• Welcome to the Shire of Northam

Building Services

Building Services

The Shire of Northam’s Building Services department ensures a safe built environment for the community through approving and monitoring all building activity on private land and public spaces. This is achieved through administering the requirements of the National Construction Code, Building Act 2011, Building Regulations 2012 and other statutory provisions, as applicable

In addition to assessing and issuing permits and certificates, we also offer:

Certification Services provided by the Shire:

  • Certificate of Design Compliance
  • Certificate of Construction Compliance (Class 2 – 9 only)
  • Certificate of Building Compliance
  • Certificate of Building Compliance for a BA11 or BA15 Strata
  • Residential and Commercial Consultancy

    The Building Approval Process

    The Building Commission - Department of Mines, Industry Regulations and Safety has published  A guide to the building approvals process in Western Australia which provides an overview of the building approvals process.

    Among the sections included are:

    • the State’s building legislation
    • the various types of permits and  application processes
    • exemptions from requiring a permit that may apply
    • building standards and certifying compliance
    • retrospective approval of unauthorised work
    • what to do if work will affect other land
    • The roles and responsibilities of those involved

    Building Permits

    Building Permits are controlled by the Building Act & Building Regulations 2012, and required for nearly all buildings including, but not limited to:

    • Construction or placement of a building
    • Renovation, alteration or repair
    • Site works, including changing ground levels in preparation for building work
    • Residential dwellings, including additions
    • Commercial buildings including fitouts and refurbishments
    • Carports, sheds, garages and workshops
    • Patios, verandas, decking and gazebos
    • Swimming pools (below ground, above ground & inflatable) and spas
    • Rainwater tanks greater than 5000 litres capacity
    • Retaining Walls greater than 500mm in height
    • Front fences (which must also comply with the Shires Fencing Local Law

    Unless exempted by Schedule 4, Part 2, of the Building Regulations 2012 which can be found on page 93 of the word link below


    Applying for a Building Permit

    Anyone can apply for a building permit, the owner, builder, architect, building surveyor or any other person. The applicant provides details of the person responsible for the work, i.e. the builder, in the application form. The builder takes responsibility for ensuring the construction complies with the applicable building standards and the requirements of the building permit.

    There are two types of building permit applications, “certified” and “uncertified”.

    Certified Building Permit Application - Form BA1

    A certified application is provided by a private non-local government building surveying contractor & must be accompanied by a Certificate of Design Compliance. This type of application can be for any class of building and incidental structure and the shire, as the permit authority has 10 business days to determine the application.

    Applications for Class 1b and Class 2 to Class 9 buildings (commercial) must be made as certified applications whereas this is optional for Class 1a and 10 buildings and incidental structures.

    Note: Certification from a structural engineer is not to be confused with building certification, they are two separate disciplines

    Uncertified Building permit Applications - Form BA2

    An uncertified application is submitted to the permit authority without a certificate of design compliance and can only be made for Class 1a and Class 10 buildings  https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/building-commission/building-classes

    The building surveyor employed by the permit authority (the Shire) checks the proposal and issues a certificate of design compliance. The permit authority has 25 business days to determine an uncertified application.

    Building Application Forms


    Swimming Pools

    Pools and Spas - Information Sheet

    Rules for Pools Brochure

    Home Pool Safety Checklist

    Link to Building Commission for List of Private Registered Building Surveyors


    Applicable Fees

    The building permit application fee is based on the estimated value of construction, with a minimum of $159.35. A percentage of the estimated value of construction applies over that, and varies between residential and commercial.

    Building Services Levy

    Building Services Levy is payable to the permit authority at the time an application for a building, demolition or occupancy permit or building approval certificate is made.

    Construction Training Fund Levy

    This levy is payable on application for building permit applications where the estimated construction value is $20,000 or more and calculated at the rate of 0.2% of the total value of construction.

    Infrastructure Bond

    The Shire of Northam has previously experienced damage to its roads, footpaths, verges and kerbs during periods of building and construction. To enable the Shire to protect its assets the Shire will require an infrastructure permit and a refundable bond to repair any damage to its original condition if required.

    More information in relation to the Infrastructure Bond can be found here.

    Infrastructure Permit Application Form

    Infrastructure Bond Refund Form

    Plan Search:

    • Copies of plans generally includes architectural and engineering drawings and associated documents where available.

    Unauthorised Structures

    A building permit is required for nearly all building and demolition work, unless exempt under the Building Regulations 2012 (check with your council prior to construction). Should a building/structure be built without a building permit, the Building Act 2011 does not permit the Shire to issue one retrospectively. The Shire can however issue a Building Approval Certificate for an unauthorised building/structure, conditional upon compliance with relevant legislation, standard building construction practices, the Building Code of Australia, Health, Planning and Engineering requirements.

    More information in relation to the approval process for unauthorised structures can be found here.

    Other Useful Links

    Energy Efficiency

    Building Contacts Guide

    Stormwater Management Information Sheet

    DFES Bush Fire Map

    BA1 Certified Building Permit Application Checklist

    BA2a Uncertified Building Permit (Dwelling) Application Checklist

    BA2b Uncertified Building Permit (Outbuildings) Application Checklist

    Quick Links