit — which one do you need?

Planning approval and building approval are two separate procedures and are applied for separately with their own rules and regulations, and sometimes it may be difficult to know which one you need.

Often a new development will require both a planning permit and a building permit but not always. Some developments will only require building approval. If a planning permit is required this will need to be approved before a building permit is issued.All building work is subject to a building permit unless there is an exemption for the proposed works. Any building permit issued after a planning permit must be consistent with the requirements of the Planning Permit, including conditions and endorsed plans. 

What is the difference between a planning permit and a building permit?

Planning approval is more about the suitably of your project whereas a building permit is more about the safety and construction.

A planning permit is applied for through the local council. The proposed development is assessed against the planning provisions. The planning process is used to ensure a development is appropriate for the area, that it complies with local and state government planning requirements and will have no adverse effects on the neighbourhood.

You can engage a town planner to make sure your planning application is handled professionally.

You can read more about the benefits of engaging a town planner here. 

A building permit is applied for through a building surveyor and is assessed against the Building Code of Australia and the Plumbing Regulations. You can’t start construction until a building permit has been issued.  A building permit ensures the building is structurally safe and complies with the relevant legislation. You can appoint a private building surveyor or your local council may have a building surveyor on staff that you can pay and appoint.

Which permit do I need?

The type, scale and extent of a proposed development will determine whether or not you need a planning permit as well as a building permit.  

In general construction, extensions or alterations to single dwellings, garages or out buildings only require building approval.

However you must confirm this with your local council as different councils have different rules. The location, planning zone, and overlay controls on your site will affect whether a planning permit is needed even at times for seemingly minor developments.

For example a development in a heritage overlay usually will require planning approval as well as building no matter what type of development it is.

If you have a development that requires planning approval give our friendly team a call today and we would be happy to help.