Building or Renovating a House

This page gives an overview of the planning and building requirements for building a new house or making additions to an existing house. You may require planning/development approval, or building permit approval, or both. The following information will help you determine what approvals you need and how to lodge an application. It also outlines how to apply to be an owner-builder, as well as stormwater considerations.

There are a number of types of houses which can be built in Melville. This page relates to the requirements for building a free standing house located on a green title or survey strata lot with no common property.

Planning/Development Approval for Building or Renovating a House

Planning/development approval is usually not required for a development that meets the deemed to comply provisions of the Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) and our local planning policies, and the property is not listed on the Heritage List.

If you are unsure if your proposal meets the deemed to comply provisions and our local planning policies, you may wish to apply for a Deemed to Comply Check. We will review your proposal within 14 days and inform you if your proposal complies or requires planning approval. The cost of this check depends on the project type as detailed below and must be paid at the time of lodgement:

  • 'Minor' Deemed to Comply Check (includes a patio, outbuilding, site works/retaining walls, ancillary dwelling, garage/carport or any extensions/additions to a single storey house) - $73.00
  • 'Standard' Deemed to Comply Check (includes any upper floor extension/addition and the erection of any single house) - $295.00

The intent of this check is to provide you with confidence that your proposal can proceed straight to an application for a building permit. While this is a voluntary check, if you choose to lodge a building permit application without this check and we identify that planning/development approval is required, you will have to apply for planning/development approval which may delay your project.

To apply, please complete a Request for Deemed to Comply Check application form and email it to with your supporting information. We will contact you to arrange payment.

Other house works that don't require planning/development approval

You do not need planning/development approval for the following works:

  • The erection or installation of a cubbyhouse if it:
    • is not erected or installed in the street setback area of a building.
    • The floor is no more than 1 m above the natural ground level.
    • The wall height is no more than 2.4 m above the natural ground level.
    • The building height is no more than 3 m above the natural ground level.
    • The area of the floor is no more than 10 m2
    • It is not erected or installed within 1 m of more than 1 boundary of the lot.
  • The erection or installation of a flagpole if:
    • The height is no more than 6 m above the natural ground level.
    • It is no more than 200 mm in diameter.
    • It is not used for advertising.
    • There is no more than 1 flagpole on the lot.
    • The flagpole is not located in a heritage-listed place
  • The installation of a water tank if it:
    • Is is not installed in the street setback area of a building.
    • The volume of the tank is no more than 5,000L. (c)
    • The height of the tank is no more than
      •  for a tank fixed to a building — the height of the eaves of the building; or
      • for a tank that is not fixed to a building and is more than 1 m from each boundary of the lot — 2.4 m; or
      • for a tank that is not fixed to a building and is 1 m or less from a boundary of the lot — 1.8 m. (d) The works are not located in a heritage-protected place.
    • The tank is not located in a heritage-listed place
  • The installation of solar panels on the roof of a building, where the solar panels are parallel to the angle of the roof and the building is not a heritage listed place.
  • Maintenance and repair works unless the property is listed on Heritage List or it is a type of work referred to in the Heritage Regulations 2019 reg 41(1)(b) to (i)

Building Approval for Building or Renovating a House

You will need to apply for a building permit before starting construction on a house. The National Construction Code (NCC) classifies one or more buildings, which together form a single dwelling as being of Class 1a.

You will also need to let us know when the building work is complete by lodging a BA7 – Notice of Completion, or if the responsible person changes by lodging a BA8 – Notice of Cessation. For more information, refer to the Section 6: Notices of Completion and Cessation page on the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website.

Lodging a Planning/Development or Building Application for Building or Renovating a House

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:

Planning/Development Approvals


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.

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.

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 fees for a residential dwelling with a contract value greater than $20,000 is calculated at the following percentages of the total contract price:

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

You may also need to pay a verge bond fee and the CTF Levy. 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

For building projects over $20,000, you will also 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

If your project has a construction value of more than $20,000, you will 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).

Materials on Verge Area or Road Reserve

If you need to store building material on a verge area or a road reserve, you will need to pay a $75 fee.

Other Agencies to Consult

It is important to check with our engineering team and the Water Corporation to ensure your proposed development does not affect any existing drainage or sewer easements.

Noisy Construction Work

If you plan on doing noisy work outside the hours of 7.00am to 7.00pm Monday to Saturday, except for Sundays and public holidays when no noisy work can occur, you must get approval from our environmental health team by submitting a noise management plan.

Building or Renovating as an Owner-Builder

An owner-builder is someone who has the skill or capacity to build or alter their own house or small commercial building or supervise construction work.

If the construction value of the work is over $20,000, you will need to apply to the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) for an Owner-Builder Certificate. You must have an owner-builder certificate before we will grant you a building permit.


As part of your building permit application you will need to include a site plan indicating the following drainage details:

  • Existing ground levels or contours
  • Proposed levels of paved or concrete areas
  • Details of proposed roof and pavement drainage disposal systems
  • Size (depth and diameter) and locations of all soak-wells
  • Factors such as soil conditions, water table depth and capacity for storm events need to be taken into account by the appointed professional engineer

Stormwater requirements for residential developments

  • All stormwater must be retained and discharged on site.
  • All soak-wells installed in paved or concrete areas must have trafficable lids (that can be walked over) and made accessible for maintenance purposes.
  • Soak-wells are no closer than 1m to a footing or boundary.
  • All soak-wells used are from an accredited supplier.
  • All soak-wells installed within flexible pavement areas (bitumen or brick paving) are provided with an appropriate base to prevent any subsidence of the well liners.
  • It is the owner’s responsibility to regularly clean and maintain on-site drainage systems to ensure its on-going functionality.
  • Residential sites located below road level must have drainage systems designed to cater for a 1:100 ARI 24hr storm event.
  • Residential sites located above road level must have drainage systems designed to cater for a 1:20 ARI 1hr storm event.

Additional information on stormwater drainage requirements, please refer to the Stormwater Drainage Information Sheet.

Drainage easement requirements

  • An easement is a section of land registered on the Certificate of Title providing Council (or other parties) a right to access the land for a specific purpose.  While the property owner still owns the land, they have given up certain rights on that portion of the land covered by the easement.
  • Easements are commonly created for protecting underground or overhead services such as stormwater drains, sewer or power, and to provide rights of carriageway (or right of way).

Additional information on drainage easement requirements, please refer to the City of Melville Drainage Easements sheet.


If your building project involves demolition, you will need to obtain a demolition permit. For more information, see our Demolitions page.

Application to Deposit Material on a Verge

If you would like to store building material on a verge area or a road reserve during construction, you will need to submit an Application to Deposit Building Materials on Verge or Excavate Near a Street PDF form.

In the application, include a copy of the site plan (with existing building/s and scale) and indicate where your materials will be situated on the verge. The site plan should be at a scale of 1:200 and show ground levels, security fencing, and elevations of fence and building heights.

Works Affecting other Land

You must get consent from the owner/s of adjoining land prior to work starting, if any of your works may be reasonably likely to affect their land. For more information, including links to the consent forms, visit the Section 11: Works Affecting Other Land Page on the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website.

Sustainable and Universal Design

We encourage everyone looking to build or renovate within our City to incorporate universal and sustainable design principles into their residential developments. Find out more about these principles on our Sustainable and Universal Design page.

Safe Asbestos Removal

If you are altering part of your house that contains asbestos, or you think may contain asbestos, it's important you follow appropriate safety precautions. Visit our Asbestos page for more information.

Planning/Development and Building Advice for Building or Renovating a House

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 or a request for a deemed-to-comply check.

Guiding Documents

Forms and Documents

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