Building in the Shire

Following the commencement of the Building Act 2011 on 2 April 2012, building approval processes were introduced for Western Australia.

This, alongside the Building Regulations 2012, replaced the Building Regulations 1989 and much of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1960, amending a range of associated acts.

If you require any further assistance or need something that you can't find here, please contact Building Services via (08) 9780 4200. Please be sure to send all forms and applications to Development Services via

Building Services are responsible for the assessment and approval of building works within the Shire of Donnybrook Balingup under the Building Act 2011.

Under this Act, a building permit is required before commencement of most building work, and in many cases the builder obtains the permit.

Formal approval may be required for any building work involving the development of new structures, alterations or extensions and changes in ground levels. These include:

  • Residential Dwellings/Granny Flats/Additions & Alterations
  • Sheds/Gardens/Workshops
  • Patios/Verandahs/Gazebos/Pergolas
  • Swimming Pools & Spas
  • Retaining Walls
  • Commercial Buildings including fit outs and refurbishments
  • Industrial Buildings

If the total value of work exceeds $20,000 a permit can only be issued to a registered builder or a registered owner builder (unless it is exempt). 

Do I need to be a registered builder?

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions tab to assist with everything you need to know prior to submitting a building application.

Some minor exemptions may apply, and you can find more information on the following links to assist you further with your building applications for swimming pools and barrier fencing, stormwater, water tanks, retaining walls, fences, smoke alarms, and demolitions: 

DMIRS website

Swimming Pools & Barriers (information for Applicants) Rules for Pools and Spas (Building Commission) Stormwater & Water Tanks Retaining Walls & Fences Smoke Alarms & the Law Demolitions

Building Permit Application:

A building permit is required for most residential, commercial and industrial structures. This includes all new works, alterations, additions, and extensions.

There are two types of building permits:

BA1: Building Permit (Certified)Checklist: Building Permit Application (Certified)
* This application requires a certificate of Design Compliance (BA3 Form) to be completed by a Private Building Surveyor prior to being submitted to the Shire. 

BA2: Building Permit (Uncertified)Checklist: Building Permit Application (Uncertified)
*The application for an uncertified building application is certified by the Shire, Principal Building Surveyor.

Still a little unsure? Here is a guide for you to browse - and if you have any further questions, check out our FAQs tab on this webpage.
When is a Building Permit Required?

Building Permit Plan Search:

When a Building Permit is granted by the Shire, all of the information provided during the application process is maintained on record. This information may also be provided to the owner of the property, which is often misplaced (either by accident, or if there is a transfer of ownership).

If you are the owner of a property, or have the written consent of the owner, the Shire can provide you with all Building Permits relevant to that property.
This will incur a fee of $80.30 per residential property. 
Building Permit Plan Search

I want to lodge my building permit application:

The Shire of Donnybrook Balingup receives building applications electronically, which is an option available for all of our customers and residents.

Prior to lodging your application, please make sure you:
1. Have filled out the application checklist
2. Have looked online at the FAQs
3. Have collated all the required documents

If you have completed all of the above, it is time to submit your application.

Although you may submit your application in person or by post, all applications are assessed electronically, and all approvals are sent out via email. An electronic copy will be recorded by the Shire, all in accordance with section 130 of the Building Act 2011.

The Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup encourages you to lodge building applications electronically via the Development services email address:

In Person: You may lodge an application over the front counter at our Administration Office - you can find us at 1 Bentley Street, Donnybrook.
By Post:

You may lodge an application via post - please address it to PO Box 94 Donnybrook WA 6239

If you require any additional assistance, please reach out via email at

Paying for the Building Application:

Fees will not be taken with the building application.

The process is to have a preliminary assessment of the building application to ensure all processes are in place prior to payment.

Payments can be made by: 
- Completing the Credit Card Authorisation form with your application,
- Over the phone via credit card details, or
- In person at the Shire of Donnybrook Administration Office

Credit Card Authorisation Form:

The minimum building permit fees for estimated value of works under $20,000 is $171.65.

For current fees for estimated value of works over $20,000, please refer to the document below:
Building Fees 2022 - 2023

What are the different building classes?

There are a total of 10 classes, which you can read about on the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website below:

DMIRS Building Classes

What is the difference between Planning and Building approval?

Development (Planning Scheme) approval and building approval are two separate processes. Often a particular use or development of land may require approvals under both processes. Separate applications are required. 

The Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup will accept a Building Application and have a preliminary process to go through Planning prior to accepting the Building Application and receiving payment.



The development approval process involves assessment of a proposal to use or develop land against the rules in a Planning Scheme. The development process is mainly concerned with the impacts of a proposed use or development upon neighbouring land. Planning is concerned, but not limited to some of the following items:

  • Is a proposed development positioned far enough away from boundaries?
  • Is a proposed building too high?
  • Is the proposed us of land located in a Bushfire Zone?
  • Is the proposed use of the land appropriate to the area?
  • Will a proposed development affect the streetscape?
  • Does a use or development have enough car parking?
  • Will the proposed hours of operating of a use affect neighbours?

Planning or development approval is undertaken by the Shire of Donnybrook Balingup, Planning Officer and Principal Planner.



Building approval involves an assessment of a proposed use or development against the Building Code of Australia and the Plumbing Regulations. The building approval process mainly involves issues such as:

  • Is the building soundly constructed?
  • Have adequate fire and pest protection measures been installed?
  • Is the building capable of receiving adequate levels of light and ventilation?
  • Is the building property sewered and drained?
  • Is the building insulated?
  • Are the building's features safe for users?

Building approval or certification is undertaken by the Shire of Donnybrook Balingup, Principal Building Surveyor.

How long will it take for my building permit to be approved?

The application is submitted and a preliminary assessment will take place to ensure all documents are relevant and planning approvals are in place if required.

The clock will only start when the application is complete and payment is received.

Certified application: 10 business days (excluding public holidays).

Uncertified application: 25 business days (excluding public holidays).

What is the difference between certified and uncertified building permit applications?

There are two types of building permits:

BA1 – Application for building permit – certified: Requires a Certificate of Design Compliance (BA3 Form) to be completed by a Private Building Surveyor prior to being submitted to the Shire

BA2 – Application for building permit – uncertified: Certified by the Shire.

The fees differ for certified and uncertified applications Fees and Charges.

There are more details on the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website below:

DMIRS Permits and Processes

How much does a building permit application cost?

Payments can be made by completing the Credit Card Authorisation form with your application, over the phone via credit card details or in person at the Shire of Donnybrook Balingup Administration Office.

The minimum building permit fees for estimated value of works under $20,000 is $171.65. For current fees for estimated value of works over $20,000 please refer to the document below:

Building Fees 2022 - 2023

The Building and Construction Industry Training Fund levy is also payable where the total value of construction is estimated to be more than $20,000 (see next section)

What is the Building and Construction Industry Training Fund Levy?

Note: this payment is only required for construction estimated to be over $20,000.

The Building and Construction Industry Training Fund Levy applies to all residential, commercial and civil engineering projects undertaken in Western Australia, where the total value of construction is estimated to be more than $20,000.  

You can pay and/or apply for the BCTIF Levy using the form below.  Note, a copy of the receipt will need to be provided to the Shire with your application.

CTF Application Form

Alternatively, you can pay for the levy in person when you lodge your application.

Do I need a registered builder?

When carrying out ‘builder work’ for another person over $20,000 in value, in most parts of Western Australia registration as a building contractor is required.

If a property owner intends to undertake building works over the value of $20,000, they must apply for Owner-Builders Approval.

Apply Here

The Owner-Builder Approval must be submitted with the Building Permit application or you must engage a registered builder to complete the works.

Note, Class 10 B structures don’t require a registered builder. Exemptions can apply for Rural locations. You can read more on the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website below:

DMIRS Registered Builders

How do I become an owner-builder?

When applying for an owner builder application you must show that you have sufficient knowledge of the duties and responsibilities involved in being an owner builder. This can be done by completing an owner-builder course (online) at a cost of approximately $200.

Once you have completed the course and received your certificate, you can then complete and submit an owner-builder approval application and pay the application fee. This may take up to 5 weeks.

You will need a copy of your Owner Builder Number and paperwork to apply for your building permit:

DMIRS Owner-builder Application

Will I need approval for building a shed on my property?

Council approval is nearly always required when you want to build a shed, patio carport or any other Class 10A structure.

It is best to check with the Shire’s Planning Services prior to starting your application. Different zoning will require different approvals. Make sure you start with:

1. A site layout plan showing the boundaries and dimensions of your block. and setbacks 

You should have received a site plan with the conveyancing paperwork when you purchased the property or approvals for any previous developments you have had done, or download a copy of your property from Landgate Map Viewer link

2. A Preliminary Design,

Or at the very least a sketch of the shed you propose.

Planning may assist with:

  • What floor area can I build on my property?
  • What is the maximum shed (wall or roof) height permitted?
  • How far does a shed have to be from the boundaries?
  • What are the maximum siteworks permitted?


Please refer to the application forms tab for information on filling out an application and the fees and charges.

Can I live in a shed?

Living in a shed is not allowed. Your standard shed is classed as a 10a building making it non-habitable. Sheds, carports, private garages and similar structures fall under this category. If you want to live in a shed, it must be converted under a Building Permit to meet the criteria of a Class 1a building (see the tab regarding different building classes for more details).

What if I have a building on my property that has not been approved?

You can also make a retrospective building regulations application for work that has been carried out without consent. If the work has already started – or even completed – without the required certification, then a retrospective application can be made

 It should be noted that this process is a lot more expensive than if you had gained the necessary approvals before starting to build.

You must appoint a Building Surveyor to assess the work. The building surveyor must be satisfied that the unauthorised works comply with the building standards applicable at the time of applying for retrospective approval. The building surveyor will need to gather relevant information to be satisfied compliance with applicable building standards has been met.

It should be noted that the engagement of a building surveyor for certification services does not guarantee automatic certification. If the building surveyor is not satisfied that compliance has been met, the owner has the option of either:

  • removing the unauthorised structure;
  • carrying out further remedial works that may be required; or
  • face the risk of enforcement action by the permit authority.

Any demolition or remedial work may require a permit and should be referred to the relevant permit authority for advice.

What if I change my plans during the build?

During construction some circumstances may arise that require changes or variations to the plans and specifications. Some minor changes may not require any amendment to the plans and specifications. Other changes or variations may require a certificate of design compliance if the changes affect compliance with the building standards. Accordingly a new building permit may be required to reflect those changes. The new building permit may cover the changes only and the previous building permit still covers the other works.

However where there are substantial changes or variations to the design or construction of the building or incidental structure, a new building permit for all the works may be warranted. This ensures that an accurate building record is maintained for that building or incidental structure.

Changes to the permit plans may incur a cost. Please refer to the fees and charges document linked below:

Building Fees 2022 - 2023

How long does the permit last?

A permit authority may set any validity period for a permit. This is usually done at the request of the applicant. Where the permit authority does not set a validity period, the default is two years.

If a project takes longer than expected, an application to extend the permit (linked below) can be submitted to the relevant permit authority at a cost of $110.

BA22: Application to Extend Time 

Notice of completion of your permit

The Building Act requires the responsible person (i.e. the Permit holder of a Demolition or Building Permit) to provide certain notices for the completion or suspension of work under a building or demolition permit.

It is as simple as filling out a BA7 Notice of Completion Form, which we have linked below for your convenience:

BA7: Notice of Completion Form

BA7: Requirements