Find out how to apply for retrospective approval of unauthorised building works.

About retrospective approval

A person must not carry out building work without the required planning and building approvals. However, the Building Act 2011 allows a person to apply for approval of unauthorised building works. 

Approval required after an unauthorised structure has been completed is referred to as retrospective approval. This may include:

  • Retrospective planning approval; and/or 
  • Retrospective building approval.

Retrospective approval is often required to help those who are buying or selling a property that has an unauthorised structure.

Important notes:

  • The retrospective approval process is not a mechanism to circumvent the need for planning approval or a building permit. Even though a person may seek retrospective approval for unauthorised building work, it does not nullify the offence. The Shire may still take legal action to ensure that the unauthorised building work is approved or removed.
  • If retrospective planning approval is required, you must obtain it prior to applying for retrospective building approval.

Apply for retrospective approval

The need for Planning Approval depends on the structure that has been constructed. 

Contact the Shire's Planning Team on (08) 9780 5255 or email [email protected] to find out if you need approval.

If an unauthorised septic tank or effluent disposal system has been installed, you must seek Shire approval of the system prior to lodging the application for a Building Approval Certificate.

Please refer to the Septic Tanks and Effluent Disposal page for more information, including the application form.

The Application for Building Approval Certificate (Form BA13) for Class 1A and 10 buildings and Application for Occupancy Permit (Form BA09) for Class 1B, 2-9 buildings must be signed by each owner of the subject property.

In addition, the application should be accompanied by the following documentation:

  • A Certificate of Building Compliance (Form BA18) issued by a registered private building surveyor
  • A copy of each technical certificate the building surveyor relied on to issue the Certificate of Building Compliance (these are listed on the Certificate of Building Compliance)
  • A copy of scaled drawings of the unauthorised structure(s)
  • A site plan (min scale 1:200) clearly showing the lot dimensions, the location of all existing structures on the lot, and the setback distances of the unauthorised structure/s from the lot boundaries
  • A floor plan (min scale 1:100) with all areas / rooms clearly indicated and dimensions shown (if applicable)
  • Cross-sectional and elevation details (min scale 1:100) clearly showing footing dimensions and connection details (where applicable).
Important note: Certification by a practising structural engineer may be required.

An application fee and Building Services Levy must be paid when applying for retrospective building approval. Refer to Building Fees and Charges to determine the application fee.

The Building Services Levy is 0.274% of the value of construction, with a minimum fee of $123.30.

Ensure you submit your application with all required documentation and fees payable.

A check sheet is provided below:

Building Permit Application Check Sheet: Unauthorised Building Works (PDF)

You can submit your application in person or by post.

More information and contact

For more information, please contact:

  • Building Services Team for questions related to retrospective building approval
  • Planning Services Team for questions related to retrospective planning approval

Call (08) 9780 5255 or email [email protected]

See also:

Building Act 2011

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