Building FAQs

Residential building work carried out by a licensed builder and is valued at over $12,000 will need to be covered by Builders Warranty Insurance.

For residential works over $5,000 carried out by an owner builder, an Owner Builder Permit is required to be obtained from the Department of Fair Trading. A copy of this permit must be supplied to Council or an accredited Certifier before the construction certificate is released.

If the value of the building work exceeds $25,000 you will also need to pay the Long Service Levy which is 0.35% of the total cost of the work.

Council collects the Long Service Levy on behalf of the State Government.

If the work you propose needs development consent from Council, you cannot commence work until Development Consent and Construction Certificate has been obtained. It is an offence under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act to do so.

Works approved in the development consent must be commenced within a period of five years from the date shown as the commencement date. The lapse date is also shown on the consent. If you modify your Development Consent, the commencement and lapse dates do not change from those shown on the original consent.

NatHERS is The Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme. It is a rating of the energy consumption associated with a house design. Most councils now require a 3.5 star energy rating for house design.

BASIX is a web-based planning tool designed to assess the water & energy efficiency of new residential developments.

To get a BASIX Certificate you must show that your proposed home will be designed & built to use less mains supply water & produce less greenhouse gas emissions.

A BASIX Certificate is required for alterations & additions to dwellings valued at more than $50,000.00 as well as a swimming pools with a volume greater than 40,000 litres.

To obtain a BASIX Certificate you must complete the on-line assessment at If your proposal meets the BASIX targets when you have completed the assessment you will be able to print your BASIX Certificate.


Some structures qualify as exempt development or complying development, which means they require no approval or the approval process is simplified.

If you want to build a structure that meets Council's definition of exempt development (as defined in the current Local Environmental Plan), then you will not need council approval. This is because council has already determined, and the community has agreed, that structures defined as exempt development have minimal or no impact on neighbours, such as some fences or garden sheds.

If you want to build a structure that has been defined as complying development, then you do require approval. However this approval can be obtained either from Council or a privately accredited professional.

An application for complying development will be fast-tracked through the system, as Council has determined, and the community has agreed, that such structures have minimal impact on neighbours and the community, such as some single storey dwellings or additions.

To find out if your proposed structure qualifies as exempt or complying development, contact council on phone 02 6626 7025 between 9.00am and 1.00pm and discuss what you are planning with one of our duty officers.

The distance from your boundary to your front building line varies in the Byron Shire.

Refer to Building Line and Boundary Setback Distances for further details.

Your Development Consent will outline conditions that are required to be completed prior to the commencement of works. If stated on your Development Consent, at least 2 days prior to work commencing on the site, Council must be informed.

The submission of a Notice of Commencement in Accordance with Section 81A of EP & A Act 1979 must be made giving the name and details of the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) and the date construction work is proposed to commence.

You must build or use a building in accordance with the approved plans and conditions of Development Consent.

If you cannot comply with your Development Consent for whatever reason you must contact Council before proceeding with the work.

Retrospective approval cannot be given for any building work started, and or, completed without Development Consent or a Construction Certificate.

Construction Certificates issued in contravention of Development Consents may be declared invalid. It is important to note that unauthorised work may lead to you being prosecuted and / or ordered to demolish the unauthorised work.

On the spot fines may also apply.