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Sheds, Pergolas and Outdoor Structures

When is a Building Permit required for a shed, pergola or other minor structures?

  • A shed is considered a non-habitable building for storage purposes only.

    A Building Permit is required for a shed unless all of the following apply:

    • The floor area of the shed is not greater than 10m2
    • The shed is not greater than 2.4m in height
    • The shed is not attached to any other structure.
  • A pergola is an open style structure with a roof cover which allows water to penetrate it i.e. shade cloth.

    A Building Permit is required for a pergola unless all of the following apply:

    • The pergola covers an area not greater than 20m2
    • The pergola is not greater than 2.4m in height.
  • A patio is a non-habitable structure with a roof cover which does not allow water to penetrate it i.e. colorbond sheeting or the like.

    A Building Permit is required for a patio unless all of the following apply:

    • The patio covers and area not greater than 10m2;
    • The patio is not greater than 2.4m in height; and
    • The patio is not attached to any other structure
  • A shade sail is an open style structure with a roof cover which allows water to penetrate it.

    A Building Permit is required for a shade sail unless all of the following apply:

    • The shade sail covers an area not greater than 20m²
    • The shade sail is not greater than 2.4m in height
  • A water storage tank is generally a vessel for the storage of rainwater to supplement garden watering requirements.

    A Building Permit is required for a water storage tanks unless its storage capacity is 5,000 litres or less.

  • A retaining wall is a structure generally made from brick, stone or concrete which retains ground levels.

    A Building Permit is required for a retaining wall unless all of the following apply:

    • The retaining wall retains ground no more than 0.5m in height
    • The retaining wall is not retaining an adjoining properties ground i.e. a cut to the land on the boundary
    • The retaining wall is not associated with other building work i.e.the retaining wall is not supporting a patio or carport.

How to apply for a Building Permit for a shed, pergola or other minor structure

The current system of Building Approvals in Western Australia allows an applicant to either submit a Certified or Uncertified application.

Certified Building Permit applications

With a Certified Building Permit application, an independent registered Building Surveyor assesses the plans and specifications for compliance with the applicable building standards.

Once the Building Surveyor is satisfied that the plans and specifications comply with the applicable building standards, a Certificate of Design Compliance (CDC) is issued. 

The CDC and all of the referenced documents and plans must then be submitted to the City with a completed Form BA1 - Application for building permit - certified.

The prescribed fees must also be paid upon lodgement and the application cannot be accepted until payment has been made.

The City has 10 business days form the day after submission in which to either issue the Building Permit, request any additional information or refuse the application.

Uncertified Building Permit application

With an Uncertified Building Permit application, the applicant submits the plans and specifications along with a completed Form BA2 - Application for building permit - uncertified to the City.

The City's Building Surveyors assess the plans and specifications for compliance with the applicable building standards.

Once the City's Building Surveyors are satisfied that the plans and specifications comply with the applicable building standards a CDC is issued along with the Building Permit.

The City has 25 business days from the day after submission in which to either issue the Building Permit, request any additional information or refuse the application.

The prescribed fees must also be paid upon lodgement and the application cannot be accepted until payment has been made.

Unauthorised sheds, pergolas or other minor structures

If it is found that a shed, pergola or other minor structure is unauthorised (link to unauthorised web page) an application for retrospective approval can be applied for.

Please refer to the City’s unauthorised works (link to page) information sheet for more information.

To find out what structures have been approved on a property, a Plan Search Request can be submitted to the City. A Plan Search Request will provide the applicant with all of the approved plans for a property.

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