Unauthorised Buildings/Structures 

It is important to note that when you set out to build a new building or structure, not only do you need to acquire Building Approval, you may also need to acquire Planning Approval and Health Approval from your local government.

The Shire of Gingin encourages all landowners to ensure they have all the necessary planning, health and building approvals for all the existing land uses and developments on their property.

If the Shire is made aware of a land use and/or development on a particular property which does not have the necessary planning, building or health approvals then the Shire's Compliance team will investigate what is/has been carried out/constructed on the property. A decision will then be made as to what action will be taken.

Why do I need Planning & Building Approvals?

Obtaining Planning Approval ensures that the development of a property within the Shire complies with the Local Planning SchemeResidential Design Codes and other relevant legislation and policies.

Obtaining a Building Approval ensures that the proposed building work complies with the Building Codes of Australia and other relevant standards and legislation. 

How can I get Retrospective Approval? 

If you undertake any building works without approval then the Shire's Building team can grant acknowledgement of unauthorised building work provided all structures comply with all current regulations. If they do not comply however, then you may be asked to demolish your building or structure entirely. In the first instance you should apply to the Shire for building approval PRIOR to undertaking any building. 

To get retrospective approval, you will need to lodge a Certificate of Building Compliance (BA18) and relevant documentation from an authorised Building Surveyor Contractor/Practitioner. A Register of Building Surveyor Contractors and Practitioners is available on the Building Commission's website.   

A Certificate of Building Compliance (BA18) is used to retrospectively approve any building work completed when a Building Permit was not originally issued. It can also be used to certify an existing building that complies with the relevant standards. A Certificate of Building Compliance (if approved) will be issued by a registered building surveyor, as defined in section 3 of the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 and will only be given to the owner of the property. 

Required Documentation

  • Application for Retrospective Building Certificate - BAI3 - See Building Forms and Guides. 
  • Certificate of Building Compliance (BA18) signed by an independent building surveyor confirms the building complies with the Building Standards and any other standards prescribed by the Regulations;
  • Copies of all plans and specifications specified on the form;
  • A copy of each technical certificate;
  • Evidence of any prescribed authorities’ approval;
  • Evidence of any prescribed notifications given;
  • Appropriate consent forms or court orders where; work encroaches onto or adversely affects other land; and
  • Payment of the prescribed fee.
  • Report from an engineer certifying works are structurally adequate and only remedial works complete.

Lodging your Application for Retrospective Approval

Complete the form via the above link and lodge it (together with any additional documentation) with the Shire's Building Services department. You can do this:

  • In person at the Shire of Gingin Administration Centre, 7 Brockman Street, Gingin
  • By mail to the Shire of Gingin, PO Box 510, Gingin WA 6503
  • By email to mail@gingin.wa.gov.au (please note an electronic printing fee applies) 

Please note that lodgement of an application does not guarantee approval.

What happens after you lodge your Application?

The following information may be requested after an inspection of the unauthorised works:

  • Certification of termite barrier from a licensed operator or suitably qualified person.
  • Letter from the owner stating why they carried out the works without a building licence and why Council should not serve notice to have the unauthorised works removed and/or the matter brought before the magistrate’s court.
  • All electrical works involved require a certification of compliance from a licensed electrician.
  • An application for retrospective development approval where the development is not in accordance with the Shire's Local Planning Scheme No.9policies and/or the Residential Design Codes of Western Australia. Please note penalty fees apply where a development has occurred without the necessary approvals.
  • In cases where it would appear the structure encroaches within the required setback, adjoining lot or crown land, you may be requested to engage the services of a licensed land surveyor to survey the property.

One copy of plans will be retained by the Shire. The other copy will be returned to the owner with the Building Approval Certificate (BAC) to confirm the unauthorised works have been approved. 

Is there a Penalty for not getting Approval?

A Certificate of Building Compliance is entirely voluntary. However, if you have undertaken unauthorised building work then you may be required to demolish it if you have not obtained retrospective approval by way of lodging an application for Retrospective Building Approval with the Shire.

It is an offence to construct a building without first obtaining a building licence. The maximum penalty is up to $50,000. Property owners or builders who undertake unauthorised building work may still be prosecuted by the Shire or the Builders Registration Board.

The Shire of Gingin, where it is of the opinion an owner did not intentionally build without first obtaining a building licence, may issue a Building Approval Certificate following an application from the owner.


If you have any queries please contact the Shire's Building Services department on (08) 9575 5100, option 3.