How to Navigate the Building Approvals Process in Western Australia: Property Development

August 14 2013
Building Permit

Navigating the Building Approvals Process in Western Australia

The building approvals process in Western Australia can be daunting for many property developers, there are numerous approvals required before construction on a new investment or development property can commence that all property developers must be aware of.

How it works:

Once the designs have been converted to working drawings, a file is sent to the planning department at the local shire or council; however this process is not required for green title blocks over 350 sqm. The planning process usually takes several months and can vary greatly depending on the local council.

Council planners work to ensure that the proposed drawings are compliant with the local town planning policies and codes in relation to density, setbacks and overshadowing issues. Keep in the loop with local town and council information; The City Of Perth has just expanded to include Leederville and Burswood which may alter what is required of you when planning. (source  Perth Now)

In the next step, the planning approval and stamped plans for the property development are sent to the builder and the builder will either send an uncertified permit application to the shire for assessment for design compliance; or send the assessment to a private certifier. If the shire decides that some of the plans need revising to fit with the local by-laws and zoning, the builder will be required to adjust the plans accordingly. Once everyone is happy that the plans and the design comply, then the building application is sent to the building department for the building permit.

To receive a building permit the following approvals or licenses are required if applicable to the job:

  • Demolition license – to get this license the property is required to be vacated and the Demolition company rat bait the premises.
  • Neighbours approval for boundary walls.
  • Neighbours approval for dropped footings.
  • Neighbours approval for retaining walls.
  • Neighbours approval for removal of existing fencing.

In addition to these building permit approvals, further permits are required from the Water Corporation and Western Power before breaking ground on the site. Depending on what type of residence you are building, new plumbing outlets called ‘head works’ are required before the updated sewage systems are ready for integration. Western Power will be able to let your builder know where it is safe to dig, and where it is safe for the electrician to connect new lines.

Proof of ownership of the site is required before the builder can start construction. Either a copy of the settlement statement or title is sufficient, however with changing laws designed to combat identity theft, don’t be surprised if you are also required to show 100 points of ID.

Proof that the project can be funded is the last approval required before the file can go to construction. Subject to how you’re funding the project, the builder will require written confirmation from the lender that you have sufficient funds to cover the construction amount. Failure to secure funding at this stage can delay the process further and in some instances, may require you to fulfil the approvals process again.

Becoming familiar with the different approvals you will require to commence building your investment property or even your new family home will enable you to get organised early. Making sure your builder has everything they need to push forward with your project ensures that the build is completed on time and on budget.

Ventrua iD, WA’s biggest and only dedicated property development brand, works with hundreds of property developers every year in Western Australia. Contact the team here for a consultation for your property development and wealth creation plan.

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