Retrospective Approvals

Development approval and/or a building permit is required before constructing a range of building/structures or changing the use of a property.

If you have undertaken building work or changed the use of a building or piece of land without prior approval or purchased property with unauthorised buildings/structure/s, you may be able to keep these. This is known as retrospective approval.

Retrospective Planning/Development Approvals

In order to receive retrospective planning/development approval you will need to demonstrate compliance with:

For specific planning/development requirements for residential developments, see our Building and Renovating Hub.

Retrospective Building Approvals

In order to receive retrospective building approval you will need a Certificate of Building Compliance (BA18) issued by a registered building surveyor.

From the point, you will need to apply for a:

If planning/development is also required this need to be obtained before you can apply for a building approval certificate or occupancy permit.

For further information on unauthorised building work, please visit the Section 9: Unauthorised building work page on the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website.

Documentation Required for Retrospective Building Approval

An application for a Building Approval Certificate (BA13) or Occupancy Permit (BA9) must be accompanied by:

  • A Certificate of Building Compliance (BA18) signed by an independent building surveyor.
  • Copies of all plans and specifications specified on the Certificate of Building Compliance (BA18).
  • Evidence of the following (if applicable):
    • Any planning/development approvals required under the Planning and Development Act 2005 (WA)
    • Approval for the installation of any apparatus that treats sewage (section 107 of the Health Act 1911 (WA).
    • Approval for the operation of any aquatic facility (Part 2, Div 1 Health (Aquatic Facilities) Regulations 2007))
    • Approval for the construction of any crossing from a public thoroughfare that is not a government road (regulation 12(2) of the Local Government (Uniform Local Provisions) Regulations 1996 (WA)
  • If the work encroaches onto or adversely affects other land, evidence of consent from the affecter owner. For more information, visit the work affecting other land page on the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website.
  • Payment of the prescribed fee and levies (for example, the Construction Training Fund Levy (if applicable)

We may require additional information to assess your application and will contact you if that is the case.

Fees and Charges for Retrospective Approvals

Development/planning fees for retrospective approvals are three times the standard by way of penalty. For the standard fees for specific residential developments, see our Building and Renovating Hub.

The cost for an Occupancy Permit (BA9) or Building Approval Certificate (BA13) for unauthorised works can be found on our Building Permit Fee Schedule.

Lodging a Planning/Development or Building Application for Retrospective Approval

You can lodge applications for retrospective planning/development and building approval online.

Lodge and Track a Building and Planning Application

What Happens if Your Application Is Refused

Our aim is to help you achieve compliance and will always try to work with you to identify what you can do to make your building/structure/development compliant.

If this is not possible, you will be asked to remove the building/structure or stop using the building/land in an unpermitted way. If you refuse, we may:

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

If you disagree with our decision to refuse your planning/development or building approval application, you can apply for review by the State Administrative Tribunal. You must make this application within 28 days.

Planning/Development and Building Advice Regarding Retrospective Approvals

The advice on this page is a general guide only. We encourage you to contact us to discuss retrospective approvals. 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.

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