Permits are required for the construction of new buildings, and alteration of existing buildings.

A number of requirements need to be met before a building permit can be issued.

A certificate of likely compliance may be required from a building surveyor. The Council has a building surveyor available to certify building work. Applicants can choose to engage a private building surveyor to certify building work.

Plumbing permits are usually part of the building permit process.

Do I need building approval?

It is important that you check with Huon Valley Council to see if a building/plumbing permit is required before you consider building a house, retaining wall, garden shed, or deck, or if you are undertaking any alterations to your house.

A building permit is required for all building work, unless it is exempted from requiring a building permit by the Building Regulations 2014, or unless a building surveyor considers the work to be minor alterations or minor repairs. The surveyor must notify the Council of the minor alterations or minor repairs.

Certain buildings and building works are exempt from needing a building permit. These are listed in Regulation 4 of the Building Regulations. These buildings and works include:

  • small sheds
  • pergolas and trellises
  • pools
  • certain types of walls, fences and water tanks

 It is recommended that you contact a building surveyor or Council for clarification of the exemptions. Certain works may also require a planning permit in addition to a building permit.

What information is needed for the application?

A planning permit is often required before a building permit can be approved.

All dwellings and additions that are not on mains sewerage will require a special plumbing permit for an onsite wastewater management system or septic tank.

Most building applications (dwellings, additions) on mains sewerage or mains water will require a certificate from Taswater.

Other building applications (such as sheds and carports) will require an exemption from Taswater even if no plumbing work is involved.

An owner or agent can acquire a certificate of likely compliance from a building surveyor (either the Council’s building surveyor or a private building surveyor). When a certificate of likely compliance is issued by a private building surveyor this will need to accompany the building application lodged with Council and all relevant plans the surveyor has endorsed.

You are required to submit the following documentation with Council when making an application for a building/plumbing permit:

1. Completed application form

2. Plans comprising of:

  • site plan
  • floor plan
  • elevations
  • frame plan
  • footings/piers/slab plan
  • sections
  • bracing
  • stamped and certified by engineer
  • plumbing and drainage plan (internal, external, stormwater and mains water and – if applicable – water tank location)

Three sets of plans are required. The Council cannot accept plans larger than A3 size.

3. All documents referred to on the certificate of likely compliance

4. Form 35A: Certificate of the responsible designer – (building work)

5. Form 35B: Certificate of the responsible designer – (plumbing work)

6. Form 55: Engineer’s certificate (if required)

7. Special plumbing permit  (to be applied for a waste water system if not connected to mains sewer) or Taswater certificate or exemption (if required)

8. Owner builder declaration and statement, if the builder is an owner builder

9. Energy efficiency report

10. Soil report (for dwellings and additions current within past two years)

11. Bushfire attack level (if applicable)

12. Infrastructure crossover permit  (if applicable)

13. Infrastructure bond  (if applicable)

14. Infrastructure stormwater disposal permit  (if applicable)

 A Building Application can only be accepted or lodged when all relevant documentation has been received, together with payment of fees.

What is the difference between building & planning approval?

A building permit authorises the construction and alteration of buildings by assessing any proposed new buildings, structures or alteration work, against the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

A planning permit permits use and development of land by assessing proposals against the Council planning schemes and State Government planning legislation and any other requirements. It particularly examines the impact of the proposed use or development of land on the surrounding area while building permits focus on the proposed structure, specifications, nature of the site, site hazards including bushfire related issues, services to the property and other regulatory requirements.

You are able to lodge applications for both building and planning permits at the same time but a building permit cannot be issued until planning issues are considered and, where necessary, a planning permit has been granted.

What do I need to know about accreditation?

To ensure buildings are constructed safely and competently, the Building Act 2000 includes a system for mandatory accreditation and insurance for all qualified:

  • designers (including architects, building designers, engineers and building service designers) responsible for the design of buildings
  • building surveyors and assistant building surveyors responsible for the assessment of design and building work
  • builders (including domestic, commercial, construction managers, fire protection services and demolishers) responsible for the construction (or demolition) of buildings.

The Building Act requires accredited building practitioners to carry out the design, construction (or demolition) and assessment of all building work that requires a building permit and is valued at and above $5,000.

Building work valued at less than $5,000 requires a building permit, but work may not be required to be carried out by a qualified building practitioner.

Building practitioners will be accredited in the appropriate category and class for the work that they can perform. They may be accredited in more than one category. A category is a broad description of the building practitioner’s normal work or occupation. Within each category of accredited building practitioner there may be several classes.

Further information on accreditation and implementation of the Building Act 2000 is available from Work Safe Tasmania.

How do I find an accredited builder, surveyor or architect?

The names, contact details and the scope of work for all accredited building practitioners are available from Department of Justice.

What are my responsibilities before I start as an owner-builder?

The Building Act 2000 allows genuine owner-builders who are not professional builders to construct a house on their own land.

Owner-builders who are not professional builders can construct no more than two residential buildings in 10 years.

As an owner-builder applying for a building permit, you must complete an owner-builder training course and obtain a white card. then complete and sign an owner builder registration form and lodge this with your building surveyor. Your building surveyor can provide the names of the providers of this course.

Can I start works before I have a building permit?

No. You must have a building permit before starting work. The Council needs to complete an assessment of the proposed work and be satisfied that it will meet building and plumbing regulations.

Enforcement action may be taken if building works are undertaken before a permit is issued.

What does the building permit process involve?

Proposed buildings or structures are assessed against the Building Code of Australia.

You will also need to apply to a building surveyor (either the Council’s building surveyor or a private building surveyor) for a certificate of likely compliance, and submit detailed construction plans.

A building surveyor can advise on technical building issues. In some cases you may also need a structural certificate from an accredited structural engineer.

The building surveyor may carry out the required building inspections depending on the arrangements with the Council. Building work may involve a series of inspections at various stages of construction to determine if it is being constructed correctly and in accordance with the permit documents.

How long does it take to get a building permit?

A certificate of likely compliance from a building surveyor must accompany an application for a building permit from the Council. The surveyor will process a request for a certificate within 21 days.

The Council will then consider the building permit application and will request further information if necessary and issue a building permit or a notice of refusal of a permit within seven days. (or a longer period agreed between the applicant and the Council but only when any other relevant permits have been issued.)

What fees will I have to pay?

Current Building Fees

In addition to the Council building fee, the Council is required to collect the building construction training levy and the building permit levy.

The training levy  is charged on any building project valued at more than $12,000, and is calculated as 0.2 per cent of the estimated cost of the building, as indicated in the contract or on the building application form. It is paid to the council when lodging the building application.

The building permit levy is calculated as 0.1 per cent of the total estimated cost of building and plumbing work valued at $12,000 or more. It must be paid before Council can issue a building permit.

This levy is paid into a special fund and is used to develop a better regulatory environment for Tasmania’s building industry.

What can I do if my building application is refused?

If a building application has been refused, there are usually changes that can be made to make it acceptable.

The Council can give you advice about how your application can be amended to meet the necessary requirements. You may choose to contact Building Standards and Regulation to discuss the situation.

You can appeal a refusal to issue a permit to the The Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal. The tribunal considers cases relating to:

Do I require a bushfire attack level?

A large majority of dwellings and or additions will require a bushfire attack level (BAL) rating.

Your building surveyor in conjunction with your building designer will determine if a BAL is required. Certain measures may need to be incorporated in the design of your dwelling to meet BAL requirements.

Do I need a Taswater certificate?

All building applications – dwellings, garages, additions – that are located in a sewer and/or sewer and water district will require either a certificate of certifiable work, or an exemption from Taswater.

Most other applications will only require an exemption from Taswater.