Patios, Pergolas & Shade Sails

A patio is an unenclosed structure that may or may not be, attached to a dwelling, and is roofed with a water-impervious material. Pergolas and shade sails are open-framed structures covered in a water-permeable material or are unroofed. They may or may not be attached to a dwelling.

Important advice to patio installers and property owners;

If you are looking to build a patio with a roofline less than 900mm from the boundary, you will be required to lodge a certified building permit application (BA1), Certificate of Design Compliance (CDC) with a performance solution.  For more information please speak to a private building surveying contractor.

The only exception to the above is patios to boundaries adjacent to secondary streets, right of way (ROW) and public open space (POS).

Do I require building approval?

Patios are exempt from requiring a building approval if they are freestanding, less than 10m2 and no greater than 2.4m in height. Shade sails are assessed as patios.

Pergolas are exempt from requiring a building approval if they are less than 20m2 and no greater than 2.4m high.

What documents do I need for a Building Permit application?

  • Completed application form with all owners noted and the builder’s and applicant’s sections completed and signed
  • Applicable fees (please see fee schedule)
  • Certificate of design compliance (only if submitting a BA1 – Certified Building Application)
  • Location of structures in proximity to effluent systems could affect the location of patios, sheds and the like.
  • Location of easements and distance to the proposed structure 

  • Site plan at a minimum scale of 1:200 showing:
    • Showing the location of the proposed structure(s);
    • Showing all existing structures
    • Setbacks from the lot boundaries and all other buildings on the property
    • Dimensions of the proposed structure;
    • Distance from effluent tanks, leach drains and related systems (where applicable)
  • Elevations at a minimum scale of 1:100 showing:
    • Heights
    • Finished ground levels
  • Engineering details signed by a structural engineer will be required for all steel framed structures and shade sails showing:
    • Footing details
    • Construction and connection details
    • Span tables specific to the project
  • Show the proposed method of stormwater management such as soak wells or a rainwater tank
  • If the Patio, pergola or shade sail is within 6m of a dwelling it may require a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Assessment if your property is located in a designated bushfire prone area. Check the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Bushfire prone areas map to see if your property is located in a bushfire prone area.
  • Existing BAL reports used for the original dwelling can be re-used for a patio application, only if the report is less than 2 years old and doesn't have an expiry date noted.
  • Depending on the result of the BAL assessment there may be additional construction requirements to reduce the risk of ignition due to bushfire

Will any other approvals be required before a building permit can be issued?

Fun Fact: Did you know 80-90% of Building Permits applied for are put on hold because of little or no consideration for the Shire’s planning and health requirements at the design stage? 

It is important to speak to our planning and health teams about your project before finalising and submitting your building application.  This will ensure a smoother and more efficient building approval process and avoid unnecessary and lengthy delays.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive and further information may be requested prior to building approval being granted.

For further information, please contact Building Services on 9526 1111.