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Do I need council approval or a permit to put my shed or garage up?

This is a straightforward question but unfortunately it doesn't have a simple answer. In short, every australians property is governed by their local council, and each council has separate regulations.

THE GOOD NEWS, it sounds more scary than it is. Most councils will approve sheds of a reasonable size and even without paperwork, as long as you do the right thing and check.

So to put your mind at ease, below is some information to guide you in the right direction. On this page we have provided you some information on what to expect .



Many people make the mistake of adding a shed, garage or carport in their yard WITHOUT checking if they need council approval.

It’s a costly mistake and can lead to heavy penalties from your local authorities if you didn't.

Each council has different rules and guidelines in regards to what you can and cannot do to your property. Some even have a rule where your shed has to match the fence (No JOKE!).

So I suggest you read on and take the appropriate actions before finalising your buying decisions.



Most councils have a set size which determines whether or not it needs a permit or approval.

They have general guidelines that states a shed is exempt from requiring a council permit providing all council guidelines are met for example

  • A floor area no larger than 10 sq meters ( a standard shed size)
  • Walls no higher than 2.4-3m ( a standard shed height)
  • A distance of at least 1 meter from a boundary fence

So if you wish to extend your home, buy a shed or add any structure to your property you must find out from your local council what their guidelines are before buying a shed.

Most of it should be available on their website, or just pick of a phone and give them a call.



So if your shed or workshop EXCEEDS the set guidelines and is required to get approval here's what to expect.

Depending on the structure size and type you may require two items before you buy.

  1. Approval for adding your structure
  2. A building Permit

Sometimes you will only require the approval, but be sure to clarify with the authorities if you need both when looking to start your project.

The council will take these factors into account when you are requesting to add a structure to your property,

  • Land zoning
  • Space availability
  • Restrictions on Access due to structure
  • If it affects neighbouring properties

SAFETY is the biggest fear because if a person is adding a building to their site without it being certified or checked, it can put people at risk.

The larger the structure the more likely it will require you to have a building permit, or to hire a company to install it whom have a licence. Again this is for safety purposes. Large buildings need to adhere to the building standards and be correctly assembled.



Look up your local council website or in the phone book and get in touch. I have provided more information on each state's regulations on the pages below, as well as, a list of contacts for certain councils.

I cannot stress more than you MUST check with your local council, as rules are different, even between councils in the same state.

For more information contact your local council via the links below.

  1. Select your state
  2. Scroll down the next page to the council list
  3. Find out what rules and regulations apply to you

Take the time to check it out.

And remember by seeking the advice from your local council, you can avoid many headaches and unwanted fines.

The information on this page is purely guidance and although we have taken as much action to keep it up to day and clear, you should always check with your Governing body for more details before taking action.
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