Getting Approval for Your Patio
Last Updated Mar 5, 2013 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald
If you’re thinking about improving your outdoor areas, a patio is one of the best additions that you can make. You’ll have a sheltered area that you can use for entertaining or anything else that you can think of! However, you can’t just decide to up and build a patio – you need council approval first. Not sure what’s involved in getting approval? Here’s what you need to know. For more information, have a chat with your local patio builder.
Why Do I Need Approval for My Patio?
If you are building a patio, you might think that you can simply build it and start enjoying it. Unfortunately, it is nowhere near that easy! Patios are defined as being significant building structures and as such you’ll need permission from your local council. If you go ahead without that permission, you’ll run the risk of getting a “please explain” letter from the council and there is a very real possibility that you’ll be fined or forced to demolish the patio. As well, if you don’t have approval and you go to sell your property, buyers may not want to go ahead with the sale if they find out that the patio is an unapproved structure.
The Approvals Process
Your new patio cannot be built until you’ve received a building licence. The process for obtaining this licence depends on your local council and as each council has their own policies and procedures, there is no fixed process or time frame for obtaining a license. However, the average wait is usually around four weeks.
To get a building license, you’ll need to have a site plan. Site plans show the entirety of your property including where the boundaries are and how long they are. They also show the location of your house in regards to the boundaries, and where your property is in relation to other properties if you are in a strata complex. Site plans need to be in a scale of 1:200 for your local council. If they are not, they may be rejected. As well as the site plan, you’ll also need letters of consent from your neighbours if your proposed patio is close to the fence line. Finally, you’ll need to have a planning application form that you, as the owner of the property, have signed. The council will go through the documents that you have selected and base their approval on the information that is provided.
Who Gets the Approvals?
If you want to and are confident in dealing with your local council, you can go through the approvals yourself. However it is far more common (and preferred!) for people to have their patio builder go through the approvals process for them. Patio builders are experienced with this and can provide the right documentation when needed, making the process as smooth as possible.