FAQs

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Fencing disputes

Disputes regarding boundary fences are a civil matter, and therefore not controlled by council. 

For more information mcv/fencing-disputes

What is the difference between a building permit and a planning permit? Do I need both?

Building permits relate specifically to the carrying out of the building construction. However, there are times when a planning permit may also be required.

Planning permits are legal documents giving permission for land use or development, and may be required by your local council. If a planning permit is required, it must be obtained before a building permit can be issued, however both applications can be made at the same time.

A planning permit does not remove the need to obtain a building permit.

The best way to find out whether you need a planning permit is to contact your local council's town planning office.

More information:

VBA website 

Do I need a building permit?

A building permit is required for most building work however some building work is of such a minor nature that the protections and advantages that a building permit can provide are not necessary or will not be achieved. 

A building permit for a shed and pergola (unroofed verandah) is not required if;

The structure does not exceed10m2 and, is no more than 3m in height or

The structure situated within 1m of a boundary , is no more than 2.4m in height and, is not made from masonry.

The structure is unroofed and has a floor area not exceeding 20m2 and 3.6m in height.

Building without a building permit may incur fines of up to $75,000

How do I apply for a building permit?

Application for Building Permit.(PDF, 43KB)

Alternatively, you can collect a form from one of our customer service centres.

How long will a permit take?

The statutory time frame for a building application to be approved is 10 working days.

This is provided that all information/documentation is provided to council at the time of submission.

If further information is required a letter detailing the information will be sent to the applicant.

How much will a building permit cost?

The building permit cost varies depending on the total cost of works and the proposed construction

What if I have a dispute with my builder that cannot be resolved directly?

Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV) is a free government service which helps resolve domestic building disputes. We make it easier for builders and building owners to access free, fair and fast dispute resolution services.

More information: www.dbdrv.vic.gov.au

How do I obtain a current Title, Plan of Subdivision, Section 173 agreement, Covenant

Follow the link to www.landata.vic.gov.au or contact council and they can provide you the information for a fee.  

What is a site plan?

An allotment plan or site plan gives distances and offsets to show the location of assets, other dwellings, boundaries and other structures that may need consideration assessing your application. The site plan should show the following;

Plans to a scale of not less than 1:500 showing:

(i)   The boundaries and dimensions of the allotment and any relevant easements

(ii)  The distance to the nearest intersecting street

(iii) The position and dimensions of the proposed building and its relationship to: (a) the boundaries of
       the allotment; (b) any existing buildings on the allotment.

(iv) The levels of the allotment, the floors of the building, street drainage channels and stormwater  
       drainage point of discharge. 

Do I need a building permit for demolition?

Yes, applications for a building permit to demolish or remove a building must comply with Regulation 26 of the Building Regulations 2018. 

Where can I find a copy of the current Building Act, Regulations and National Construction Code?

National Construction Code can be found here.

Act and Regulations can be found here.

Swimming pools and spas; permits, fencing and safety measures 

All swimming pools and spa pools on residential and some commercial properties in Victoria with a depth greater than 30cm (300mm) are required to be surrounded by a pool safety barrier. This includes bathing, wading, inflatable, above-ground and indoor pools, hot tubs and jacuzzi's capable of holding more than 30cms of water.

It is the responsibility of all owners and occupiers of a property to maintain all parts of a pool barrier and to ensure that the barrier is operating effectively all-year-round.

Why do I need a pool fence?

Adequately fencing off your pool or spa is an essential part of safeguarding children, who can drown in as little as 5cms of water. According to the most recent Life Saving Victoria statistics, there were 47 fatal and 60 non-fatal drowning incidents in Victoria in 2013-2014.

Victorian pool fence legislation

There are currently three sets of requirements for pool/spa barriers in Victoria that apply depending on when your pool or spa was constructed:

  • Before 8 April 1991 — must comply with Building Regulation 5.13
  • Between 8 April 1991 & 30 April 2010 - must comply with AS1926.1-1993
  • After 30 April 2010 — must comply with AS1926.1-2007

Below are some important points to help explain the current requirements for pool barriers. For more detailed information, please download the fact sheet relevant to your pool or spa from the links at the bottom of this page.

  • If a Victorian residential pool or spa has a depth of 30cm or more (300mm), it is required to be surrounded by safety barrier. This includes inflatable pools.
  • All pools and spas built after 2010 require a four sided barrier (isolation fence), with no direct access from the house or any other building to the pool or spa.
  • Placing a cover or lid over a swimming pool or spa is not an adequate safety measure and will be deemed “non-compliant”. A safety barrier is non-negotiable
  • A pool safety fence must be a minimum of 1.2 meters high.
  • Barrier gates must be self-closing and self-latching.
  • It is illegal to leave a pool or spa gate propped open.
  • Climbable objects such as pot plants, eskies, pool pumps and chairs must be moved away from the barrier.
  • A building permit is required to install a swimming pool, spa pool and associated fence/barrier
  • A swimming pool or spa must not be filled until the pool barrier is completed and approved by the relevant building surveyor.
  • A swimming pool capable of containing a water level of less than 300mm and that is emptied after each use does not require a pool barrier.

For more information

VBA website.