Building your home
The Building Services unit undertakes the statutory duties of a Municipal Building Surveyor and aims to maintain the standards of amenity, habitation and safety of Building work as prescribed by Victorian legislation and regulation.
To achieve this, the unit undertakes the following duties:
- providing an efficient, timely quality building surveying service including the issue of building permits and inspection of buildings
- providing administration, enforcement and compliance with the Building Act 1993 and the Building Regulations 2018
- providing quality customer service to all clients in assisting with general building work related enquires
- maintaining registers and data base records in accordance with the Act and Regulations
- issuing Building and Occupancy permits as well as Certificate of Final Inspection
- conducting both mandatory and non-mandatory inspections on building projects
- receive, record and process report and consent application for variations to the regulations
- receive, record and process consent applications for demolition works (section 29A Building Act 1993)
- respond to complaints regarding building safety
- provide storm water legal point of discharge
- resolving lapsed / expired building permits
- provision of property information, relating to flood, property notices and orders and building approval certificates to solicitors, conveyancing agents, developers, builders and owners
- receiving, recording and filing building permits from private building surveyors
- providing building information including copies of archived plans and documents
- provide building regulatory advice including but not limited to building permit application, essential safety measures, swimming pool safety measures, swimming pool safety barriers and fencing, places of public entertainment
- receive and administer the security deposits/guarantees that are submitted with applications to re-erect houses
- receive, Building Permit Applications & obtain building permit numbers from the VBA as part of the process of the VBA collecting State Government Levy payments.
Deciding whether to employ a builder or become an owner builder for your building works is a major decision when planning your building works. The information below is provided to assist you with this decision.
Being an owner builder
Before choosing to be an owner builder it is advised that owners check the attached link to the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) website, www.vba.vic.gov.au/consumers/owner-builders , The link may provide you with a better understanding of what being an owner-builder involves and assist you in making your decision.
Where the value of domestic building works carried out by an owner builder is over $16,000 (cost of works must include all material and labour at a commercial rate), an Owner Builder Certificate of Consent is required. An application form is available on the VBA website.
Employing a builder
If you engage a person to carry out any domestic building work for which the contract price is more than $16,000, that person must ensure that the work is covered by insurance under the Domestic Building Contracts Act. The details of the insurance are required to be included on the domestic building contract by the Registered Building Practitioner. If you engage this person before the building permit is issued, you must notify the relevant building surveyor when you make the application for the building permit. If you engage this person after a building permit has been issued, you must give the relevant building surveyor written notice of the engagement within 14 days, including the building practitioner’s registration details.
If more than one trade is carried out by the same tradesperson for more than $10,000 (for example, the carpenters who construct the frame work also carries out the fit out of architraves, skirtings and doors), they will be required to be registered and enter into a major domestic building contract.
It is important to recognise the difference between planning permits and building permits. Building permits relate to the method of construction of a building or development, including structural, fire safety, health and amenity matters.
Planning permits relates to the land use or development of land in a planning zone and may be required in addition to a building permit. If a planning permit is required, it must be issued before the building permit can be issued. A planning permit does not remove the need to obtain a building permit.
The best way to find out whether you need a planning permit is to contact Council’s Planning Services. An application for a planning permit should include all necessary supporting information, such as plans, reports, a site analysis, etc and payment of relevant application fees.
Information can be obtained as to whether a proposed building or land is in an area declared as liable to flooding, uncontrolled overland drainage, termite infestation or bushfire in accordance with Building Regulation 51(2). This information can be obtained by completing a ‘Request for Building Information and paying the relevant fee.
Please follow the link:
http://www.loddon.vic.gov.au/Our-documents/Forms-and-permit-applications/Forms-and-permits-application-forms and download the Application Property Information application form.
Drainage - Storm water legal point of discharge
All storm water collected from a lot must be discharged to a "Stormwater Legal Point of Discharge" specified by Council. The legal point of discharge may be located in the road reserve, in an easement or on site within the allotment boundaries so as not to cause a nuisance to neighbouring properties.
Site drainage is the responsibility of property owners and is required to be installed by a licensed plumber.
To obtain more information regarding the location of the legal point of discharge, applicants are required to contact the Councils Building Services. An application for legal point of discharge can be made using the following link:
http://www.loddon.vic.gov.au/Our-documents/Forms-and-permit-applications/Forms-and-permits-application-forms - downloading the Application for Location of the point of Discharge of Storm Water and paying the relevant fee.
Dial before you dig
Before commencing any excavation works you must be certain of the location of all underground services. Dial Before You Dig is an Australia-wide community service than can assist in the location of underground services and hence minimise the likelihood of any damage to the services arising from excavation works.
Further information can be obtained by dialing 1100 or visiting the website.
Building over an easement
Details of any easements that may exist on a property will appear on the certificate of title and title plan for a property. Land set aside for easements will show any dimensions relevant to the easement and specify the type of easement and who has control over the easement. Easements are usually reserved for the location of services.
A structure, such as a dwelling, garage, shed, verandah, fence etc., cannot be located over an easement without prior consent from the party that the easement will benefit or favour. Where a property contains a drainage easement, the owner of the property must, prior to locating any structures over the easement, make an application for Council report and consent from Council's Building Services under regulation 133(2) of the Building Regulations 2018.
An application to build over a Council easement can be made using the following link:
http://www.loddon.vic.gov.au/Our-documents/Forms-and-permit-applications/Forms-and-permits-application-forms - downloading the Application for Report and Consent Non-Siting Matters and paying the relevant fee.
Other easements that may appear on a title include sewage, water, electricity, gas and telephone. Consent must be obtained from the relevant authority in whom the easement is in favour of prior to the approval of any buildings over such an easement.
Termite management in buildings
Loddon Shire is a designated termite prone area under Regulation 150 of the Building Regulations 2018.
Any person intending to carry out building works within the municipality will be required to carry out termite protection measures that meet the requirements of the National Construction Code and the Building Code of Australia to reduce the risk of infestation with termites.
Registered Building Practitioners
Further information on the various categories of building practitioner can be found on the Victorian Building Authority website - refer to the link to the Victorian Building Authority in the related information section of this website.
The Building Regulations 2018 outline the various categories and classes of building practitioners. The ability to be registered is based upon the nature and extent of the practitioner's qualifications and experience. The following categories and classes of building practitioners are some of the practitioners that are currently required to be registered with the BPB:
- building surveyor (unlimited/limited)
- building inspector (unlimited/limited)
- quantity surveyor
- engineer (civil/mechanical/electrical/fire safety)
- draftsperson (building design - architectural, interior, services)
- builder (commercial builder - unlimited/limited)
- builder (domestic builder - unlimited/limited/manager)
- builder (demolisher - low rise buildings/medium rise buildings/unlimited)
- erector or supervisor (temporary structures - class 1 and 2).
Bush fire requirements
In line with the 2009 Victoria Bushfires Royal Commission (VBRC) recommendation, extensive state-wide mapping has been undertaken to designate bushfire prone areas for building homes. The Minister for Planning has determined that specific areas are designated bushfire prone areas (BPA) using the best available science taking into account factors such as weather, topography and vegetation and provides a more targeted approach to the protection of Victorians. The majority of Loddon Shire, with the exception of a small area in Boort is in a designated bushfire prone area. A site specific Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment report must be included with any application for domestic building work (includes sheds, garages located less than 6m from a dwelling or domestic building)
In addition to the construction measures necessary for the BAL specified for the building the VBA and Loddon Shire Council recommends the following to reduce the risk of damage to homes in bushfire prone areas:
- ensure you will have suitable defendable space about your proposed dwelling by removing any overhanging tree branches, take out shrubs over 1 metre high, keep grass short and clean up debris about your proposed building site that could easily catch fire.
- download the Country Fire Authority (CFA) fire ready kit form their website or by calling the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667 for a copy.
- ensure you have a bushfire survival plan in place and practice it regularly
- get involved in community meetings about fire preparedness in the neighbourhood. Go to the CFA website for meeting details.
For further information please visit the CFA website and the VBA website.
The measures contained in Australian Standard (AS) 3959 - Construction of Buildings in Bushfire Prone Areas, cannot guarantee that a building will survive a bushfire event on every occasion. This is substantially due to the unpredictable nature and behaviour of fire and extreme weather conditions.
The Loddon Shire Planning Scheme includes area of the municipality that are covered by a Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO). In this instance a Planning Permit may be required and the BAL specified in the Planning Permit must be accepted by the Relevant Building Surveyor when assessing an application for building permit.
For further information see Related Links - Septic and waste water management.
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