Building Permit Exemptions

You may not require a building permit for some minor building work. A summary of exemptions is provided below.

It is important to note that building work exempt from a building permit may still require a planning permit.

If you have questions or need more information:

A Pergola (with no roof) no more than 3.6m in height, not more than 20m2 in floor area may not need a building permit.

See the Pergolas, Sheds and Carports page for more detail.

A free standing shed (Class 10a Outbuilding) may not need a building permit. 

See the Pergolas, Shed and Carport page for more detail.

Replacing an existing kitchen may not require a permit where the renovation does not involve any alterations or structural work.

Installing a solid fuel (wood) heater does not require a building permit if no structural alterations are required. However the wood heater must be installed by a licensed plumber.

A rainwater tank does not require a building permit, but does have to comply with siting rules on your land and plumbing regulations.

Mast, pole, antenna, aerial or the like (including satellite dish) does not require a building permit when:

  • attached to a building not more than 3m in height above the highest point of attachment to the building, and
  • 8m in height above ground surface level when not attached to a building. 

Installation of masts, poles, antennas or aeriels (and similar) are also subject to planning laws.

A retaining wall less than 1000mm (1m) in height does not require a building permit when it is not associated with other building work or with protection work of an adjoining property.

Repair, renewal or maintenance of an existing building may be exempt from a building permit if:

  • no alterations are involved
  • it does not increase or decrease the floor area or height of the building, or
  • it is not listed on the Heritage Register (the work does not have to be structural to trigger the requirement for a building permit, e.g. internal partitions).

A swimming pool with a depth not exceeding 300mm, however both a building permit and safety barrier is required if deeper than 300mm.

See Swimming pool fencing information also.

Small outbuildings may not require a building permit if they:

  • have a floor area less than 10m2
  • are no more than 3m in height
  • are not constructed of masonry
  • are located no further forward on the allotment than the associated building.

Signs may be exempt from a building permit when they are:

  • not more than 1m in height (above ground level) within 3m of a street alignment, or
  • not more than 8m in height and 6m2 display area when 3m or more from a street alignment.

Boundary fences do not require a building permit under the following circumstances:

  • Not exceeding 2m in height on a side or rear boundary.
  • Not exceeding 1.5m in height (2m in the case of a declared main road) within 3m of a front street alignment.
  • Not exceeding 1m in height within 9m of the point of intersection of street alignment boundaries of a corner allotment.  

 Any brick or masonry fence exceeding 1.2m in height requires a building permit.

See more information about fencing.

Replacement of same size windows with no required structural alterations does not need a building permit.