Frequently Asked Questions

Can I email my application?

Currently the Shire of Chittering only accepts hard copies of applications. If you mail your application, we will contact you for fees. Otherwise you can visit our office and hand your application in.

What size plans does the Shire accept in our application?

Plans cannot be bigger than A3 size. Applications with plans bigger than this will not be accepted.

How do I obtain copies of plans of my house?

You can apply for copies of plans for structures that have been approved by the Shire of Chittering. 

To apply, fill out the Application for a Copy of Plans, provide a form of payment for the fee and a form of ID (indicated on the form).

Plans can only be provided in A3 size or smaller and in a hard copy form. Whilst the Shire will endeavour to provide you with all plans, we cannot guarantee we will have all plans on file. Depending on the age of a structure, permits may not have been required at the time of construction.

Applications can take up to 10 working days and cannot be done on a same-day basis, especially if there is a significant amount of plans to be copied. 

I'm not sure if I need a building permit.

The following types of building work do not require a building permit:

  • Class 10a buildings (sheds or other non-habitable outbuildings) that are less than 10m2 and 2.4m in height
  • Renovation, alteration, improvement, repair or maintenance of a building or incidental structure that does not affect the structural soundness of the building
  • Retaining walls that are smaller than 0.5m in height
  • Water storage tanks with a capacity of 5,000L or less

The above information is provided for in the Building Regulations 2012If you are still unsure, please contact the Building Surveyor on 9576 4600 or email us at 

What is my property's zoning?

To check your property's zoning, you can go to the website for Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and use their Plan WA tool.

Where is my building envelope on my property?

For most Rural Residential properties the building envelope is indicated on a structure plan (or estate plan). Estate plans are found here - Shire of Chittering Estate Plans

Building envelopes are not always applicable to properties. Agricultural Resources have setbacks which are determined by the Local Planning Policy for Setbacks.

If you are unsure or your Estate is missing from our website, call us on 9576 4600 or email

My property doesn't have scheme water. What is the minimum size of a water tank I require?

A minimum of 120,000L tank per property with a minimum of 10,000L to be in the tank at all times for Emergency Services.

The water tank must be fitted with a 50mm male camlock.  The majority of the Shire of Chittering does not have scheme water and during an emergency your water tank will be relied on during the fire season.

What type of effluent system do I need for my property?

All areas have difference requirements due to variations, ground water levels and other environmentally sensitive factors. 

You can ascertain the correct system you require by contacting the Shire's Principal Environmental Health Officer on (08) 9576 4600 or email

How long does it take for planning, building permit and wastewater system applications?

Applications for Development Approval (planning) may take up to 90 days. If the application is not required to be advertised, the application may take 60 days. If it is deemed that the application needs to be referred to Council, it may take longer.

Applications for wastewater systems take approximately 2 weeks provided there are no issues.

For uncertified building applications we allow up to 25 business days, and for certified building applications we allow 10 business days.

How large is the maximum area for an ancillary dwelling (granny flat)? Can this be increased?

The largest size you can go to is 70m2, not including verandahs or patios; the size cannot be increased. Please refer to Local Planning Policy 12 'Additional Accommodation and Ancillary Dwellings.'

Can we use sea containers on our property for storage?

It all depends on the zoning of your property, which can be determined by contacting Development Services. For Townsites such as Bindoon and Muchea sea containers are not permitted.

If the sea container is enclosed within an outbuilding (i.e. shed) then a sea container does not need planning approval and can be used permanently.

For temporary or permanent use of a sea container please refer to the Shire of Chittering Local Planning Policy 29 ' Sea Containers'.

Can I live in my shed?

Living in a shed is not permitted within the Shire of Chittering. Shire of Chittering staff will not approve a shed until a permit for a dwelling has been approved and has been substantially commenced (slab down or any stage beyond). Once your house has been approved, then you may apply to live onsite in a caravan for 12 months whilst your house is being built. This will be the only time living onsite in anything other than a house is permitted.

For further information refer to the Local Planning Policy 29 'Living in Sheds' or contact Development Services.

What and how many animals can I have on my property?

There is not a "set" answer to this question, it is recommended that you refer to Local Planning Policy 24 'Stocking Rates' or contact Development Services support staff for further information, as it all depends on land sizes and can also be varied if Planning Approval is obtained through the Planning Department.  However, it should be noted should you wish to breed or use the animals for commercial purposes it is likely that you will need Planning Approval.