This page gives an overview of the planning and building requirements for building an outbuilding, such as a shed or workshop on a residential 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.
An outbuilding is a free standing enclosed structure which is not lived in, such as a shed or workshop.
Planning/Development Approval for a Shed/Outbuilding
Planning/development approval is usually not required if your property is in a residential zone and your shed/outbuilding meets the following requirements:
- It is not attached to a dwelling (house)
- It is non-habitable (not to be lived in)
- Collectively it does not exceed 60m2 in area or 10% in aggregate of the site area, whichever is less
- The wall height does not exceed 2.4m (measured from the natural ground level)
- The ridge height does not exceed 4.2m (measured from the natural ground level)
- It is not within the primary or secondary street setback area**
- Is setback a metre from the side and rear boundaries*
- The area of the proposed outbuilding, together with the area of all existing buildings on the site (including the house), does not exceed 50%
- The property is not on our Heritage List
* In some circumstances, an outbuilding may be constructed up to the boundary without the need for development approval. We encourage you to contact us to discuss your project with a planning officer.
** These depend on the associated density code of the property. For example: if you are in a residential area with a density coding of between R15 – R25, the primary setback is 6m. The secondary street setback which relates to corner lots generally requires a setback of 3 metres.
These requirements are set by:
- Residential Design Codes (R-Codes);
- Local Planning Policy 1.17 Additional Development Exemptions; and
- Local Planning Policy 3.1 ‘Residential Development’;
Planning/development approval is always required. Check your zone using our online maps.
Building Approval for a Shed or Outbuilding
You will need to apply for a building permit for a shed/outbuilding if any of the following apply:
If the shed/outbuilding is freestanding and:
- The floor area exceeds 10m2
- It is more than 2.4m in height
- It is located in a wind region C or D as defined in Australian Standard AS 1170.2.
Note: A freestanding shed can be built up to the property boundary, but it must be at least 900mm from a house wall or 450mm from house eaves to comply with Part 3.7 Fire Separation of the National Construction Code 2019 Vol 2. If this cannot be achieved, the shed must be 900mm from boundary.
Lodging a Planning/Development or Building Application for a Shed/Outbuilding
You can lodge and track most building and planning 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:
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
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 an outbuilding 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.
Planning/Development and Building Advice for a Shed/Outbuilding
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 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.
Forms and Documents