Planning Permission & Council Approval for Sheds

Got your eyes on a new shed? 

Before you start fantasising about all that extra space, it’s time to have a look at what kind of approval you might need to get the job done. 

Council approval and planning approval for shed builds in Western Australia depends on a couple of factors – including what type of shed you want to build, its purpose, and where it’s being built. You’re probably wondering: do I need planning permission for a shed? What about a building permit?

Here is everything you need to know about planning permission for shed builds in Western Australia.

Planning Approval, Council Approval, Building Permits; What’s the Difference?

It’s a question we get asked a lot. Are they all the same? What is the difference? 

Actually, a building permit and council approval are technically the same thing. These make sure your shed complies with the National Construction Codes and BCA (Building Codes Australia). 

Planning approval on the other hand, is a completely separate process that only comes into play if your planned shed does not comply with the residential design codes or local policies. 

Let’s break that down:

Council Approval (Building Permit)

Building approval is given once your project has planning permission and satisfies various building safety codes set out in the Building Codes of Australia. 

Virtually all sheds will require a building permit. 

Unless you’re building a particularly small shed thats:

  • less than 10m² floor area;
  • less than 2.4m high; and
  • compliant with relevant local rules and wind rating regulations.

Planning Approval

Planning approval is the approval you need if your shed doesn’t meet local council regulations or the residential design code. These rules can differ from shire to shire, so make sure you get in contact with your local council office (or just jump on a call with us).

Do I Need Planning Approval for a Shed?

It depends. For the majority of small residential sheds in Perth, you may not need planning approval before construction. In most cases, if your shed meets the local requirements you probably won’t need planning approval to construct it:

However, you should always check with your local council as some areas have their own regulations and zoning requirements. In some cases, you will require planning approval because your original house is a Heritage-listed building or located in conservation areas.

What’s the Biggest Shed I Can Build Without Council Approval?

This is pretty simple, if your shed is less than 10m² and less than 2.4m high then you don’t need any council approvals to get the project done. But, good luck fitting much more than a lawnmower in there!

If you’re specifically looking to build a shed as a workshop for working on cars, then you might want to check out our article on shed heights for car hoists. When it comes to hoists in particular, getting them to fit can be tricky. Make sure you’re going to be able to fit a hoist in there!

What Size Shed Do Residential Planning Codes Allow for?

Want more than a small garden shed in your yard? Here’s what the standard residential design code will allow:

  • Up to 60m² of total floor space;
  • Up to 2.4m wall height and 4.2m apex (peak height);
  • Set behind the house; and
  • 1m off boundary if less than 9m in length or 1.5m if 9m or more.

For sheds built to these specs, you shouldn’t need planning approval but you will definitely still need a building permit/council approval.

What Does the Approval Process Look Like?

The whole process will vary slightly from council to council. But the good news is the general process has been (mostly) standardised across Western Australia. 

First, you will need to determine the class, the size of your shed, and its location. Next, see what (if any) approvals apply to your case, and then start the paperwork. 

The process of building permissions may seem overwhelming; however, at Spinifex Sheds we understand these processes and can guide you through from start to finish. 

For more information about how to get started, have a chat with our friendly staff – we’re experts at this gig.

Can I Build a Shed Next to My Neighbours Fence?

It sure is tempting to place your shed as close as possible to your fence to maximise space on your side of the fence. But this could run into some issues – and your neighbour’s concerns could be the least of your worries. 

Generally, residential sheds must be built a minimum of 900mm away from any other structure on your property; behind the front setback line; and comply with local council regulations on height and square meterage.

If you’re unsure about how close you can build your shed to a fence line – simply get in touch with the team here at Spinifex Sheds. We can take a look at your situation and help you work through the motions.

I Live in a Rural Area – Does All This Apply to Me?

If you plan on constructing a shed on an acreage, you’re probably wondering if any of this applies.

The answer is yes, if your proposed building varies from the local residential design codes, you’re going to need planning approval. That’s unless your local council has separate planning policies. 

Want more answers about your rural/agricultural shed? Make sure to read our article on agricultural shed planning permission.

So How Long Does Planning Permission for Sheds Take?

Right. By now, you’re probably wondering, if your dream shed will ever get built, or whether you’re going to give in to bureaucratic pressures and put it off for another year?

The answer: don’t give up. 

This whole process is actually not as tedious as it sounds. Most planning approvals get done within 4-8 weeks; if you’re unlucky, maybe 12. Of course, if you’re planning on installing a special-purpose shed with a car hoist – you might need extra approvals. If this sounds like your situation then take a squiz at our article on the right shed height for car hoist projects. 

Getting the experts on board to manage all this extra paperwork for you will make this process much easier (and quicker).

Get Your Shed Approved and Built With the Experts

Want to get your shed underway and minimise the paperwork? Our expert team has over a decade of experience in funnelling these applications through the local council and out the other side with all the approvals you need to get started. 

Once you’ve got us on board, we’ll take care of everything. From those painstaking forms and approvals to following up with the council – we’ll even have that awkward chat with your neighbour if necessary. 

Basically, we’ll get your shed built, on time and on budget. Give us a call and we can get this ball rolling. 

Here’s our number: +61 8 9390 4662

We look forward to speaking with you.



Owner - Spinifex Sheds

I've got a passion for helping people build the right shed. Whether that's custom made for your hoist, fitting the shed into a tight site or just a shed that's going to last many years, I love to help.

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