Building Approvals

In Western Australia, a building permit is required before any building work can be carried out and can be obtained from a permit authority (local government) for the location where the work will take place. The Building Act 2011 defines what is building work and sets out the process for obtaining a building permit.

The Building Act requires the person named on the permit as the builder to ensure that the building is completed in accordance with the plans and specifications approved in the certificate of design compliance and in accordance with the building permit. The Building Act also prescribes the building standards, and the person named as the builder on the building permit is responsible for ensuring compliance with the applicable standards.

When you apply for a building permit, you must consider whether to lodge a certified application or choose to lodge an uncertified application. In either case, a signed certificate of design compliance (CDC) is required before approval can be given. A CDC confirms that a building’s design complies with the applicable building standards.

A certified application is where you engage a registered building surveyor to complete a CDC before the application for a building permit is submitted. The CDC will need to accompany the application for a building permit certified Form BA1. If all other required approvals have been obtained, the permit authority has 10 business days to approve or reject your application. Applications for class 1b and Class 2 to 9 must be lodged as certified applications. Applications for Class 1a and 10 may be lodged as certified applications or uncertified.

An uncertified application can only be lodged for Class 1a and 10 residential buildings using a Form BA2. Once your application is submitted the permit authority will assess compliance with the Building Code of Australia and complete the relevant certification (CDC) before it can grant a building permit. The permit authority has 25 business days to approve or reject your application. For a timely approval it is important to ensure plans and specifications submitted with your application demonstrate compliance with the Building Code of Australia and all other relevant approvals have been obtained before your application is submitted.

The Building Commission has prepared a guide that outlines the types of permits that can be obtained and the roles and responsibilities of those involved. It highlights opportunities to ensure a smooth and efficient approval process through simple and practical advice.

Keys to Quick Approvals