Apply for a Building Permit

House Plan

A building permit is a document issued by a registered building surveyor to signify that the plans and documentation for the proposed work meets requirements for health, safety and structural soundness under the Building Code of Australia, the Building Act 1993 and the Building Regulations 2018.

Building permits can be obtained through Council or a registered private building surveyor.  A private surveyor carries out the same functions as the Council surveyor including assessment of the application, inspections and issuing all relevant paperwork.

The relevant building surveyor must apply to the VBA for a building permit number for the proposed building permit. To obtain a building permit number from the VBA: 

  1. the relevant building surveyor must provide the VBA with all required information relating to the proposed building permit, and
  2. the levy must be paid

Building applications lodged through Colac Otway Shire with cost of works $10,000 or more, applicant will be required to pay levy directly to VBA.

Visit Council's Building & Planning Resources page for building and planning application and registration forms.

The building permit process

Once your application has been received and payment of fees made, the assessment of your application is usually completed within 10 business days. This time may vary depending on the size and complexity of the proposed works. 

On completion of the assessment, the applicant is notified of the result. This may be that the building permit is issued or that further information is required.

Owner's duty to notify the VBA of final cost of Works

From 1 July 2019, owners have a duty to notify the VBA of revised final costs of work. The duty to notify the VBA of the revised final cost of work applies to work carried out under a building permit issued on and from 1 July 2019:

  • if the revised final cost exceeds the RBS’ initial estimate under s205I by at least $15,625; and
  • when the duty holder becomes aware of the revised final cost of work (notification must be made within 28 days).

Where the owner fails to notify the VBA of a variation to building work, or where false or misleading information relating to the cost of building work has been provided, penalty levy may apply.

Notification can be provided by completing the Notification of increased building costs for building permits form(PDF, 1MB) and attaching any supporting documents (for example, quotes, invoices or a copy of an amended building permit).

What other permits are required to build?

In addition to a building permit, you may require further permits or approvals prior to commencement of your building works. These approvals (excluding the crossover permit) must be obtained and provided to your Building Surveyor before the Building Permit can be issued.

  • Planning Permit - For use and/or development of the building or land.

  • Siting Variation - When a building design does not comply with the building regulation siting requirements you will need to apply for a Report & Consent (often known as dispensation).

  • Owner Builder Consent - If you are an owner builder and the value of works will be over $16,000 you will need a Certificate of Consent from the Victorian Building Authority (Value of works must include all materials and labour at a commercial value). 

  • Demolition Consent - For demolition or removal of a building (including partial). 

  • Septic System - Approval to install and use a septic system.

  • Crossover Permit - For installation or alteration to crossovers for a driveway.