Building FAQs

How long will it take for my building permit to be approved?

The clock will only start when the application is complete when submitted and payment is received.

  • Certified application: 10 business days (excluding public holidays).
  • Uncertified application: 25 business days (excluding public holidays).
What is the difference between certified and an uncertified building permit applications?

There are two types of building permits:

  • BA1 – Application for building permit – certified: Requires a Certificate of Design Compliance (BA3 Form) to be completed by a Private Building Surveyor prior to being submitted to the Shire
  • BA2 – Application for building permit – uncertified: Certified by the Shire.

The fees differ for certified and uncertified applications. Refer to Building schedule of fees and charges.

How much does a building permit application cost?

All fees must be paid in full at the time of submitting an application. Payments can be made by completing the Credit Card Authorisation form with your application, over the phone via credit card details or in person at either Shire of Harvey Administration Offices.

The minimum building permit fees for estimated value of works under $20,000 is $171.65. For current fees for estimated value of works over $20,000 please refer to the Building schedule of fees and charges.

The Building and Construction Industry Training Fund levy is also payable where the total value of construction is estimated to be more than $20,000. (See below)

What is the BCITF levy?

Note: this payment is only required for construction estimated to be over $20,000.

The Building and Construction Industry Training Fund Levy applies to all residential, commercial and civil engineering projects undertaken in Western Australia, where the total value of construction is estimated to be more than $20,000.  

You can pay the BCTIF levy online.  Note, a copy of the receipt will need to be provided to the Shire with your application. Alternatively, you can pay for the levy in person at the Shire when you lodge your application.

What happens when further information is required for your application?

A letter will be sent to the applicant, builder and/or owner requesting further information. The applicant has 21 calendar days to provide the requested information. Under the Building Act 2011, the shire has the right to refuse an application if all the required information has not been submitted within the 21-day timeframe.

The clock will stop from the date the letter is sent for additional information and will restart the day the information required has been received.

What building works don’t require a building permit?

Please refer to page 90 to 101 of Schedule 4 Cl.1 – Building Work in the Building Regulations 2012, for works that do not require a building permit.

What are my setbacks for my property?

The Residential Design Codes stipulate the primary, rear and side setbacks for residential zoned landholdings, unless varied by District Planning Scheme No. 1.

  • Residential: Policy No 3.1 – Residential Design Codes defines the rule and regulations for setback boundaries.
  • Special Residential/Special Rural: Allocated Building Envelope. Please contact us for information.
  • General Farming/Intensive Farming: Generally 20 metres from all boundaries - Please contact us for more information.

To seek variation to the setbacks for your property, you can apply for an R-Codes Variation.  Refer to Building applications and forms.

To build outside the approved building envelope, the proposed development will require planning approval in most instances.

To seek an amendment to your building envelope, please contact us.

How big a shed (outbuilding) can I build? Do I need a registered builder?

If a property owner intends to undertake building works over the value of $20,000, they must apply for Owner-Builders Approval. An owner builder certificate is required to be obtained from the Building Commission directly.

The Owner-Builder Approval must be submitted with the Building Permit application or must engage a registered builder to complete the works.

Note, Class 10 B structures don’t require a registered builder. Exemptions can apply for Rural locations.

What is residential density split coding?

The residential zoning is applied to most of the Shire’s urban settlements with a number of potential land uses (activities) possible.

It must be noted that density coding for residential areas is a different matter to zoning, which indicates a maximum permissible number of dwellings for development on a property or area. This is often displayed as R10, R20 R40 etc., and relates to development of dwellings per hectare.

The most common density coding for residential zoned areas within the Shire is “R15/30/50”. These codes provide various development options available to residential properties. However, this is dependent on a number of factors and dictates whether development at higher densities can occur.

For more information, please refer to the information sheet below.

What are the different building classes?

Find out about the different Building Classes.

Where can I get more information and assistance?