A building permit is generally required for all forms of building work. Read below to find out more!

Want some advice about your permit needs? Simply fill in the below online form to get verbal advice about your proposed plans or ideas.

If you plan to do any building work, you should check with us first to find out if you need a Building Permit. A Building Permit ensures your building project is built by registered and insured builders, has the correct documentation, is inspected at different stages of work and is independently assessed as suitable for occupation upon completion. 

Most building works require a building permit irrespective of their size and cost. Please contact Council to discuss your building proposal. You can also check out the Victorian Building Authority's general guide as to when a building permit is required - click here.

A building permit is a legal document which gives official approval for any construction, demolition or remodelling works undertaken by yourself or a licensed builder. A building permit will be required when you are:

  • Building additions or alterations to existing structures;
  • Constructing a swimming pool;
  • Building a new fence;
  • Demolishing an existing structure;
  • Building a new house or structure, and;
  • Signage.

PLEASE NOTE: You may require a planning permit for your building project, in addition to a building permit. These two permits are not to be confused – a building permit deals with the method of construction of a building, while a planning permit relates to the use or development of a particular piece of land. Check out our planning section for more information or contact the planning department


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Click on the links below for more information:

How to apply for a building permit

Report and Consent Applications

Owner Builders Information

Information on Constructing a Fence

Installing a Swimming Pool

Register your pool or spa

Farm Sheds and Buildings

Amending a Building Permit

Extending a Building Permit

The Building Department


How to apply for a building permit

Whether you’re just starting out as an owner builder or whether you are a large construction or design firm, we can help you achieve your building goals.

Lodge and track applications online:

Fast track and monitor your application throughout the process, upload relevant documentation and plans, respond to further information requests, track multiple applications at once and ongoing access to approved permits and documentation is provided.

A Building Surveyor is responsible for issuing a Building Permit at the commencement of a building project.  The surveyor should be engaged at the very start of the process, and can advise on documentation necessary to obtain the Permit.

After the Building Permit is issued, the building surveyor will carry out a series of inspections at different stages throughout the project to ensure that the building work meets minimum standards.

Preparing your application

When lodging your application, you will require the following:

  • Completed application form;
  • Recent Certificate of Title;
  • Completed Owner Builder Consent form if the cost of works is greater than $16,000 and you intend to carry out the works yourself;
  • Domestic builders warranty insurance certificate for projects with a cost of works greater than $16,000 (N/A for owner builders);
  • Three copies of a site plan, to a scale of not less than 1:100, that shows the location of the proposed building, any existing buildings or features, the property boundaries, any buildings on adjoining properties and any streets, footpaths or crossings adjoining the property, along with the intended location for stormwater discharge;
  • Three copies of structural drawings;
  • Three copies of elevation drawings;
  • Three copies of a floorplan showing downpipe positons;
  • Copies of specifications for the structure, and;
  • The application fee as advised.

There are information sheets available for you to assist you with your permit application – to view these, visit our forms and permits page.

PLEASE NOTE: the amount of information required to accompany a building permit application varies from project to project. Council may request that more information be provided in order to complete a full application assessment.

Lodging your application

Council welcomes applications online, via email, over the counter or posted. You can also lodge your applications online through our online portal. Your application will be assessed, and the building department will contact you if more information is required.

Receiving your permit

Should your permit be approved, you will receive your building permit via email. Your permit will include your approved plans, and will likely contain building conditions, which must be abided by.

Report and Consent Applications

You can also make application to vary certain building regulations under report and consent. For more information about the report and consent regulation objectives, click here.

Owner Builders Information

An owner can carry out the building work that is involved in the construction, alteration or renovation of an existing building as an owner/builder if they are not a registered builder. An owner/builder is defined as someone who is not in the business of building, who constructs or renovates a domestic building on his or her own land.

Owner/builders must obtain a Certificate of Consent from the Building Practitioners Board in order to obtain a building permit for works valued over $16,000. This Certificate of Consent is an individual’s written approval to act as an owner/builder on their own land in Victoria. A building permit cannot be issued until the Certificate of Consent has been lodged with the Building Surveyor.

For more information, visit the Victorian Building Authority’s website.

Information on Constructing a Fence

There are planning and building regulations which control the building and management of fences, including their height and building material. You can apply for report and consent exemption if your proposed fence does not comply with the building regulation requirements. This application will be assessed against the Ministers Guidelines MG-12, with the aim of ensuring that the fence design respects the existing or preferred character of the neighbourhood and is consistent with the specifications of existing fences on nearby allotments.

Further information about fences

Having fencing issues? The Dispute Settlement Centre Victoria can give legal advice on the Fence Act and also assist with mediation between two or more parties when matters cannot be resolved. Disputes involving dividing fences are the most common disputes dealt with at the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria.

Information about Installing a Swimming Pool

All swimming pools and spas must have a safety barrier installed to restrict access to the water by children under the age of 5. In addition, a building permit may be required for the installation of the pool, and/or the construction of the barrier fencing.
For more information about the requirements for swimming pools and spas in Victoria, check out the Victorian Building Authority’s website, or the Swimming Pool & Spa Association of Victoria.

Registering your swimming pool or spa

As of 1 December 2019, the Victorian Building Authority has introduced a mandatory requirement that all swimming pools and spas located within Victoria are required to be registered with your applicable Council. This is to ensure that pools and spas are inspected regularly to ensure barriers and gates are compliant to help prevent drowning incidents in backyard pools or spas. All pools or spas must be registered by 1 November 2020. (Due date has been extended by the Victorian State Government from the initial date of 1 June 2020).

To get your pool registered, you will need to do the following:
1. Submit an application to register your spa or pool:

Or access the hardcopy form here.

2. If possible, you will need to provide a copy of the building permit issued for the construction of the pool to determine the year of construction and the applicable barrier standard.

3. Submit payment of $31.80 (registration fee) and $47.20 (records search fee - only applicable if a copy of the building permit cannot be submitted).

For more information, please visit the VBA website .

Farm Sheds and Buildings

All farm buildings or sheds require a building permit. Some farm sheds and buildings also require a planning permit. Farmers are encouraged to contact Council on (03) 5391 4444 or email to discuss their plans for new buildings on farm land prior to submitting an application.

Amending a Building Permit

Need to change your permit or plans? Contact the building department to discuss your proposed amendments prior to submitting an application to amend your permit.

Extending a Building Permit

Building permits do have expiry dates for the commencement of work (12 months) and completion of work (2 or 3 years)! If you feel like you need more time, you can apply for an extension to your building permit by completing the application form and paying the applicable fee as advised.

The Building Department

Hindmarsh Shire Council
92 Nelson Street
Nhill, VIC 3418

Phone: (03) 5391 4444

Email: ; marked ‘Attention Building’.


As of 11:59pm Wednesday 16 September 2020, Regional Victoria will move into the third step of the COVID-19 Roadmap to Recovery. Read below for an update on the changes to Council’s services.

Unfortunately we are unable to open our libraries, so libraries and customer service centres will remain closed, except that the Nhill office will now be open from 10am to Midday and 2pm to 4pm Monday to Friday without the need to make an appointment, although appointments are encouraged. Only click and collect services will be available at our libraries, for more information on this, click here.

Our parks, playgrounds and skate parks will all be open as of today and people are able to gather (up to 10 people) outdoors.

Halls and the cinema will remain closed as under the third step indoor venues are to be closed.

Updated 17/9/2020