Shipping Containers

Shipping containers

You may need a planning and/or building permit to use a shipping container. This includes for:

  • personal storage
  • commercial purposes
  • farm or machinery storage 
  • habitable purposes

Planning permit

A shipping container used for domestic storage, farm storage or as a detached habitable building such as a studio or rumpus room/bungalow will be classified as an outbuilding under the Colac-Otway Shire Planning Scheme.

A planning permit for building and works to site an outbuilding/shipping container on your property may be required and will depend on your property’s planning zones and overlays.

A property used for the storage of empty shipping containers could be considered as a commercial use of the land. An application for a planning permit would be required to be lodged with council for the use of the land for shipping container storage with the Statutory Planning team.

Building permit

Shipping containers used on properties for medium or long term use as a habitable or non-habitable outbuilding, shed, storage or similar will require a building permit.

Shipping containers placed on site temporarily to assist in moving house or for site building works during construction does not require a Building or Planning Permit. It is recommended that the surrounding neighbours be notified of the proposed timelines.

Shipping containers used on commercial properties for any purpose other than short term loading of goods for shipping purposes or in designated container storage facilities, require a building permit.

If the container requires a permit, it must comply with the requirements of the building regulations and all the relevant parts of the National Construction Code.

Private building surveyors issue building permits in the Colac Otway Shire.   A private building surveyor carries out the assessment of the application, inspections and issuing all relevant paperwork.  

A list of private building surveyors who operate in the Colac Otway Shire is available here

Local laws (Council property)

If you intend to place a storage container on Council Land or in a public place, you must first obtain a local laws permit.