Before you undertake any building work, make any changes to your building, occupy a premises or commence a new use on your land, you should check with Council and find out whether you are required to lodge an application and what sort of application this should be.
Some developments of a minor nature may be considered 'exempt development' and therefore no application is required, however, the development must satisfy certain criteria regardless of the construction cost.
Others will require to be processed either as Complying Development, or through a more comprehensive Development Application.
When submitting an application, go to the Reception area at Council's Administration Office. Your Application will be given a preliminary check to see that it has been completed correctly. The application will then be lodged and an application fee will be payable. An application fee quote can be obtained by contacting Council's Offices by telephoning 6778 6300.
Complying Development Certificate
In order for a Complying Development Certificate to be issued, a Principal Certifying Authority requires the same information as for a Construction Certificate. The PCA can then issue certificates for developments that comply with the state government Complying Development guidelines or Council’s adopted Development Control Plan.
CSI Certificates (Part 4A Certificates)
Critical Stage Inspections require certification by a PCA. The PCA may also require additional inspections from specialists including structural engineers, wet area specialists, glaziers, truss frame manufacturers and plumbers to enable occupation and final completion of the project.
The PCA is required to sign off the BASIX certificate to ensure requirements have been met and advise the state government accordingly.
Occupation Certificates are mandatory for all structures including outbuildings, however are not required for building developments that are exempt.
A Building Certificate requires a registered land surveyor to survey the building in relation to the property boundaries and title details.
Council is unable to process a building certificate application until lodged with a survey unless the property is located on a large rural holding well clear of boundaries. A survey certificate may still be required where buildings are located near property boundaries on rural holdings. In the case of multiple lots on rural land, a surveyor may be required to identify the correct lot.
Fees for these certificates are usually fixed annually by Council but in some cases are statutory fixed by the state government.
The Department of Fair Trading stipulates that residential work in excess of $5,000 be conducted by a licensed builder or an Owner / Builder Permit must been obtained.
Where the building work exceeds $12,000 in value, the licensed builder is obliged to provide Home Owners Warranty Insurance Protection and is required to lodge a receipt with the PCA.
Where an owner/builder is conducting work in excess of $12,000, the Department of Fair Trading requires them to undertake a study course on the responsibilities of the Owner Builder before issuing the Owner Builders permit.
Fire Safety Certificate
A development consent may specify fire safety standards to be ‘Essential Services’ requiring installation by a licensed or certified person to meet the standards of the Building Code of Australia and the Australian Standards. This certificate must be provided to the PCA by an appropriate person experienced in the standards and installation work. This certificate is usually supplied at the completion of the project.
Annual Fire Safety Certificate
Essential Services require annual certification by an appropriately qualified person and submitted to the Council or the NSW Fire Services.
Single residential dwellings or outbuildings usually do not require annual certificates, however certification is required in high risk fire hazard areas or where a severe loss of life is possible as in a nursing home, hostel or boarding house.
The NSW State government requires a BASIX Certificate to be obtained prior to Council or PCA issuing any construction certificate or complying development certificate for residential projects.
These projects include any new house, flats, boarding houses, guest houses, backpacker accommodation, residential extensions in excess of $50,000, and a swimming pool that has a larger volume than 40,000L. The provisions do not apply to an existing house that is re-sited or to the major part of an existing house that is not subject to renovation.
The contact details for obtaining the BASIX certificate is on www.basix.nsw.gov.au
In order to complete the information necessary to obtain the BASIX certificate, you will need a complete set of plans and specifications for the project.
A Principal Certifying Authority or PCA can issue Construction Certificates for projects that have been approved by Council and comply with state government legislation for a development or subdivision.
Before a certificate can be issued, a BASIX certificate must be obtained from the Department of Planning for residential construction and where swimming pools over 40,000L in size to ensure energy and water conservation. Other fees may also apply to the PCA in order for a Construction Certificate to be issued.