Building Exemptions

Certain Buildings and Building Works are exempt from needing a Building Permit. These are listed in Regulation 4 of the Building Regulations. Some of the items listed are: small sheds; pergolas and trellises; pools; antennas and flagpoles. Also included are certain types of walls, fences and water tanks.

It is recommended that you contact a Building Surveyor or Council's Building and Plumbing section for clarification of the exemptions, and also bear in mind that certain works may also require Planning permission.

Below you will find an extract directly from the Building Regulations 2004, please contact Council to assist you with the interpretation of Legislation:

Certain Buildings and Building Work Exempt

These regulations, other than Part 1, Divisions 1 and 2 of Part 2, regulation 23 and Part 4, do not apply in relation to obtaining a building permit under section 60 of the Act in respect of the following:

1) an outbuilding if –

  • 1.1. it is the only building of its type on the site; and
  • 1.2. the total area does not exceed 9 square metres; and
  • 1.3. no side is longer than 3 metres; and
  • 1.4. no part is more than 2.4 metres above the ground;

2) a pergola, garden arch, trellis or frame if the structure –

  • 2.1. does not exceed 20 square metres in total area; and
  • 2.2. is no more than 3 metres above the floor or ground; and
  • 2.3. is not covered or is covered only by open-weave material which allows water through;

3) a swimming pool if –

  • 3.1. the maximum possible water surface area is not more than 9 square metres; and
  • 3.2. the maximum possible water depth is not more than 300 millimetres;

4) a non-roofed windmill, a mast, antenna or flagpole if –

  • 4.1. it is not attached to a building and not more than 6 metres high; or
  • 4.2. it is attached to a building and is not higher than 6 metres above the topmost point of attachment to the building; or
  • 4.3. it is a dish antenna with a diameter of not more than 2 metres and the total area of the dish antenna attached to the supporting structure is not more than 4 square metres;

5) a fence or wall constructed of masonry or concrete if it is not higher than 1.2 metres;

6) a fence constructed of a material other than masonry or concrete if it is not higher than 2.1 metres;

7) a retaining wall if –

  • 7.1. it retains a difference in ground levels of less than one metre; and
  • 7.2. it is situated more than 1.5 metres from a boundary or way;

8) a water tank if it has a capacity of less than 45 kilolitres;

9) a water tank stand if it is not higher than 1.2 metres;

10) a builder's site shed if it is being –

  • 10.1. used in connection with building work for which building permit is in force;
  • or
  • 10.2. stored in a location permitted by the building surveyor;

11) an explosives magazine, a tank containing dangerous substances or a gas installation if the use of that magazine, tank or installation is controlled under the Dangerous Substances (Safe Handling) Act 2005;

12) the repair or maintenance of an existing building if the work is done for maintenance purposes using similar materials, equipment, installations and components to those being replaced;

13) a non-habitable underground structure on a mining lease;

14) the installation of a stairway lift or platform lift in a Class 1a building;

15) a temporary structure that is –

  • 15.1. required to have a temporary occupancy permit; or
  • 15.2. exempted under regulation 38 from the requirement to have a temporary occupancy permit.

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