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Building services

Do I need a building permit?

If you are thinking about building or renovating, you may require a building permit.

You can apply for a building permit through Council or you can choose to go through a private building surveyor.

When is a building permit required?

Regardless of the cost or size of works, a building permit is generally required for the following:

  • construction of new buildings (including sheds and garages)
  • alterations and additions to existing buildings
  • decks and balconies
  • retaining walls (see exemptions below)
  • verandahs (roofed), shade sails and unroofed pergolas (can be covered with an open weave permeable material)
  • changes of use to buildings
  • swimming pools, spas and associate safety barriers (including alterations to existing barriers)
  • shop fit-outs
  • fences
  • demolition of existing buildings (or part thereof)

If you are ready to apply for a building permit, visit the apply for a permit page.

If you are still unsure whether you require a building permit, contact Council’s Building Department on 03 5734 6200, or email

Do I need a planning permit as well?

You may need a planning permit in addition to a building permit if you want to:

  • make changes to the way that your land is used
  • develop or change the land on your property.

Will Council tell me if I need a planning permit?

Yes. During assessment of your building permit, we will refer to our Planning Department for advice on planning controls.

If a planning permit is required, a building permit cannot be issued until after you have obtained a planning permit, and any relevant plans have been authorised.

Where can I find out more information?

Visit our do I need a planning permit? Page. If you would prefer to discuss your situation, contact Council’s Planning Department on 03 5734 6200 or email

Exemptions to building permits

The Victorian Building Regulations offer exemptions for building permits in some circumstances.

Works that may be exempt include:

  • work that will not adversely affect a structure or safety
  • construction of a pergola under 20 sqm in floor area and 3.6m in height
  • construction of a retaining wall less than 1 meter high (not associated with other building projects or with the protection of adjoining property)
  • construction of a freestanding shed under 10sqm in floor area and 2.4m in height
  • repair, renewal or maintenance work
  • alterations to a building
  • demolition of a non-masonry freestanding shed under 40sqm in floor area
  • class 10b structures constructed for displaying a sign
  • real estate signs.

For more information visit the VBA website.

Building inspections

Once you have received a building permit from Council, you will need to undergo mandatory inspections as listed in the permit document. Please contact the Building Department on 03 5734 6200 to book an inspection. Inspections must be booked at least 24hrs in advance.

This page was last updated on 30 August 2021.