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Do I Need Planning Permission to Build a Shed?

Home Design

Build a Shed

Building a shed is rewarding. All those extra square metres can free up oodles of space in your house – or even make room for a home workshop for those DIY projects you always dreamed of doing. Whatever your motivation, chances are you’ve only just thought about planning permission and building permits for build a shed and are freaking the hell out.

We get it.

The very thought of filling out paperwork for council approvals is more of a turn-off than seeing your grandparents naked in bed.

But hey. Chin up, please.

We’re here to help you understand the ins and outs of planning permission for shed builds, building permits, plus give you a few hints on how to get your shed built without any hassles whatsoever.

What is planning approval?

Planning approval is what you need when your shed doesn’t comply with the local residential codes and policies. These codes differ from shire to shire, so you’ll need to search up the relevant laws in your area.

And how’s that different from council approval?

Council approval is the same as building approval. This ensures your shed complies with National Standards which are outlined in the Building Codes of Australia (BCA). You will (almost definitely) need this to build a shed.

Will I need planning permission for my shed?

It depends. In Western Australia, build a shed (also affectionately known as an outbuilding) on a residential plot of land is going to need planning approval from your local council if it doesn’t comply with the local residential codes. Generally, however, if your shed satisfies the following criteria, you may not need it:

  • less than 10m² and stands next to no more than two (non-street) boundaries.
  • walls do not exceed 2.4 metres;
  • not located within the street setback area.
  • the highest point does not exceed 4.2 metres;
  • area of all outbuildings does not exceed 10% of the total site area or 60m²; and
  • all R-Codes and/or the Residential Development Local Planning Policy are met.

Ok, straightforward enough. But do be sure to check your local council regulations.

What about building approval (council approval)?

Most sheds will need building approval, or what’s also known as council approval. You can either apply through your local council or get your shed builder to help out.

But are there circumstances where I won’t need a building permit?

Yes, but only if you meet these requirements:

  • Shed floor area is less than 10m².
  • Shed is less than 2.4m high.
  • Shed complies with relevant local rules and wind rating regulations.

So what’s the biggest shed I can build without building approval?

Alright. So, you want a shed with zero paperwork. It’s possible, for sure, but your shed may not end up being very big. Usually, you can get away with building a shed without any building permit if you meet these requirements:

  • Shed floor area is 10m² or less.
  • Shed is less than 2.4m high.
  • Shed complies with relevant local rules and wind rating regulations.

It is always good to double-check with your council and then again with your shed builder to make sure. A mistake in the early stages can result in a heartbreaking scene where you’re pulling down your shed a few months down the track.

Do I need my neighbour’s permission to build a shed?

Broadly, you don’t. Only if it comes down to a sticky matter where the council might refuse and getting your neighbour’s stamp of approval could just twist things in your favour.

Regardless, it’s always good practice to reach out to your neighbour and inform them of your plans and see if they have any major objections. This is a good idea, especially if your shed will be anywhere near the boundary line. Chances are, they’ll be stoked about your project.

Research your local government regulations

No one community is under the same regulations when it comes to approvals for sheds. Some councils require more information than others and depending on local bylaws you may just be unlucky enough to get in a pickle over trivial stuff like drainage or vehicle sightlines. Research your local government regulations and always call up to seek clarification if you’re unsure.

Best cases: get a shed builder who does all this for you

Yep, council approvals can get messy and difficult, not to mention time-consuming. If you haven’t done one before you could be in for a nasty surprise. But there are solutions out there. Getting the right shed builders on board to manage the project for you will maximise your chances of getting approval and speed up the delivery time.

So, let’s just get this straight – you can get assistance with council approval from the same people who will build a shed.


Get in touch with Perth’s premium shed builders today and get your shed project off the ground.