Building Application Process

Application Process

If you are building or changing the way you use your land you may need a planning permit and/or a building approval. There are exemptions within each stage, but checks should be made to ascertain what permits/approvals are required.

There are three main stages within the development process:

Stage 1: Planning Approval

Planning approvals relate to the use of land in accordance with the planning scheme.  A planning permit allows land to be subdivided, developed or used for a purpose, such as the use and construction of a house and any associated works, tree removal or to operate a business or other commercial activity.

A Planning Permit authorises the use and development of land by assessing proposals against council planning scheme and the State’s planning legislation.  It examines the impact of the proposed development or use on the surrounding area.

When a planning permit is required, it will need to be approved prior to a building determination being provided.

Prior to commencing any works enquiries should be made with council’s Town Planner (by appointment only: PH 6443 8333) to ascertain if a planning permit is required.


Stage 2: Determination of Category of Building and Demolition Work and Issuance of a Certificate of Likely Compliance. 

A building surveyor is a licensed building services provider who is engaged by the owner of premises to perform a statutory role on behalf of the Government.

The building surveyor is responsible for making sure any building or demolition work will be performed in accordance with the standards and processes set out in the Building Act 2016 and Building Regulations 2016.

The functions of a building surveyor are detailed within the Building Act 2016 .

There are three categories of building work, based on the level of risk to public health and safety.

  1. Permit building work
  2. Notifiable building work
  3. Low risk building work

Prior to commencing any building work check with a building surveyor to determine if the work is low risk, notifiable or permit work under the Building Act 2016.

 Director’s Determination – Categories of Building and Demolition Work   


Stage 3: Building Approval

Building approvals may be required when undertaking building work to:

  • a building or a proposed building;
  • a part of a building or proposed building;
  • a structure or a proposed structure; or
  • a part of a structure or proposed structure.

Building work relates to:

  • erecting, re-erecting, constructing, altering, repairing, underpinning;
  • demolishing or removing a building, adding to a building; or
  • excavating, or filling, that is incidental to the above works.

Building approvals are required to ensure a construction complies with the Building Act 2016, Building Regulations 2016 and the National Construction Code (NCC).

There are different approval processes for each of the three categories of building and demolition work:

Permit building work

High risk building work requires a permit, issued by the permit authority (Council).  Building work that requires a building permit needs to go through a formal assessment process carried out by the Permit Authority (Council) and the building surveyor.

Notifiable Building Work

Work that is medium risk does not require a building permit but still requires regulatory oversight by a building surveyor.  The building surveyor will assess the work to make sure it is going to be compliant with Tasmanian legislation and the National Construction Code, issue a Certificate of Likely Compliance and authorise the work to proceed.

Low risk building work

Work is low risk (mostly minor type work) and can be done without the need for a permit or the engagement of a building surveyor.

For full details of the Tasmanian Building Act 2016 click here


Other Useful Information

The following Fact Sheets/Checklists have been developed to assist property owners in meeting their key responsibilities for building work approvals:

CBOS Fact Sheet – Checklist – Owner responsibilities for building work approvals

Fact Sheet – consumer guide to Low Risk Building and Plumbing Work

Low Risk building Work by an Owner or Competent Person