What Is The Difference Between Building and Planning Permits

The Planning Permit and Building Permit systems operate under different legislations (The Planning & Environment Act 1987, and the Building Act 1993) and are two very different processes.

Planning relates to the use and development of land for a specific proposal in accordance with the planning scheme

Planning regulates such things as subdivision of land, development or change of use of land. Are you allowed to do that type of development or use the land for that purpose?

A planning permit is a legal document that gives permission for land to be used or developed in accordance with the endorsed plans and permit conditions.

The benefit of the permit generally attaches to the land for which it has been granted.

A local council is usually the responsible authority for granting planning permits and the local planning scheme will govern whether a planning permit is required to use or develop land in a particular manner.

It’s important to note that even minor matters may need a planning permit and the onus is on the person wanting to make changes to a piece of land or property to find out whether a permit is required.

Some of the most common reasons a planning permit is required are for:

  • constructing or altering a building;
  • starting a new use on land;
  • displaying a sign;
  • subdividing land;
  • clearing native vegetation from land.

Building relates to the construction or alteration of a building/s, its structural safety and amenity

Building permits relate to structures and are required to ensure a construction complies with the Building Regulations.

A building permit is a written approval by a private or municipal building surveyor.

It allows the building work to be undertaken according to the approved plans, specifications and other relevant documentation, and certifies that a proposed building complies with the relevant building regulations.

Having a building permit provides you with protection by ensuring:

  • the building practitioners working on your project are registered and carry the required insurance
  • adequate documentation is prepared so the construction can be carried out correctly and according to building legislation
  • key stages of the work are independently inspected
  • your building is suitable for occupation.

A building permit will specify that either an occupancy permit or a certificate of final inspection is required on completion of the building work.

A building permit may be required for a structure, fence or retaining wall.

If you are undertaking any building work on your property, you’ll need to find out whether your project requires a planning permit, a building permit, or both.

These permits are required by law and are designed to protect you. The Building Act 1993 (the Act) and Building Regulations 2018 (the Regulations) state that all building work requires a building permit, unless an exemption exists under the Regulations.

When both a Planning Permit and a Building Permit are required for a proposal, the Planning Permit must be approved and issued before the Building Permit can be. The Building Permit must be consistent with the requirements of the Planning Permit including conditions and endorsed plans.