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Planning and Building Compliance

Development approval and/or a building permit is required before constructing, altering or extending a range of building/structures or changing the use of a property. If you are concerned that planning/development or building works is occurring without the relevant approvals in place we may be able to investigate. Find out when we can investigate, how to report potential non-compliance and how we deal with reports below.

Planning and Building Issues We Can Investigate

Examples of issues we can investigate include:

  • Failure to obtain a building permit
  • Non-compliance with an approved building or occupancy permit
  • Building work affecting neighbouring land
  • Unauthorised building work
  • Dangerous, dilapidated or neglected buildings and structures
  • Non-compliant pool and spa safety barriers
  • Unauthorised development
  • Unauthorised use of land
  • Non-compliance with approved plans or planning approval conditions
  • We can investigate if a dividing fence is suspected to be unsafe or dangerous

How to Report Potential Planning and Building Non-Compliance

To report potential planning and building non-compliance, fill in our Planning and Building Service Request Form and submit it via email, mail or in-person at our Civic Centre.

Please provide as much detail as you can in the form so we can investigate the matter promptly and efficiently. Please also include your contact details in case we require further information to fully investigate the issue and to provide you with updates where possible.

All reports are confidential, however they may be released under freedom of information and you may be required to give evidence should the matter go to court.

How We Deal With Potential Non-Compliance

A compliance officer will review your enquiry and determine whether an investigation and further actions can be taken.

We may not be in a position to investigate further if:

  • There is no breach of relevant legislation or our Local Planning Scheme No.6
  • The matter has already been investigated and resolved
  • We have no jurisdiction or power to investigate
  • The matter is the sole responsibility of another government agency. Examples include dividing fence disputes or damage to private property.

If we decide not to investigate we will notify you in writing and give you reasons why. If we decide to investigate and non-compliance is found, we may:

  • Negotiate compliance
  • Issue a direction notice
  • Issue an infringement notice
  • Issue a building order
  • Start legal proceedings

In all cases we wish to assist and achieve voluntary compliance first. Infringements, enforcement orders and court action are only used where it becomes evident voluntary compliance is unlikely to occur.

Please note: investigations are prioritised by assessed risk to public health and safety and accessibility of evidence and timeframes will vary. Unauthorised planning/development and building works may also be approved by seeking retrospective approval.

Non-Compliance With an Order or Notice

Non-compliance with a notice or order may result in legal action and Court-imposed penalties or fines.

Planning/Development and Building Advice Regarding Compliance

The advice on this page is a general guide only. We encourage you to contact us to discuss planning and building compliance. 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. 

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