All building projects need a building permit from Port Phillip City Council except for the list of projects below.
If your project is not on this list, contact your local council to see if you need a building permit. This is a free service.
There are many exemptions for building work and buildings. These are detailed in Schedule 3 of the Building Regulations 2018 which describes situations where a building permit is not required:
You do not need a building permit for:
A freestanding shed
A freestanding shed is:
- with a floor area not more than 10 square metres, and
- not more than 3 metres in height or, if located within 1 metre of a boundary is not more than 2.4 metres in height, and
- located no further forward on the allotment than the front wall of the main building on the property, and
- not constructed of masonry (such as stone, concrete or brick).
Repair, renewal or maintenance of an existing building
Repair, renewal or maintenance of an existing building, if the building work:
- is not structural works or underpinning or replacement of footings, or
- does not affect the safety of the public, or
- is not an essential safety measure, or
- does not increase or decrease the floor area or height of the building, or
- is not being carried out on, or in connection with, a building included on the Heritage register established under the Heritage Act 1995, or
- is not removal or alteration of any element of the building that is contributing to the support of any other element of the building, or
- uses materials commonly used for the same purpose as the material being replaced.
Swimming pools including spas
- A swimming pool with a depth not exceeding 300 millimetres, or
- A relocatable swimming pool that is erected temporarily in an area that is enclosed by barriers complying with AS 1926.1 – 1993 Swimming Pool Safety Part 1: Fencing for swimming pools. Note, the safety barriers around the pool need a permit.
A fence, screen or structure similar to a fence (other than a fence forming part of a safety barrier for a swimming pool or a fence forming part of a children’s service outdoor play space):
- not exceeding 2 metres in height, or
- not exceeding 1.5 metres in height when within 3 metres of a street (which is not a lane, footway, alley or right of way) alignment and which is not constructed of masonry, concrete or the like, or
- not exceeding 1.2 metres in height when within 3 metres of a street (which is not a lane, footway, alley or right of way) alignment and which is constructed of masonry, concrete or the like, or
- not exceeding 1 metre in height above the footpath when within 9 metres of a point of intersection of street alignments, or
- not having barbed wire or the like when adjacent to a street alignment.
- less than 3 metres from a street alignment that is not more than 1 metre in height above ground level, or
- more than 3 metres from a street alignment that is not more than 8 metres in height above ground level, and
- not more than 6 square metres in display area.
Mast, pole, antenna or aerial
A mast, pole, antenna or aerial:
- when attached to a building, is not higher than 3 metres above the highest point of the building to which it is attached, or
- if freestanding, is not more than 8 metres above ground level.
A retaining wall less than 1 metre in height that is not associated with other building work or with protection of adjoining properties.
Pergola to a domestic residence
Note that a pergola is an unroofed structure. A verandah is not a pergola.
A pergola to a domestic residence:
- less than 20 square metres in floor area, and
- not more than 3.6 metres in height, and
- is located no further forward on the allotment than 2.5 metres forward of the front wall of the house, and
- has no roof covering.
The Victorian Building Authority has more information about building permits.