Navigate shed permits with Shane

31 August

Permits can be a confusing part of building a new shed. It’s a complexity many of our clients want to avoid altogether if possible. However, once you know where to start and who to turn to for advice, permits are not as complex as they first may seem. We sat down with our permit expert Shane, to discuss best practice tips when it comes to structure approvals.
Talk to your local council

Planning and building permits are administered by local councils and they should be your first port of call for any questions. Council websites usually contain a plethora of information and documents that will be helpful. Council staff can also be approached if you have a question or issue that sits outside normal building plans.

When are permits required?

Building permits are typically required when building any structure over 10m2 on any property in a rural or residential zone. Planning permits (or report and consent permits) are typically required when:

  • The structure is commercial
  • The structure is to be built inside an overlay on the property (dependent on the type of structure).
  • On a rural property if the structure is within 5m of a side boundary, 20m of a road boundary or 100m of a water course.
  • There may be other triggers, so it’s worth discussing your build with your council to make sure there are no additional costs.
What do permits cost?

These are the general costs for building permits, but check with your local council for exact and updated figures:

  • Residential: $600-$1,500
  • Commercial: $1,000-$3,000
  • Rural: $600-$3,000

Planning permits can cost anywhere from $200 to $2,000 for residential, commercial and rural zones.

How long do permits take to receive approval?

Depending on the complexity of the project, building permits can take from one week to two months. Planning permits take from 10 working days to six months. It all often depends on the council and their workload. One way to ensure a quicker turnaround is to have all the required information correctly submitted to avoid delays.

How do I apply for planning and building permits?

Residential and rural:

It’s actually a simple process. To get started you will need elevations of your structure, engineering, site plan, titles and legal documents. Application forms are usually found on your local council website and are normally straightforward to fill in. Once lodged with the council they may ask for more information to complete the application. This could include things like a bushfire assessment if you reside in a bushfire zone.


For commercial shed builds, it’s not as straightforward. You will typically need architectural drawings completed by a qualified architect – these can cost $1,500 – $5,000 or sometimes more for particularly complex designs. Drainage plans may also be required by council, either fully engineered or completed by an architect. Once you have all these documents prepared you apply the same way as above. Additional costs may include a fire service depending on the size of the structure. It all comes back to the type of structure and its size and use.

Victoria vs NSW

In NSW, a planning permit is called a Development Application (DA) and a building permit is called a Construction Certificate (CC). In NSW you can apply for a DA and CC in the one application.

Steelcorp’s commitment:

At Steelcorp, we know that permits can be a headache, however we are committed to assisting you through this process. As a registered builder we offer the additional service of looking after your building permit. This is only applicable for rural and domestic buildings. Talk to us to see whether we can look after the structure approval process for you.