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How to apply for a building permit

Information to guide you through the process of applying for a building permit.

Step 1 - Check if you need a building permit

Some types of building work do not require a building permit. See When you need a building permit.

Step 2 - Collate documentation to submit with your application

You will need copies of the following to obtain a building permit, depending on the work:

  • Current Certificate of Title (no older than 3 months)
  • Full copy of the Plan of Subdivision (this forms part of your Title)
  • Full copies of all Covenants, 173 Agreements, Memoranda of Common Provisions (MCPs or Dealing Numbers) and Building envelopes listed on the Title and within restrictions of the Plan of Subdivision. 
  • A copy of architectural plans – this is prepared drawings of the proposed work. We suggest you seek help from a registered draftsperson or architect who knows the Victorian Building System to ensure your finished plans are accurate, clear and complete. Drawings should include to-scale site plan, floor plans, sections, elevations and structural details.
  • A copy of a Soil Investigation Report – you must provide a soil investigation report (foundation data) that classifies the soil type (that is, A, S, M, H, E or P) for new dwellings or commercial work, in order to design an acceptable footing system. For additions or alterations, a soil investigation report may not be required depending on the building surveyor.
  • A copy of Engineering Computations and a Certificate of Compliance - the structural details and computations must be prepared by a registered structural engineer.
  • A copy of a 6-Star Energy Rating – from 1 May 2011, it is compulsory to achieve 6-Star Energy Rating.
  • For cost-of-work greater than $16,000 carried out by a registered builder, supply Domestic Building Insurance (Warranty)
  • For cost-of-work greater than $16,000 carried out by an owner builder, supply a Certificate of Consent from the Building Commission
  • Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) – for more information, see Building standards for bushfire-prone areas

Note: We may require further information depending on the project scope - contact us before applying to check.

Step 3 - Building permit application 

Once the plans and structural details are complete, and you have all the required documents, you are ready to apply for a building permit.

To apply, you should:

  • Complete and sign the Building permit application form
  • Call us on 9217 2170 to find out your application fee (which varies depending on the scope and value of building work)
  • Lodge your application and pay your application fee:
  • in person - at our Civic Centre office in South Morang during business hours
  • online - by emailing your completed application form and payment details to

Step 4 - Building certifier assessment

Your application will be assessed by our professional building surveying staff, who will ensure that the proposal complies with Building Act 1993, Building Regulations 2006 and relevant Australian Standards.

Asset protection permit

If you are building a new residential dwelling or housing development, you must also obtain a Council asset protection permit before construction starts.

Step 5 – Building permit issued

Once the building permit is issued, work must begin within 12 months and be completed within 24 months from the date of issue. This time may be extended if you apply to the building surveyor before the permit expires.

Swimming pools/spas and the required barriers must be completed within 6 months of the date of issue.

Extension of time to complete works

If you are unable to complete your building work before your building permit expires, you must apply to us for an extension of time while the permit is still active.

If you lodge an extension of time letter after the permit has lapsed, you will be required to apply for a new building permit. This will entail the submission of all documentation including payment of all fees.

The commencement and completion dates are clearly noted on each building permit.

We will only consider an application for an extension of time if you:

  • lodge a permit application form
  • pay the relevant fees
  • give a reason for why the work could not be completed on time

Extension of Time request

Variations to a building permit

If designs need to be changed or alternative materials used during the course of construction, you must first get permission from the building surveyor who issued your building permit.

Step 6 – Inspections

When we issue your building permit, we will advise in writing which inspections are required. Once you have reached each mandatory stage, you must book an inspection with the City of Whittlesea.

To book, call us on 9217 2170, at least 24 hours before your preferred inspection time. This ensures we can deliver a fair and efficient service to both builders and owners.

Work other than new buildings require a Certificate of Final Inspection. Once we have completed the final inspection, we will issue you with this certificate.

Step 7 – Occupancy permit for new buildings

It is illegal to move into your new building without first obtaining an Occupancy Permit.

Apply for an occupancy permit

When applying for an occupancy permit, you must provide us with the following documents to demonstrate that the work completed on your property follows relevant building legislation:

  • Application for Occupancy Permit - Form 5
  • Plumbing Certificate
  • Electrical Certificate
  • Insulation Certificate
  • Mechanical Certificate

Your occupancy permit will not be issued until we have sighted and copied these certificates.

Once you move in to your new property, you must clearly display your house number. Find out more about displaying your house number.

Step 8 – Order rubbish and recycling bins

We will only issue residential or commercial bins for new dwellings/commercial buildings that hold an Occupancy Permit.

Order your new bins