Building Services

A building permit is required prior to commencing construction for most structures (residential, commercial or industrial) including but not limited to new works, additions, alterations, commercial fitouts and refurbishments, changes to ground levels, swimming pools, spas and pool barriers.

The Town of East Fremantle uses the services of a part-time Sub Contractor Building Surveyor.

Building Fact Sheet 

Applying for a Building Permit

  • Anyone can apply for a building permit, the owner, builder, designer, building surveyor or any other person. 
  • The applicant provides details of the person responsible for the work, ie the builder in the application form. 
  • The builder takes responsibility for ensuring the construction complies with the applicable building standards and the provisions in the building permit.
  • An application can be made for a building or one or more stages of a building.
  • There are two types of building permit applications, “Certified” and “Uncertified

CERTIFIED APPLICATION

certified application must be accompanied by a signed Certificate of Design Compliance and can be made for any class of building and incidental structure.

Applications for Class 1b and Class 2 to Class 9 buildings must be made as Certified applications whereas this is optional for Class 1a and 10 buildings and incidental structures.

An independent building surveyor is appointed by the applicant to check the proposal and provide a Certificate of Design Compliance for lodgement with the permit authority along with other relevant documentation.

The permit authority has 10 business days to decide on a Certified application.

UNCERTIFIED APPLICATION

An Uncertified application is submitted to the permit authority without a Certificate of Design Compliance and can only be made for Class 1a and Class 10 buildings and incidental structures.

The permit authority has 25 business days to decide on an uncertified application. 

A BUILDING PERMIT APPLICATION MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY

  • a Certificate of Design Compliance (BA3) only when applying for a Certified applications;
  • copies of all relevant plans and specifications;
  • evidence of the following authorities under written law as relevant to the building or incidental structure (r.18) —
  • if the building work involves the construction or installation of any apparatus for the treatment of sewage as defined in the Health Act 1911 section 3(1), the approval required under section 107(2)(a) or (b) of that Act;
  • if the building work is development as defined in the Planning and Development Act 2005 section 4, each approval required under that Act in relation to the work such as a copy of the planning approval or its reference number; 
  • if the building work involves the construction, alteration or extension of an aquatic facility as defined in the Health (Aquatic Facilities) Regulations 2007 regulation 4, the approval required under Part 2 Division 1 of those regulations;
    • evidence that notification of the name, address and contact number of the applicant for a building permit and the name of the permit authority to which the application is made has been given to the Heritage Council of Western Australia if the place to which the application relates (r. 18(3)(a)) —
  • is subject to a Heritage Agreement made under the Heritage Act section 29;
  • is entered in the Register of Heritage Places established under the Heritage Act section 46;
  • is subject to a Conservation Order under the Heritage Act section 59; or
  • is subject to an Order in Council made under the Heritage Act section
  • appropriate consent forms or court order where work encroaches onto or adversely affects other land;
  • evidence that the required insurance provisions under the Home Building Contracts Act 1991 have been met (where applicable). Click here for further information;
  • payment of the prescribed fee and levy; and
  • evidence of owner-builder approval from the Building Services Board (if applicable).

The approval process will be quicker and more effective if a complete application is submitted to the permit authority. A permit authority must not grant the building permit unless it is satisfied as to each of the matters mentioned in s.20, which includes the information above.

The fees cover the cost of assessment, regardless of the outcome. There is no refund of fees on refusal.

CONDITIONS

A permit authority may impose, add, vary or revoke conditions on a building permit. Any conditions must relate to the particular building work rather than to work of that kind generally. Importantly those conditions cannot modify the Certificate of Design Compliance or the plans and specifications that are specified in that certificate.

Applicants may apply to the State Administrative Tribunal for a review of the decision of the permit authority in relation to a condition imposed on the grant of a building permit.

VARIATIONS DURING CONSTRUCTION

During construction some circumstances may arise that require changes or variations to the plans and specifications. Some minor changes may not require any amendment to the plans and specifications. Other changes or variations may require a certificate of design compliance if the changes affect compliance with the building standards. Accordingly a new building permit may be required to reflect those changes. The new building permit may cover the changes only and the previous building permit still covers the other works.

However where there are substantial changes or variations to the design or construction of the building or incidental structure, a new building permit for all the works may be warranted. This ensures that an accurate building record is maintained for that building or incidental structure.

DURATION OF A BUILDING PERMIT

A permit authority may set any validity period for a permit. This is usually done at the request of the applicant. Where the permit authority does not set a validity period, the default is two years. If a project takes longer than expected, an application to extend the permit (BA22) can be submitted to the relevant permit authority.

WORK AFFECTING OTHER LAND

Whilst not all building permit applications will need consideration by your neighbour, the Town encourages land owners and/or applicants to discuss proposals with neighbours that may be impacted by building works.

If part of the works encroach or adversely affect an adjoining property a BA20 form will be required by the adjoining land owner. In these instances, a BA20 form is required to be submitted with your building permit.

In some instances, neighbour approval is required but does not need to be submitted with your building permit application or to be submitted to the Town. This is known as a BA20A form. This includes removing a fence to allow building work to occur.

Further information on neighbour consent requirements for a building permit is available from the Department Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety 

Application For a Demolition Permit

  • A demolition permit is required prior to the demolition of any major structure. 
  • A permit is not required for the demolition of incidental structures such as patios, pergolas and garden sheds.
  • If the demolition works is likely to encroach or adversely affect adjoining land, you will be required to notify and gain consent of the adjoining land owner(s) prior to demolition permit being granted and the work commencing.
  • Development approval may be required if demolition works are located in a heritage-protected place. 

Please note: A demolition permit cannot be issued until a development approval has been granted (where required). 

Application Requirements

To obtain a Demolition Permit, the Town requires the submission to include the following:

Demolition Permit Application Form and Fees

Demolition Permit Application Form must be completed and signed by all property owners and the demolition contractor. 

The permit fee must be included with your application. 

Demolition Fee Calculator July 2021

Infrastructure Bond and Verge Inspection Fee  

Payment of an Infrastructure Bond is required for all Building and Demolition Permits issued.  The bond is $2,000 per property or $3,000 if the property is located on a corner lot.

The bond is refundable upon completion of works and restoration of all Town property prior to application.  

Please note the Town will undertake a site inspection prior to Council approval to refund the bond. The fee for this inspection is $50 and is required to be paid prior to inspection.  

Site Plan (with existing building/s and scale)

Details of buildings to be demolished and retained (partial demolition only) are to be provided.

Rat Bait Certificate

A Letter or Certificate from a Pest Inspector confirming the property has been rat baited. Rat baiting is required to be undertaken in all the main structures to be demolished. 

Disconnection of services

All services are required to be disconnected prior to the issue of a Demolition Permit including Alinta Gas, Western Power, Water Corporation and Telstra. 

BCITF Levy Form or BCITF receipt

The Building and Construction Industry Training Fund (BCITF) is only required to be paid for applications with a contract value that is over $20,000 (cost of development including GST). Please pay directly to BCITF and supply a receipt from BCITF as proof of the payment. The forms are available from BCITF or from front reception at the Town office. 

Certificate of Title

A Certificate of Title is an official land ownership record and gives you:

  • current ownership details
  • volume and folio
  • survey plan number and type
  • document numbers for encumbrances and notifications
  • whether there is a caveat against the title.

You can order a copy of the Certificate of Title from Landgate 

Demolition of Buildings Containing Asbestos

Demolition of buildings containing asbestos are required to have the asbestos removed in accordance with the requirements of the Health (Asbestos) Regulations 1994.  

Submit application:

Applications can be lodged by:

Crossovers

What is a crossover?

The portion of the driveway between the property line and the road edge is known as the crossover. 

 Who Maintains the Crossover?

It is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain the crossover in a safe and serviceable condition.

Building a New Crossover

If you are planning to conduct crossover works on your property, it is important to note:

  • All crossover works require approval from the Town
  • Planning/development and building approvals do not include crossover approval
  • Works performed without approval will be deemed as unauthorised works and could be liable to warnings and/or fines

Crossover specifications

For detailed specifications, please refer to the Towns Crossover Specifications 2017

Lodging an Application to Conduct Crossover Works

Download and complete the Application to Conduct Crossover Works. With your application, provide a plan showing the site, noting existing street trees, footpath, public utlities, signage, location and dimensions of the crossover.

Email the completed form and supporting documentation to operations via admin@eastfremantle.wa.gov.au 

Operations will then conduct an onsite inspection of the property and check the suitability of the proposed new crossover. You will then be advised if the crossover application has been approved. 

Note: You must wait for your application to be approved before commencing construction work.

Costs and Fees 

There are no application or inspection fees for crossover works.  

Timeframe

Crossover Applications can take up to 10 business days to assess before approval is issued. 

For further information regarding crossovers, please contact Operations on 9339 9339.  

Dividing Fences

A dividing fence is a sufficient fence that separates the land of different owners, whether on the common boundary of adjoining lands or in a line other than the common boundary.

If you are seeking to construct a dividing fence you must meet the obligations defined in the Dividing Fences Act 1961 prior to construction.

The Town does not have ownership of the Dividing Fences Act 1961.

Information can be obtained from the Building Commission   

Fact sheets

Carport fact sheet

Front fence fact sheet

Garage fact sheet

Patio, pergola and shade sail fact sheet

Outbuilding fact sheet

Retaining wall fact sheet

How to submit a building or demolition application

Applications can be lodged by:

Infrastructure Bonds

Payment of an Infrastructure Bond is required for all Building and Demolition Permits issued. The following bond is payable:

Value of works under $20,000 - $1,500 bond

Value of works $20,000 - $100,000 - $3,000 bond

Corner lot or value of works $100,001 - $2 million - $5,000 bond

Value of works over $2 million - Price based on replacement costs of adjacent Council assets, calculated by Executive Manager Technical Services 

The bond is refundable upon completion of works and restoration of all Town property prior to application.  To apply for the bond refund a Bond Refund Request Form is to be completed and submitted with a Notice of Completion BA7 Form.

Please note the Town will undertake a site inspection prior to Council approval to refund the bond. The fee for this inspection is $50 and is required to be paid prior to inspection.  To make a payment, contact the Town of East Fremantle via phone (08) 9339 9339.

Infrastructure Bond Refund Request Form

BA7 Notice of Completion   

Materials on verge permit

The Town has the authority to allow the use of the City's road reserve for the storage of certain materials including conditions on how the verge area is used. 

It is an offence to place anything in the verge area without the Town's approval. To obtain approval to use the verge during building, demolition or development works, please complete an Application to Place Materials on Verge Permit.

A minimum fee of $100 will be charged for a verge permit and is valid for 3 months from the date of approval.

Please note that a verge permit will only be issued where there is limited space due to the size of the lot or the nature of the building design. 

Owner/Builder

Anyone who carries out ‘builder work’ valued over $20,000 must be a registered builder or an approved owner-builder before applying to the local government for a building permit. However, there are a number of exemptions where registration is not required. Please refer to 'Do I need to be a registered builder?' publication from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

Owner-builder work consists of the following:

  • Class 1a (i) building – a single dwelling, being a detached house. This includes an extension to a house or a habitable dwelling on the same property but separate to the main house such as a granny flat;
  • Class 10 building – being a non-habitable building such as a private garage, carport, shed or the like; or
  • Small commercial building – being a one or two-storey building with a floor space of less than 500m2 that is not a detached house, Class 10 building or farm building

Under the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011, owner-builders are required to obtain approval from the Building Services Board, administered by the Building Commission, before obtaining a building permit to carry out owner builder work on their land. Applicants are required to provide evidence of their ownership of the land and demonstrate that they have sufficient knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of an owner-builder.

Please visit the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety – Building Commission website for more information on Becoming an Owner-Builder  

Plan Search Information 

Should you require a copy of plans for your property, you can arrange for the Town to retrieve the plans by submitting the Request for Copies of Plans. A fee of $104.85 is applicable. 

WHO CAN REQUEST COPIES?

Plan searches will only be undertaken if the request form is signed by the property owner. Only the property owner is entitled to view or request copies of the Town's Plans.

The Owner includes:

  • The person shown of the Town’s records as being the owner.
  • A person who is authorised in writing by the owner.

A Real Estate Agent CANNOT authorise copies of plans without additional written approval from the current property owner. The Town will require proof of identity, and/or written authority from the current property owner. 

Owners requesting copies of Strata Plans will be given plans for their own unit ONLY. Should a copy of entire complex be required, written authorisation from the Strata Manager is required.  

Ancillary Dwelling (Granny Flat)

A granny flat or ancillary dwelling is a self-contained residential dwelling. It may be attached, integrated with, or detached from a single house on the same lot.

Building Permit is always required for ancillary accommodation.

Planning/development approval is usually not required if your property is in a residential zone and your granny flat/ancillary dwelling meets the following requirements:

  • The ancillary dwelling is associated with a single house and on the same lot
  • The lot is not less than 350 m2
  • There is a maximum plot ratio area of 70m2
  • Parking is provided in accordance with clause 5.3.3 C3.1 of the Residential Design Codes
  • The ancillary dwelling is designed and sited to comply with all relevant provisions of the R-Codes and the Town's Residential Design Guidelines. 

    Sea Container Placement Permit

    If you wish to temporarily place a sea container on a Town verge, you will need to obtain a Sea Container Placement Permit. 

    The permit fee is $48.90.

    A new fee of $12.80 will be charged for a Sea Container Permit Extension.

    Sea Container Placement Permit Application Form - please ensure this is completed and submitted prior to a Sea Container being delivered on site.   

    Sheds, pergolas, patios and shade sails

    What building permits are required for sheds, pergolas, patios and shade sails?

    Sheds

    Building Permit is required for outbuildings greater than 10m². One outbuilding less than 10m² and under 2.4m in height is permitted without a building permit. 

    Pergola

    A pergola is an open-framed structure used for shading and screening, with a permeable roof cover such as shade cloth, lattice, or timber battens. The primary difference between a patio and a pergola is the roof cover. Patios have ridged, impermeable roofs.

    A proposed unenclosed pergola that is more than 20m2 in area and/or is more than 2.4m in height will require a building permit. 

    Patio

    A patio is an open sided structure enclosed on no more than half of its perimeter with a roof cover that is impervious to water such as colourbond or polycarbonate sheeting and used for outdoor entertainment. 

    A building permit is not required for a patio that is:

    • freestanding; and
    • has a floor area not exceeding 10m2; and
    • is no more than 2.4m in height

    A building permit application will be required if the proposed patio does not meet the above criteria. In addition, Planning Approval may be needed. Please contact Regulatory Services on 9339 9339 for further information. 

    Shade Sails

    A shade sail is a piece of permeable fabric that is fixed to timber or metal posts.

    Any proposed shade sail more than 10m2 in area and/or is more than 2.4m in height will require a building permit.   

    Skip Bin Permit

    If you require a Skip Bin on site at any time not just during building construction you can apply for a permit.  The permit fee is $48.90.

    A standard permit will be issued for a maximum of 4 weeks. 

    An extension may be requested and a new fee of $12.80 will be charged for a Skip Bin Permit Extension. The extension will be conditional after an inspection of the area.

    Skip Bin Permit Application Form - please ensure this is completed and submitted prior to a Skip Bin being delivered on site.  

    Please allow up to four business days for your application to be processed.   

    Form can be emailed to admin@eastfremantle.wa.gov.au

    Solar Panels

    Industry Bulletin 51 provides guidance regarding building permit requirements under the Building Act 2011 and Building Relations 2012 in relation to the installation of photovoltaic cells (solar panels) in Western Australia. 

    Solar panels - Industry Bulletin 51

    Swimming Pools and Spas

    The Rules and Regulations

    All private swimming pools and spas that contain water more than 300mm deep must have a barrier compliant with Australian Standard AS 1926.1 that restricts access by young children to the swimming and spa pool and its immediate surrounds. In Western Australia, the legislative framework that mandates the requirement to provide a barrier to a private swimming and spa pool comprises:

    • the Building Act 2011 (WA)
    • the Building Regulations 2012 (WA)

    Private swimming or spa pool includes:

    • in-ground and above-ground pools (including inflatable and portable pools);
    • in-ground and above-ground spa pools (but not spa baths that are normally emptied after each use); and
    • Bathing or wading pools.

    Pools that are not considered to be private swimming or spa pools are controlled under the Health (Aquatic Facilities) Regulations 2007. More information can be found in the Code of Practice for the design, operation, management and maintenance of aquatic facilities.

    Role of the Local Government

    Local Government is responsible for issuing building permits for swimming pools and spas and their associated barriers. The approval process not only ensures that the building and barrier standards are satisfied, but that the structures are registered with the Local Government so that periodic inspections of the installed barrier can occur at least once every four years.

    Owners and occupiers are responsible for ensuring that any fence or barrier restricting access to a swimming or spa pool is maintained and operating effectively. If you do not comply with the Regulations you risk the lives of young children and may face substantial fines.

    General Barrier Requirements

    View the helpful and easy to read Rules for Pools and Spas brochure.

    This publication has been produced by the Building Commission to assist pool and spa owners by thoroughly detailing the rules and regulations for barrier requirements. 

    Hints to follow for removal of your pool

    • totally remove your pool if it is above ground; or
    • totally remove your pool and backfill if below ground. You need to obtain a compaction certificate for the backfill; or
    • leave pool in, but make two holes (minimum size of 1m x 1m each) one in the deep end and another in the shallow end of the pool. 

    Further information

    Useful websites include:

    Royal Life Saving WA

    Royal Life Saving Australia – Keep Watch

    Swim and Survive

    Kidsafe 

    Rules for portable pools

    Unauthorised Building Works

    What is Unauthorised Work?

    Unauthorised building work may include work commenced without a Building Permit, or which is not built in compliance with the approved plans and specifications. 

    It is an offence under the Building Act 2011 to undertake building work without first obtaining a Building Permit, unless the building work is exempted from such a requirement under the Building Regulations 2012.

    Building Approval Certificates are voluntary, however if you have unauthorised building work you may be required to demolish it if you do not have one. 

    A person can apply for a building approval certificate to obtain retrospective approval for any building work completed without a building permit being issued, or to confirm an existing building complies with the applicable building standards. 

    Approval:

    To apply for a building approval certificate (BA14), an applicant will need to complete a BA13 Application for Building Approval Certificate, submit with a BA18 Certificate of Building Compliance together with any relevant supporting documents. 

    A certificate of building compliance is issued by a registered building surveyor as defined in section 3 of the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011. This certificate can be obtained from an independent building surveyor who certify that an existing building complies with the relevant building standards. 

    Information required:

    Unauthorised Works Calculator

    Retrospective Development Approval may also be required. 

    Submit application:

    Applications can be lodged by: