Building Approvals

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

The 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 Act also covers the building standards and it is the responsibility of the person named as the builder on the building permit to ensure compliance with the applicable standards.

The Approvals Process

When applying for a building permit, applicants must consider whether they must lodge a certified application or can 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 Building Code of Australia.

Certified and Uncertified Applications

A certified application is where a CDC has been signed by a registered building surveyor. If all other required approvals have been obtained, the permit authority has 10 business days to approve or reject the application. Applications for class 2 to 9 must be lodged as certified applications. Applications for class 1 and 10 may be lodged as uncertified applications.

An uncertified application can only be lodged for class 1 and 10 residential buildings and requires the local government to confirm compliance with the BCA, issue the CDC and approve or reject the application within 25 business days