Building a Granny Flat or Ancillary Dwelling

This page gives an overview of the planning and building requirements for building a granny flat or ancillary dwelling on your property. You may require planning/development approval, or building approval, or both. The following information will help you determine what approvals you need and how to lodge an application.  

Definitions

Granny Flats and Ancillary Dwellings

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.

Planning/Development Approval for a Granny Flat or Ancillary Dwelling  

In Residential Zones

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 450 m2
  • There is a maximum plot ratio area of 70m2
  • One extra parking bay is provided. This may be waived where the dwelling is within 800m of a train station or within 250 metres of a high frequency bus route.
  • The ancillary dwelling is designed and sited to comply with all relevant provisions of the R-Codes and local planning policies.

These requirements are set by:

  1. Residential Design Codes (R-Codes);
  2. Local Planning Policy 1.17 Additional Development Exemptions; and
  3. Local Planning Policy 3.1 ‘Residential Development’;

Please note: Granny flats/ancillary dwellings are only permitted on lots where the land title does not contain any common property (i.e. it must be a survey strata subdivision with no common property or green title). A granny flat/ancillary dwelling cannot be subdivided from the main dwelling, however it can be rented out to people who are not related to the occupants of the main house.

In Other Zones

Planning/development approval is always required. Check your zone using our online maps.

Building Approval for a Granny Flat or Ancillary Dwelling  

You need a building permit before starting construction on any granny/flat or ancillary dwelling.

Lodging a Planning/Development or Building Application for a Granny Flat or Ancillary Dwelling 

You can lodge and track most building and planning/development applications online, however some applications must be submitted in-person at our Civic Centre.

Lodge and Track a Building and Planning Application

The following guides provide more information about what to include in your application:

Planning/Development Approvals

Timeframes

We aim to process applications within the following guidelines:

  • Where we don’t need to consult with neighbours or external agencies: 60 days.
  • Where we need to consult with neighbours or external agencies: 90 days.

These timelines may sometimes be extended in consultation with the applicant. For more information about the development application process, please refer to the FAQ's.

Fees and Charges

Planning/development application fees are calculated based on the contract value of the project and are listed on the Planning Fees Schedule. The fee for projects with a contract value less than $50,000 is $147.    

Building Permit Applications

Timeframes

We process all certified applications (BA1 forms) within 10 working days, and all uncertified applications (BA2 forms) within 25 working days.

You should apply for a certified application (BA1) when you have had the plans, specifications and technical documents assessed by a registered private building surveyor and have been issued a Certificate of Design Compliance (BA3). You should apply for an uncertified application (BA2) when your plans, specifications and technical documents have not been assessed by a private building surveyor and they will need to be assessed by our building surveyors.

If we need further information to assess your application, you will have up to 21 calendar days to provide any outstanding information. We then have balance of the remaining 10 working days to provide a determination.

If you do not provide the outstanding information within the 21 days, we may refuse your application.

Fees and Charges

The building permit fee for a granny flat or ancillary dwelling with a contract value less than $20,000 is $166.65. If the value of the contract is more than $20,000, the building permit fees will be calculated at the following percentages of the total contract price:

  • Application Fee – 0.19% 
  • Building Service Levy  - 0.137%

See all our building permit fees in our Building Permit Fee Schedule, or use our online fee calculator to estimate your building fees.

Verge Bond Fee

If your granny flat/ancillary dwelling project is valued at more than $20,000, you will need to pay a verge bond. A verge bond is held by us to ensure that any damage caused to City verge infrastructure during construction works is rectified to pre-works condition. 

  • Verge bond - $1,900.00
  • Verge bond inspection fee (non-refundable) - $100

To find out more and apply, visit our Verge Bonds and Refunds page.

CTF Levy

Building projects with a construction value of more than $20,000 need to pay the Construction Training Fund (CTF) Levy. The rate of the levy is 0.2% of the total value of construction (inclusive of GST).

Planning/Development and Building Advice for a Granny Flat or Ancillary Dwelling  

The advice on this page is a general guide only. We encourage you to contact us to discuss your project so we can advise whether planning/development or building approval is needed. A planning officer and a building officer are available during business hours to provide advice on a range of matters either in person, over the phone, or by email. Depending on the complexity of the advice being sought we may ask you to lodge a request for written planning advice and a $73 fee will apply.

Guiding Documents

Forms and Documents

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