Council Approval For Sheds - What Do You Need to Know?

Thinking of getting a new shed? Before you start clearing your site, you’ll want to get clued in on the right approvals you’ll need from your local council. Getting this approval can be the most difficult step in the process. If you’re wanting to install something bigger than your average tool shed, the chances are your plans will be declined if you fail to adhere to the council and state regulations. It certainly helps to know a couple of things before you start fantasising about how much extra storage space you’re going to have. Here are some helpful tips on how to give your shed the best chance possible;

Can Councils Say No?

Yes. They can and they do. And it’s common – particularly in residential settings. The closer a shed is to a boundary line or another building the harder it is to get approval. Here are some points to consider:

  • Location and placement are very important when it comes to the eyes of the council. Think carefully about where your shed will be situated. Councils can be quick to knock down your proposal if they think your project will impact your neighbours or the streetscape.
  • Structures need to be located behind the front setback line, so as not to encroach on your neighbour’s privacy. 
  • Sheds must also be built to a high standard ensuring structural integrity per the building codes of Australia.
  • Council approval for shed building will depend on its intended purpose and location.

Understand Local Laws and Regulations

You’ll want to get privy to the local laws and regulations. If you’re not keen on reading through local council guidelines – don’t stress – you can leave that to the experts at Spinifex Sheds. We handle that for you.

Either way, it’s good to know that:

  • Laws are different across councils & shires, and vary at the state level too.
  • Each project is different and will present its own set of hurdles depending on your shed’s purpose.

Chat With Your Neighbours

If you’re thinking about building a shed in a residential area near your fence line it can be a good idea to reach out and talk to your neighbours. Show them your plans and gauge their reaction – consent from surrounding owners can be critical if it comes down to the wire.

Consider Your Shed’s Purpose

The purpose of your shed will determine what kind of application and licence you’ll need going forward. This can often be the most difficult bit. If you’re after a humble tool shed out the back, you’re not going to need the same approval (if any) for a warehouse or commercial shed.

Will I Need a Building Permit?

As a rule of thumb, if your shed is over 10 square metres you’ll need to apply for a permit. Some may even need planning approval if the circumstances demand. Finding out whether you’ll need a building permit can also be difficult – especially when you’re dealing with local council bureaucracy.

What Does The Approval Process Look Like?

Council approval for shed builds follow 3 main processes that will depend on the kind of shed you’re hoping to build. These are:

  1. An exempt building does not require any approval due to it being low impact and on a specific property. An exempt development won’t need council assessment and work can begin immediately. 
  2. Projects that meet certain standards don’t need additional development approval and can be expedited. This process is usually straightforward and won’t take too long.
  3. For projects that don’t qualify for this expedited process – a Development Application (DA) must be applied for, which will be assessed by the local council. This process can be extremely time consuming and complex. The timeline will depend on the complexity of the project, generally expect DA approval within 4 to 12 weeks.

Once DA approval has been acquired, you can then apply for a building permit – once this has been finalised, you can get boots on the ground.

Prepare to Wait

Council approval for shed builds isn’t just a lot of paperwork, it involves a good deal of waiting, and even then you may be declined. Councils not only have a lot of new projects to get through each day, but they’re also notoriously bureaucratic and slow. Applying is one thing but getting approval is another.

How Much Paperwork Should I Expect?

It depends. If you’re unlucky, a fair bit. It may seem almost ridiculous to have this much paperwork for just putting down a shed. But some sheds require more box-ticking than others. Council approval for shed projects will depend on what kind of shed you’re hoping to install. Its size, purpose, and location will all play a part in determining whether it gets approval and how much work will be required to get it over the line. For example, If you want plumbing or even solar power, get ready for a slew of extra permits and administrative hurdles. 

Can I Avoid All This Paperwork?

Yes, you can. At Spinifex Sheds, we take care of the entire process from beginning to end. Leave all the nitty-gritty to the experts. With decades of experience under our belts, we don’t just build you a shed, we take care of everything behind the scenes, from paperwork to the final sweep. Get a free on-site quote today and take advantage of our premium end-to-end service.