Building Approval & Permits
If you are building or changing the way you use your land you may need a planning permit and/or a building approval.
The Building Act 2016 and the Building Regulations 2016 were introduced in January 2017. They regulate building and plumbing work in Tasmania.
The Building Act 2016 takes a risk-based approach to building approvals. Some low-risk and medium-risk building and demolition work can be done without seeking a building permit from Council.
Building determinations are provided by a private registered building surveyor.
When a planning permit is required, it will need to be approved prior to a building determination being provided. Building approval must be consistent with requirements of the planning permit.
Prior to commencing any works consult with a planner to see if a planning permit is required, and then consult with a building surveyor.
Building Approvals & Permits FAQ
Please consult with your builder or building surveyor as to whether you require building approval. For more information see the Guide to the Building Act 2016
Unfortunately, Devonport City Council is no longer in a position to offer a Building Surveying service. You will therefore need to engage the services of a private Building Surveyor before lodging your building approval documentation.
You can find a surveyor here.
The Building Surveyor assesses the plans and then issues a Certificate of Likely Compliance.
The ‘Certificate of Likely Compliance’ will indicate that the proposed work is likely to comply with the appropriate legislation and the Building Code of Australia (BCA).
The ‘Certificate of Likely Compliance’ from the Building Surveyor will stipulate any relevant conditions that may apply to the building work, as well as nominate the required inspections to be undertaken.
The building permit approval application is then lodged with Council and is assessed and checked for compliance by the following departments: Planning, Engineering, Health, Plumbing and Building. Once approval has been granted a Building Permit will be issued.
A building permit is valid for 2 years from the date of issue and building work must commence within 12 months of the date of issue.
The builder is required to lodge a Building Start Work Notice to the building surveyor before any work can commence.
The cost of a building / plumbing approval is dependent on the class of building, value and floor area of the works.
As well as the cost of a building / plumbing approval, you may be required to pay State Government levies.
These levies are required to be paid when you lodge your application. For more information, see our attached Building & Plumbing Fees
The Building Act 2016 allows genuine owner-builders who are not accredited builders to undertake building work on their own land. However the Act restricts an owner-builder’s activity to no more than two class 1a buildings in ten years.
To qualify as an owner/builder it is necessary to meet specified criteria in order to obtain registration. You should contact a building surveyor for further advice.
For information on Owner Builder permit requirments, please consult the State Government Department – Consumer Building & Occupational Services (CBOS)
Building Approvals authorise 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, in regards to health, safety and amenity.
Planning Permits authorise the development and use of land by assessing proposals against council planning schemes and the State’s planning legislation. It examines the impact of the proposed use or development of land on the surrounding area.
Buildings other than houses and outbuildings must be maintained to ensure their ‘Essential Safety and Health Features’ are to the required standard, in accordance with the Building Act 2016, so that they continue to operate to the standard to which they were originally required to perform.
An owner must comply with the Building Act 2016 and Building Regulations 2016 and should contact a building surveryor for advice about the maintenance of essential services for building.
What happens if an owner or occupier doesn’t comply?
Non-compliance may result in infringement notices or prosecution in which a fine may be imposed for a breach.
Building work incorporates the design, construction, assessment of work and demolition.
To ensure buildings are properly constructed, the Building Act 2016 has introduced a system for mandatory accreditation for Building Practitioner’s in Tasmania. Accreditation is required for the following practitioners:
- Designers – responsible for the design of buildings
- Building Surveyors and Assistant Building Surveyors – responsible for the assessment of design and building work
- Builders – responsible for the construction (or demolition) of buildings
Building practitioners must be accredited in the appropriate Category and Class for the work that they are undertaking and may be accredited in more than one Category.
Copies of your building plans are available from Council upon completing the Request for Search of Building/Plumbing Record Information Form and payment of fees.
If you are enquiring about a property you are purchasing, written authorisation is required from the owners before plans can be accessed. This authorisation is then attached to the form and submitted to Council, together with payment of fees.
Consumer, Building & Occupational Services has released new information about the expiration of permits. You can view the information via this link.