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Residential Development

The Residential Design Codes (R Codes) were prepared by the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) and provide the basis for controlling the siting and design of residential development throughout Western Australia.

Below is a guideline that will assist you in the requirements for building approval with the Shire of Chittering.

Planning applications

In addition to a building license, Planning Approvals are required for all developments including:
  • All new non-residential buildings, alterations and extensions to existing buildings and a change of building use, even within the Commercial and Industrial Zones.
  • New dwellings and additions or extensions to existing residences that require variation to the requirements of Town Planning Schemes, local planning polices and Residential Design Codes.
  • Carports, garages and outbuildings that require variation to the requirements of Town Planning Schemes, local planning polices and Residential Design Codes.
  • Home Businesses, change of uses, sea containers as well as the parking of commercial vehicles. 

Information to be submitted

The information required is available on the Checklist for Planning Approval

Checklist for Planning Approval (SIZE 235kb)

Shire policy

In assessing a development application, the Shire will refer to a number of Local Planning Policies; it is recommended these be taken into approval when lodging planning applications.

Copies of these planning policies are available from the Shire Offices or the Shire website here

Shire consideration

When considering an application for planning approval the following things must be noted by the applicant:
When the application is a Dwelling for a Vacant block the application must include a minimum of 120,000ltr water tank, with the location and capacity noted on the site plan.
Dependent on the application type, the Shire may have to refer the application to neighboring properties, government agencies and other departments within the Shire Offices. This usually applies to (but not exclusively):
  • Applications where consultation with the Shire’s Health or Engineering Department
  • Building Envelopes
  • Home Businesses
  • Setback Variation requests
Once the consultation period set by Shire Officers has lapsed, and then dependent on submissions received the determination will be either granted, or the application will be presented to Council at its next meeting.
The Planning Department have a minimum of sixty (60) business days to assess and give approval, given the type of application this may take longer if necessary.

Living on site during building

Once a building permit has been issued for a dwelling (Class 1a) you may apply for temporary accommodation onsite (occupation of a caravan only) for up to twelve (12) months. 
A pre-requisite for any temporary caravan occupancy is:
  • A potable water supply in the form of a water storage tank of not less than 120,000ltr capacity, as specified in Local Planning Policy No.21 Fire Management Plans, or through a reticulated water connection.
  • Connection to an approved effluent treatment and disposal system.
The period of caravan occupancy may be extended by a further three (3) months provided satisfactory progress is being made towards the construction of the dwelling.
Shire Officers may conduct periodic inspections to ensure compliance with the conditions of occupancy.
Applications to live on site in a caravan should be directed to Development Services.


There may be a requirement for a Development Approval (Planning) prior to obtaining Building Permit approval. It is important to check with the Shire of Chittering’s Planning department to confirm if your proposal meets the requirements of the Shire's Planning Scheme and the Residential Design Codes of Western Australia, prior to lodgment.
All building work, with the exception of work listed in Schedule 4 of the Building Regulations 2012, requires a building permit. A building permit application for a permit is required to be lodged, and approved, prior to building works commencing.
Two types of applications are available, Certified (BA1) and Uncertified (BA2).  To assist to determine the correct application form, please refer to the guides to BA1 and BA2 on our website.
There are specific timeframes in which the permit authority (the shire) has to approve building permit applications being 10 business days for certified and 25 business days for uncertified. If the application is substandard and cannot be determined within the statutory timeframe, it may be deemed refused and the application fee retained. Once refused, a new application and fees will be required,
To ensure the building permit remains valid, substantial commencement is required within 12 months and completion within 2 years. An extension of time can be granted in special circumstances, providing the request is made in writing well in advance of the expiry date.
On completion of the building work, residential and commercial, the builder responsible is required to submit a BA7 Notice of Completion, to the Permit Authority (Shire) within 7 days of completion of the work. Failure to submit the notice carries a penalty, a fine of $10,000 the building. The BA7 confirms the building complies with the approved plans and applicable standards
Commencing building work without first obtaining a permit is unlawful and can incur a fine of $50,000 for a first offence (Part 2 Section 9 of the Building Act 2011)

Existing structures without approval

The Shire, as the Permit Authority, may issue building orders to an owner requiring them to demolish unauthorised work, bring building work into compliance with the building standards, or to deal with dangerous or dilapidated buildings. Refer to the guide on our website for the approval process for unauthorised structures (retrospective approval)


If you require further information please contact Development Services Support Staff on (08) 9576 4600 or chatter@chittering.wa.gov.au


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