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The difference between planning and building

Planning permits and building permits are different. They are controlled by different laws and regulations.

If you are planning to use or develop a piece of land in Mitchell Shire, you may need a planning permit, building permit, or both.

To put it simply:

  • planning permits relate to the use and development of land for a specific proposal
  • building permits relate to the construction or alteration of a building (or buildings), as well as their structural safety and amenity.

Planning permits

Our planning department considers the way land is used and developed, and how this impacts the character and amenity (liveability) of an area. Development can include earthworks and buildings. In some cases, it also includes clearing vegetation.

A planning permit may be required when you want to develop your land or change the way the land or buildings are used. A permit will usually contain conditions that regulate how the land can be used or developed, and has an end date when the planning permit expires.

Examples of where a planning permit may be required include:

  • extending or building your house
  • developing commercial or industrial buildings
  • changing the way an existing building is used
  • subdividing land
  • removing vegetation
  • performing earthworks or excavation
  • running a business from home
  • installing advertising signage
  • getting a liquor license.

Building permits

Our building department is concerned with safe construction practices, and considers whether construction work on a property conforms to building regulations, the Building Code of Australia, and relevant Australian standards.

Regardless of the cost or size of works, you will generally require building permit for the construction or alteration of any structure or building on your property. A building permit is a legal document, issued before construction commences, to ensure building works meet the minimum requirements for the health, safety and amenity of occupants and the public.

Building permits can be issued by Council or a private building surveyor.

Examples of where you require a building permit include:

  • constructing new buildings (including sheds and garages)
  • altering and adding to existing buildings
  • building decks, balconies, verandahs, shade sails and certain pergolas
  • changing the use of a building
  • constructing swimming pools, spas and associate safety barriers (including alterations to existing barriers)
  • shop fit outs
  • fencing
  • demolition of existing buildings (or part thereof)

This page was last updated on 29 April 2021.