Introduction: The building approvals process in WA

This section of the website provides an overview of the building approvals process to assist those in the building industry, home-owners, permit authority clients and staff, owner-builders and building industry students. The information is relevant whether you are building a house, an office tower, a swimming pool safety barrier or planning renovations that require building approval. 

Please note, this information is currently under review. A new version will be published shortly.

Section 1: Coverage, exemptions and responsibilities 
Section 2: Certificates of compliance
Section 3: Building standards
Section 4: Typical approval process
Section 5: Permits and processes
Section 6: Notices of completion and cessation
Section 7: Providing information to the FES Commissioner
Section 8: Change of classification or use of a building
Section 9: Unauthorised building
Section 10: Processing applications
Section 11: Work affecting other land
Section 12: Keep up to date

The legislation

In Western Australia the building approvals process is legislated under the Building Act 2011 (the Building Act), which works with other key legislation covering the registration of building service providers (such as builders and building surveyors) and complaint resolution. Other approvals that may apply to proposed building work include planning, health and any other approvals required by the local government under other written laws. For advice on approval requirements for a specific building project, contact the relevant permit authority.

Terms used

BA (followed by a number) Building Act forms are identified by a specific number with a ‘BA’ prefix, such as BA1, BA2, BA3 which identifies that specific form (see Section 10 of this guide for a list of all approved forms).

Business day – means a day other than Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday.

Landgate is a statutory authority that maintains the official register of land ownership and survey information for the 2,645,600km2 of Western Australia. It deals with registration of strata plans and other matters relating to strata schemes under the Strata Titles Act 1985.

Permit authority – generally the relevant local government, but can be the State of Western Australia for certain buildings and structures.

Regulation – a reference to a regulation, for example regulation 18 or r. 18, is a reference to a regulation in the Building Regulations 2012 unless otherwise specified.

Section – a reference to a section, for example section 20 or s. 20, is a reference to a section of the Building Act unless otherwise specified.

Unauthorised work – means building or demolition work that was done without an authority under written law that was required by the written law applicable at the time the work was done or that did not comply with an authority under a written law that was in effect in respect of the work.

NEXT – Section 1: Coverage, exemptions and responsibilities

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