What Permits Do I Need For A Development?

A key part of any multi-unit development is the permit process – you won’t get very far without it! There are two types of permits that you need for any multi-unit building works: a planning permit and a building permit.

Planning permit

A planning permit is issued by the local council and gives permission to develop or use land in a certain way. A planning permit is required before a building permit can be issued.

To apply for a planning permit, you’ll need to submit your proposed to-scale plans, which should include a site and neighbourhood description, site, elevation and floor plans, a material schedule and shadow diagrams. You will also need further supporting documents and these requirements will vary depending on the location of the site, size of the development and your local council policies.

Your local council will assess the documentation provided and decide whether or not to issue a planning permit. If a planning permit is issued you may then apply for a building permit.

Building permit

A building permit denotes that a proposed project adheres to relevant building regulations. This is submitted through an appointed building surveyor and is a written approval that allows the work to be completed, based on the approved plans and other provided documentation.

A building permit provides every client with a layer of protection, as it certifies that the builders working on your project are registered and insured; that the construction is supported by the correct documentation; and key stages of the project will be independently inspected.

What’s more, one condition of a building permit is that either an occupancy permit or a certificate of final inspection is required once building works are complete, certifying that your development will be suitable for occupation and giving you further peace of mind. 

To apply for a building permit, your appointed building surveyor will need:

  • An application form, letter of appointment and appropriate fees
  • Architectural drawings
  • A soil report
  • Structural and footing designs, including a certificate of compliance from a suitably qualified engineer
  • Domestic building insurance
  • A current copy of your Title of Certificate and plan of sub-division
  • Easement details
  • Legal point of discharge
  • Energy efficiency assessment
  • Roof Truss computations and layout

A building surveyor may put certain conditions on your permit. For example, they might specify that additional inspections are required throughout the build or require that you perform work to protect your neighbour’s property (if building works are close).

Permits are a key part of the multi-unit development process, so it’s essential to get right. To take the stress out of the situation and avoid delays, it can be a good idea to engage an experienced multi-unit builder like Costas Constructions to manage the entire process for you. 


If you’re thinking about embarking on a multi-unit development project, get in touch with our team – we’d be happy to talk you through our processes and explain the permit procedure in more detail.