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Moonee Valley City Council

Building permits

Do I need a building permit?

A building permit is generally required for all forms of building work. Check the building permit fact sheet (pdf, 120KB) for common types of building work that require a building permit.

Having a building permit ensures that:

  • the building contractors are registered and they carry the required insurance
  • adequate documentation is prepared to construct your building or alteration
  • independent review of building documentation occurs
  • key stages of the work are independently inspected
  • your building is independently assessed as suitable for occupation.

Note: although a building permit may not be required for some minor work, the owner of a building or land must still comply with building regulations.

You may also need a planning permit for your proposed building work (including fences, antennas, masts, carports, garages and the removal of vegetation).

Who can issue a building permit?

Councils and private building surveyors can issue building permits, undertake inspections and issue occupancy permits/certificates of final inspections.

How do I get a building permit?

You can apply for a building permit from:

  • Council
  • local registered building surveyors
  • a private building surveyor of your choice.

How to apply for a building permit

Complete an application for a building permit (pdf, 164KB) and include:

  • three copies of architectural drawings drawn to scale showing the site plan, the floor plan, elevations, sections, shadow diagrams, overlooking distances and other details as required by the building surveyor
  • three copies of structural drawings and computations prepared by a registered engineer
  • three copies of a soil report for new buildings including some additions - seek building surveyor’s advice
  • three copies of building specifications, which can sometimes be included on the drawings depending on the project size
  • three copies of a site plan showing the location and setbacks from each title boundary including setbacks from existing structures and adjoining buildings, and the location of habitable room windows
  • one copy of the current Certificate of Title showing the allotment dimensions and details of any restrictions such as existing covenants, easements or agreements under section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987
  • details of the legal point of discharge and our stormwater assets
  • builder’s insurance details where the cost of domestic building work exceeds $12,000
  • owner builder’s certificate issued by the Building Practitioners Board for domestic building work;
  • approval from other authorities as required by the building surveyor, such as planning permit from us, consent from City West Water and Council for property information or consent to build over an easement and approval from the Metropolitan Fire Brigade for active fire suppression systems.

 

Helpful information about building

Building regulations and how they affect you

This information booklet (pdf, 1.2MB) assists residents, businesses and visitors to better understand the relevant building laws, and highlight some of the responsibilities and obligations of property owners, in particular the maintenance requirements for:

  • safety barriers to swimming pools and spas
  • parapets, verandahs and balconies over public and private areas
  • single skin brick walls with basketball rings
  • fire safety equipment and exits in all buildings.

The information booklet also explains the law specific to:

  • fire protection requirements for accommodation buildings such as boarding houses, hostels, backpackers and motels
  • smoke alarms requirements in residential buildings
  • energy and water requirements
  • siting requirements for dwellings, outbuildings and fences.

Guidelines and good practice for public safety and amenity at construction sites

Construction and development works can have far-reaching impacts on adjoining properties, passers by, traffic, neighbouring residents and businesses but also on the environment as a whole.

This guidelines handbook (1.2MB) highlights some of the responsibilities and obligations of property owners when undertaking building work in the municipality, specific to the following:

  • minimising the risk of injury to the public
  • preventing stormwater pollution from building sites
  • controlling nuisance around building sites
  • protecting Council’s assets
  • improving the construction quality of buildings
  • providing guidance in complying with the relevant local laws and regulations.

 

 

 

Avoid stormwater pollution at building sites

It is illegal to allow anything other than water to enter the stormwater system.

Both the property owner and the builder must make sure the following do not enter a drain, gutter, ditch, creek, tunnel, bridge, culvert, pit, easement, property, or any watercourse:

  • soil
  • cement slurry
  • silt
  • rubbish
  • liquids
  • other building materials.

 

 

Asbestos

If a building permit is required to demolish a building, structure or outbuilding, you will have to find out if asbestos is present in the building before a building permit is granted.

Visit Asbestos in Victoria to find the latest information, guidance, forms and compliance codes.

Road discontinuances

We have the power to discontinue unused roads/rights of way and provide the opportunity for adjoining property owners to purchase the land.

This is explained in detail in our Discontinuance and Sale of Roads and Reserves brochure (pdf, 2MB).

We encourage you to do some consultation with local property owners and provide evidence of support for any road discontinuance proposal before submitting an application to us.

Our Road Discontinuance and Sale of Land Information Kit (doc, 65KB) can help you with your application.

 

Fire protection in buildings

The Country Fire Authority and the Victorian Building Authority websites have information on the requirements for smoke alarms and other fire protection requirements.

Protection of adjoining property

Protection of adjoining property is required when significant damage could occur to the adjoining property from the proposed building work, and as directed by the relevant Building Surveyor.

Some examples of when protection works may be necessary are:

  • where the proposed footing system undermines the adjoining footings
  • where overhead access into adjoining property airspace is proposed (eg. overhead cranes)
  • where retaining walls or excavation of soil is proposed, at or near the dividing allotment boundary
  • where building works are proposed at or near the allotment boundary that could result in significant damage occurring to the adjoining property.

Rainwater tanks

Domestic rainwater tanks do not need a building permit if they are smaller than 10m2.

However, installation of the rainwater tank must still comply with building regulations.

If it’s attached to the home, rainwater tanks can be installed no less than 500mm from an allotment boundary.

Freestanding water tanks can be installed next to the property boundary in certain circumstances, provided that the tank’s height, length and location comply with the building regulations.

Rainwater tanks must be connected to a stormwater drain. The tank must have an overflow pipe, which allows the return of excess stormwater into the property drain. Make sure that the drainage from the water tank is not going to be a nuisance for neighbouring properties.

Request property information & drawings

We can provide information on your building/land whether you are selling, building or require copies of any documents submitted with previous permit applications.

Note: Although every effort will be made to obtain the drawings and documentation, we cannot guarantee that the information requested will be available.

Request for building details

Any person may request for us to provide the following information in respect of any building or land:

  • Details of any permit or certificate of final inspection issued in the preceding 10 years; and
  • Details of current determinations issued under regulation 64 (1) or exemption granted under regulation 231 (2); and
  • Details of any current notice or order issued by the relevant building surveyor under these regulations or Act.

Complete the Building Information Certificate Building Reg 51 (1) application.

The statutory fee for this information is $47.25, and payment can be made via the online application process.

Request for property information

Any person may request for us to provide the following information in respect of any building or land details as to whether the building or land is in an area:

  • that is liable to flooding within the meaning of regulation 5 (2); or
  • that is designated under regulation 150 as an area in which buildings are likely to be subject to attack by termites; or
  • for which a bushfire attack level has been specified in a planning scheme; or
  • that is an area determined under regulation 152 to be likely to be subject to significant snowfalls; or
  • designated land; or
  • designated works.

Complete the Property Information Certificate Building Reg 51 (2) application.

The statutory fee for this information is $47.25, and payment can be made via the online application process.

Request for inspection approval dates

An owner or mortgagee of a building or land, or a prescribed building practitioner reporting on a building under section 137B of the Act, may request council to provide the approved dates of the inspections carried out of the mandatory notification stages of building work carried out on the building or land.

Complete the Inspection Approval Dates Certificate Building Reg 51 (3) application.

The statutory fee for this information is $47.25, and payment can be made via the online application process.

Request for copy of construction plans and associated documentation

An owner or mortgagee of a building or land can request for a copy of any documents submitted with an application for a building permit, in respect of the building or land.

To do this, download and complete the Request for Copy of Construction Plans and Associated Documentation application form (doc, 234KB), then email the completed form to council@mvcc.vic.gov.au.

The standard response time is five working days from the date of the receipt of the completed application and the fee is $100 plus photocopy charges, if applicable.

 

Siting concession

All buildings in Moonee Valley have to adhere to the State Government’s Building Regulations, which outlines rules for the siting of houses and outbuildings, including fences.

You must apply for a Siting Concession (also known as Report and Consent) (pdf, 213KB) if your changes will affect:

  • Setbacks from the front, side and rear of the allotment boundaries
  • Building height
  • Site coverage
  • Permeability of allotment area
  • Car parking for a new house
  • Walls on side or rear boundaries
  • Daylight to existing habitable room windows
  • Solar access to existing north-facing windows
  • Overshadowing of recreational private open space
  • Overlooking
  • Daylight to habitable room windows
  • Private open space
  • Fence height and setbacks

The above requirements apply to a single house, associated outbuilding or fence in the following situations:

We may grant a siting dispensation in the following circumstances:

  • if the design is appropriate and fits in with the surrounding area; and
  • the design meets with the relevant Minister’s objectives and guidelines.

Adjoining Owner's Consent

If in our opinion, the application may negatively impact a nearby allotment, we must give the owner of the allotment an opportunity to make a submission in respect of the possible impact.

Applicants should include a completed adjoining owners consent form (doc, 154KB) regarding their application for the siting concession.

Upon request by the applicant, we may seek comments from the affected adjoining owners and we generally allow 14 days for their comments.

Note: there are no third party appeal rights, that means that aggrieved neighbours do not have a right of appeal under the Building Act.

 

Appealing a decision

The owner of the land has the right to appeal against our decision to the Building Appeals Board within the prescribed appeal period of 30 days.

Siting Approval for Temporary Structures

If you are planning to erect a temporary structure for a specific function then you will need to apply to the Municipal Building Surveyor to obtain a Siting Approval for Temporary Structures (pdf, 230KB).  A temporary structure is:

  • a stage or platform exceeding 150m2 in floor area;
  • a tent, marquee or booth with floor area greater than 100m2;
  • a seating stand that accommodates 20 people; or
  • a prefabricated building exceeding 100m2 other than ones placed directly on the ground.

For more information, please read the Siting Approval - Temporary Structures Information Sheet (PDF, 260KB).

Consent and Report for Public Protection

If the Building Surveyor determines that precautions are required to protect the safety of the public, you must complete an application for report and consent (pdf, 130KB).

You must complete an application for a road occupancy permit if you plan to occupy Council land. Council land includes laneway, footpath, nature strip, channel, kerbing, and road pavement. Occupancies include the placement of scaffolding, hoardings, cranes and delivery trucks unloading/loading building materials.

Pools & spas

Private pools and spas are the leading location of drowning deaths in Australia for children under 4 years old.

Royal Life Saving Australia has information on how to ensure your home pool and its surrounds are safe for everyone to enjoy.

Do we need to install a safety barrier?

Under the Building Regulations 2018, suitable safety barriers must be installed to all existing swimming pools and spas capable of containing a depth of water more than 300mm and used principally for swimming, wading, paddling or the like, including a bathing or wading pool or spa.

This includes swimming pools/spas that are in-ground or above-ground, as well as inflatable swimming pools capable of containing a depth of water greater than 300mm.

The building regulations also require the occupier of a property with a swimming pool or spa to take all reasonable steps to make sure the safety barriers are maintained and operating effectively at all times.

 

Fines

An owner of a pool or spa that does not have the required safety barriers faces an on-the-spot fine and/or prosecution.

Similarly, an occupier of a property with a swimming pool or spa that does not maintain the safety barriers faces an on-the-spot fine and/or prosecution.

Gates and doors

All gates and doors leading to the swimming pool or spa must be self-closing and self-latching with opening mechanisms located not less than 1.5 metres above the ground level or the internal floor level, measured from the approach side.

New safety laws for pool and spa owners

The State Government will introduce new pool and spa safety laws on 1 December 2019.

The goal is to reduce the incidences of young children drowning in private swimming pools and spas. The laws will also focus on improving compliance with safety barrier requirements.

This means all pool and spa owners must:

  • register their pools and spas with the local Council
  • ensure pool and spa barriers are compliant with safety standards (from the time of its construction)

Council will provide further details around these safety laws when available.

Visit the VBA website for more information about the new legislation and other swimming pool and spa requirements.

What will be required

Register your pool or spa

Property owners, including landlords must register their swimming pool or spa with Council.

After you register, Council will notify you of:

  • the date the pool or spa was built
  • its applicable barrier construction standard
  • the date owners must lodge a Certificate of Compliance with Council

Obtain a Certificate of Compliance

Property owners must arrange to have their pool and spa barriers inspected by a registered building surveyor or inspector who will assess whether the pool or spa barrier complies with its applicable standard.

The barrier requirements will vary depending on when the pool or spa was installed. The Certificate of Compliance must state that the barrier complies with the applicable construction standard.

Property owners must complete this inspection and certification process every four years.

Next steps

The new regulations were intended to start from 1 December 2019 with all owners of existing swimming pools and spas to take action on the mandatory requirements during 2020.

Council is currently awaiting the final decision of the State Government to approve the new regulations.

We will update this page and provide further information to residents when the new regulations have been approved, alternatively you can contact us on 9243 8888 for further information.

Section 80 lodgement for Registered Building Surveyors

As per Section 80 of the Building Act, a private building surveyor who has accepted an appointment is required to notify Council in writing within seven days of accepting that appointment.

Registered Building Surveyors can now lodge their Section 80 notifications online.

Lodge a Section 80 Building Notification online.

You can register as a user and sign into Council Online Services before you lodge online. As a registered user, you don't need to re-enter your personal information each time and you can keep track of requests and applications you have lodged.

Read the instructions on how to register your user details (pdf, 500KB).

For more information call 9243 8888.

Fences

Dividing fences

Owners are responsible for the construction and maintenance of dividing fences on their land.

Neighbours usually share the cost of a standard fence even though the Fences Act does not state the actual apportionment of cost between neighbours.

Similarly, a neighbour wanting a more expensive fence or a high fence than a standard fence usually pays for the extra amount.

Before building or rebuilding a fence

Discuss your plan with your neighbour and seek their agreement, including who is paying for what, in writing.

What if you cannot agree with your neighbour?

If you cannot agree with your neighbour, you may want to serve them a Notice to Fence.

A Notice to Fence sets out where the fence will go, how the fence will be built and the type and cost of fence. Although not required under the Act, it is usual practice to attach two quotations from fencing contractors with the Notice to Fence.

If you do not hear from your neighbour or if you do not reach agreement after one month of serving the Notice to Fence, call the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria on 1300 372 888.

What if the neighbour is a tenant?

Different rules apply if the neighbour is a tenant. If one of the neighbours is a tenant and the lease has less than three years to run, the landlord usually shares the cost of a standard fence provided the tenant notifies the landlord or agent within 14 days of the service of any notice on the tenant. Where the lease has more than three years to run, there is specific provision in the Act for the apportionment of cost between the landlord and the tenant.

What if the adjoining land is owned by the government?

If the adjoining property is owned by the Government such as a lane, road, street or a park, you should contact us. In most cases we do not contribute to the cost of the dividing fence.

What if the fence is damaged by the neglect of the neighbour?

If the fence is damaged through the neglect of an occupier (e.g. by a falling tree or fire or during demolition of building work), the occupier is usually liable to repair the damaged portion of the fence.