My Project Quick Guides

These quick guides help you discover what is required for your development.

Asbestos removal

Asbestos has to be carefully removed and disposed of at approved waste disposal sites.

Where more than 10m2 is to be removed, a registered contractor is required. Worksafe registers all contractors.  

If you have concerns about the way someone is dealing with asbestos, please go to our Report It form and let us know so we can follow up immediately. You can always obtain further information via our Public Health page

Ancillary Accommodation (Granny Flat)

Requirements differ depending on property zoning. You can check your property zoning with our Online Mapping tool.

Residential Zone

Ancillary Accommodation in Residential Zones needs to consider the provisions of the Residential Design Codes (R-Codes).

An Ancillary Dwelling associated with a single house and on the same lot satisfies the ‘Deemed to Comply’ provisions of the R-Codes where:

  • the lot is not less than 450m2 in area;
  • there is a maximum floor area of 70m2;
  • an additional car space is provided; and
  • complies with all other relevant R-Code provisions (e.g. open space, setbacks).

Any proposal which fails to meet the ‘Deemed to Comply’ provisions of the R-Codes will require an Application for Development Approval prior to obtaining a Building Permit.

Note: a Development Application will also be required where your land is affected by a Special Control Area (SCA). Check your property zoning and SCA in our Online Mapping.

Rural Residential Zone and Rural Areas

Ancillary Accommodation in Rural Residential and other rural zones needs to consider the provisions of the Local Planning Scheme:

An Ancillary Dwelling associated with a single house in one of the rural zones should:

  • be integrated in terms of design, colours and materials;
  • be physically linked by form of roof cover to the single house, with the maximum separation not exceeding 10m;
  • contain not more than one bedroom;
  • utilise shared laundry facilities;
  • not exceed 80m2 of floor area; and
  • for the exclusive use of family members.

Note: Development Approval is required for all proposed Ancillary Dwellings located in Rural Residential and other rural areas prior to obtaining a Building Permit.

Sample Plans – Ancillary Accommodation

Bed & Breakfast

A ‘Bed and Breakfast’ (B and B) is where the landowner lives onsite offering a room/s to guests, for short-stay accommodation purposes.

If you would like to use your property as a B and B, Development Approval is required. Other approvals will also be required dependant on dwelling design and type of breakfast provided.

Bed & Breakfast Information Sheet 

Short Term Accommodation Checklist

Should you wish to offer the whole property for short stay accommodation, please refer to Holiday Homes.

Clearing of Vegetation (Trees or Shrubs)

Clearing means the lopping, damage or removal of any tree, shrub or plant regardless of condition or age.

Development Approval is generally required to clear vegetation in the following areas.

  • Land located within the Landscape Value, Coastal Management, Wetland or Floodway Special Control Areas;
  • Properties zoned Conservation, Rural Landscape, Bushland Protection, Rural Residential or Residential with an R-Coding or R2, R2.5, and R5;
  • Land below the mean high water mark;
  • Where the affected land forms part of a creek or watercourse.

The clearing of vegetation on land outside of your property boundary or within any reserve is not permitted.

Dead, Dying or Dangerous Vegetation

Arborist reports may be provided to the City to support the removal of a tree without formal Development Approval. Please contact us for more details as some conditions apply.

When is Development Approval Not Required?

If the tree removal has been shown on plans associated with a development already approved.

If the tree removal or modification is to meet the requirements of the City’s annual Firebreak and Fuel Hazard Reduction Notice.

Important Note

Western Ringtail Possums are endemic to the South West and are ‘Critically Endangered’.  Check all vegetation before clearing. Should possums be present, stop work and contact the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions for advice.

Crossovers / Driveways

Minimum standards for crossovers are detailed in our Technical Specifications.

Once works are completed you may be eligible to receive a financial contribution from the City. Submit the Crossover Subsidy Application Form and a City Officer will inspect the works for compliance.



Development Approval for demolition is only required where your property is Heritage listed, either by the City of Busselton or on the State’s Heritage Register.

Check whether you property is heritage listed in our Online Mapping.


A demolition permit from the Building Services team is required for demolition work on whole or part of a building or structure, when the works are not included as part of a building permit for construction.

There are also Health & Safety requirements to consider, particularly if removing asbestos and decommissioning septic systems. Visit our Public Health and Safety FAQs page. 

Some demolition works can only be carried out by a registered demolition contractor.

Please use the Schedule of works below, with the application form.

Demolition form BA5  

Demolition Schedule of Works 

Please Note

  • A builder who holds a permit for building work, does not need a separate demolition permit for demolition work that is part of the building work.
  • Some demolition work can only be carried out by a registered demolition contractor. Refer to Worksafe for further information.

Extractive Industry

We recommend you discuss your proposal with a Statutory Planning Officer prior to submitting any application for an Extractive Industry as a very detailed analysis of the land and proposed extractive activity is required before an application will be accepted by the City.

Our Planners can provide guidance on what management plans and State Government referrals will be required based on the location of the extraction area as well we the type and volume of material to be extracted.

LPP 2.3 Extractive Industries

Food Business

To operate a food business from home, please check ‘home business project’ below for Development Approval requirements.

Starting a food business in a commercial premises may require a ‘Change of Use’ Application for Development Approval prior to registering as a food business. Please call Planning direct on 08 9781 1731, so we can check approval requirements specific for that property.

Further details about registering as a food business can be found on our Food Business page.


Dividing Fences

Fences between you and another landowner are shared property, and are controlled by the Dividing Fences Act 1961, which is administered by the WA Building Commission.

Front Fences

Fences in front of your house, including the side boundary if you are on a corner lot, are considered under the Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) and the Building Act 2011.

The R-Codes require front fences to maintain connectivity to the street, by permitting good surveillance and enhancing the visual amenity of the area.

Front fences generally may be solid up to 1.2m high, and visually permeable above 1.2m (up to 1.8m) measured from natural ground level on the street side of the fence.

If you are located within a Residential zone, are not located within a Special Control Area (SCA), and your proposed fence complies with the R-Codes, you won’t need Development Approval through Planning.

Check your property zoning and SCA via our Online Mapping.

Front Fence Approval Requirements for Residential Zoned Land
Location Height Type Planning Building
Within the front setback (front fence)

Up to 0.75m Visually permeable fencing (material other than masonry) Χ Χ
Solid fencing (non-permeable material) Χ Χ
Up to 1.2m

Visually permeable fencing (material other than masonry) Χ Χ
Solid fencing (non-permeable material) Χ Yes
Above 1.2m

Visually permeable fencing from 1.2m high to max. 1.8m high (material other than masonry) Χ Χ
Solid fencing (non-permeable material) Yes Yes

Visually permeable fencing includes timber slats, aluminium slats etc.

Solid fencing includes masonry, stone, concrete etc.

See our Fence Design Specifications Information Sheet for more details.

Garages and Carports

Garages and carports can be attached to your house, or freestanding.

A carport enclosed on two or more sides, is considered a garage.


For Residential zoned land, the Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) guide where you can locate a carport or garage on your property. Where your property is coded R20 or higher, a garage wall can be considered on a boundary. If your proposal doesn’t comply with the R-Codes, then Development Approval will be required.

Check your property in our Online Mapping.


All garages and carports need a Building Permit prior to commencing works on site.

Please Note

A patio is not a carport. A patio is a covered outdoor area, used frequently and considered a habitable area under the R-Codes.

Holiday Homes

Please refer to the Holiday Homes page for details.

Home Business

There are a number of different land uses which cover running a business from home. The requirements to obtain development approval will depend on business activities and property zoning.

What is a Home Based Business?

A “Home Based Business” is a business activity operating from a residential dwelling, and can be either a Home Office, Home Occupation or Home Business.

Where any of these involves food, or health related industries (ie: hairdressing, beauty treatments, body piercings, waxing etc), then an approval from Environmental Health is required, even if it is exempt under planning and building legislation.

Home Office means the use of part of a dwelling to undertake (usually) clerical business activities (eg tradesman emailing an invoice to customers from their home), and must satisfy the following criteria:

  • the home office area is located solely within the dwelling;
  • does not entail clients or customers travelling to and from the dwelling; and
  • does not involve the display of a sign on the premises.

A Home Office does not require any planning or building approvals from the City.

Home Occupation means the use of part of a dwelling, or land around a dwelling, to carry out an occupation by a resident of that dwelling, which must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Maximum area of 20m2
  • Cannot employ any other person who is not a member of the household.
  • Does not include the retail sale, display or hire of goods, unless 100% online (eg no customers attending the dwelling)
  • Does not cause injury or impact the amenity of the neighbourhood (eg noise, dust)
  • Will not require additional car parking facilities, or result in an increase in vehicle movements
  • Does not entail the presence, parking or garaging of a vehicle more than 4.5 tonnes in tare weight
  • Does not include provision for the fuelling, repair or maintenance of motor vehicles;
  • Signage permitted at a maximum of 0.2m2.

A home occupation does not require any planning or building approvals from the City.

Home Business means the use of a dwelling or land around a dwelling to undertake business activities by a resident of that dwelling, and must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Maximum area of 50m2
  • Maximum of 2 employees who do not live in the dwelling
  • Does not cause injury or impact the amenity of the neighbourhood (eg noise, dust)
  • Does not involve the retail sale, display or hire of goods of any nature except where those goods are manufactured or produced at the residence.
  • Does not result in traffic issues resulting from the lack of parking spaces for customers, or increase in traffic volumes not normally associated with a dwelling.
  • Hours of operation: 8am – 6pm weekdays, 9am – 5pm Saturdays (no operation on Sundays or public holidays); and
  • Signage permitted at a maximum of 0.2m2.

Development Approval is required for a proposed “Home Business” in the following zones: Residential, Rural Landscape, Conservation, and Bushland Protection.

New House or Additions to Your House

Is Planning approval required?

Alterations and additions to your house may require Development Approval, dependent on your zoning, whether the land is located within a Special Control Area and whether the property is Bushfire Prone. 

Check the zoning of your property via our Online Mapping website.

Is Building approval required?

Building work to an existing house will generally require a Building Permit.

Minor works such as refurbishment, or repair and maintenance (replacing “like for like” building elements) is exempt from requiring a Building Permit. Examples are retiling a bathroom, fitting new kitchen cupboards, or replacing doors and windows.

Removing a wall that holds up another part of a building (ceiling and roof structure) is an example of something that is a structural change and is not exempt, and will require a Building Permit.

Works that are exempt still must be built to an appropriate standard.

Outbuildings (or Sheds)

An “Outbuilding”, commonly known as a shed, is an enclosed non-habitable building that is detached from a dwelling.

Is Planning approval required?

An outbuilding (shed) may require Development Approval dependent on your zoning, whether you are in a Special Control Area, the size of the proposed shed, setbacks to boundaries, whether any clearing is required etc.

Generally a shed in the Residential zone will not require Development Approval where it has a wall height of 2.7m or less, a ridge height of 4.5m or less and the total area (if there is more than one shed on the lot) does not exceed 60m2.  

Check your property in our Online Mapping.

Outbuildings will be assessed against the City’s Local Planning Scheme provisions and the City’s LPP 4.10 Outbuildings and Other Non-Habitable Buildings.

Is Building approval required?

A Building Permit is required for sheds greater than 10m2

Outbuildings in Bushfire Prone Areas

If you are building a Class 10 structure (shed) within 6m of a house that has been built to bushfire prone standards (ie: to a particular Bushfire Attack Level, or ‘BAL’ rating) the shed will need to be built to the same BAL.

To view the Bushfire Prone Area Map go to the DFES website. Please see Bushfire and My Development for more details.

Can I live in an outbuilding?

No. The Building Code of Australia (BCA) classifies outbuildings (sheds) as Class 10a ‘non-habitable’ structures, and cannot be used for human habitation or living purposes.

Any building or structure intended for habitable purposes (ie living, sleeping) must satisfy the BCA performance requirements for a Class 1a habitable building, which requires a higher standard of construction than a shed.

Can I build or convert an existing outbuilding to use as a dwelling?

Proposals to build or convert an outbuilding for habitable purposes will be considered by the City, however all relevant approvals and minimum construction standards that apply to dwellings must be achieved. 

  • An Application for Development Approval may be required to ‘Change the Use’ of the outbuilding to a habitable structure. For details on what needs to be provided, please review ‘Checklist – Residential’. Development Applications to build, or convert an outbuilding for habitable purposes will consider any relevant Scheme, Policy or development controls applicable to the land, the relationship to any existing development on the site, streetscape character and visual amenity of the area etc.
  • To convert an existing outbuilding for habitable purposes, a Building Permit is required to change the class from a Class 10a outbuilding to a Class 1a dwelling.  The application must demonstrate compliance with the minimum construction standards in accordance with the Building Code of Australia including, but not limited to; structural matters, energy efficiency, damp & weatherproofing, health & amenity (light, ventilation, wet areas, smoke alarms, etc).

Environmental Health Approvals

Non-sewered sites will require an approval for an effluent disposal system that is suitable for the proposed dwelling. Further details can be found on our Waste Water page.

Patios, Pergolas and Shade Sails


A patio is defined as an unenclosed (open on two or more sides) structure with an impervious roof which may or may not be attached to a dwelling.

A patio is used for outdoor living and entertainment.

Development Approval is required if-

  • It is does not satisfy the ‘Deemed to Comply’ criteria or the R-Codes; or
  • The property is located in a Landscape Value Area; or
  • The property is heritage listed; or
  • It is not a residential property.

A Building Permit is required for all patios.

Pergolas and Shade Sails

A pergola or shade sail is defined as an open-framed structure covered in water permeable material or unroofed, which may or may not be attached to a dwelling.  

Pergolas and shade sails are generally required to be setback at least one metre from a boundary.

Development Approval is required if -

  • the pergola or shade sail is on land that is heritage listed. 

A Building Permit is not required for a shade sail if it complies with the following:

  • The structure is more than 1.0m from a boundary;
  • The maximum height is 3.0m.

A Building Permit is not required for a pergola if it complies with the following:

  • Less than 20m2;
  • Not more than 2.4m high.

In all other instances, a Building Permit is required.

Retaining Walls

Retaining walls up to 500mm in height above natural ground level generally do not require approval.

However, any retaining wall needs to be constructed to a suitable standard.

Retaining walls higher than 500mm will require a Building Permit, and may also need a Development Approval.

Swimming Pool or Spa

All swimming pools need a Building Permit, and all swimming pools need a barrier fence.

All swimming pools will be inspected on a yearly basis.

Pools in certain areas will also need Development Approval.

Please refer to our Swimming Pool page for more details.

Street Trees and Your Verge

Existing street trees within the verge are City property and should not be lopped or removed with written approval from the City. On the rare occasion when a street tree needs to be moved, you will need to contact the City’s Parks and Gardens team for permission.

Proposed verge treatments. The City has a guide for planting out your verge. Things to be mindful of include the impact of the species of plant you propose to use, size of trees, sightlines for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, impact on rubbish collection etc. Please see our document Section 9c - Landscape Road Reserve or Nature Verge.

Subdivision -  Can I subdivide my property?

The ability to subdivide your property is dependent on a number of factors including:

  • The zoning of your property;
  • The minimum lot sizes set under the Residential Design Codes for Residential zoned land or the Local Planning Scheme No 21 for all other zones;
  • The environmental sensitivity of the property;
  • State Planning Policies (ie: SPP 3.7 – Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas).

The Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) is responsible for determining applications for subdivision. The Subdivision Flow Chart provides an overview of the process, or you can find more information via the WAPC website.

Special Application of the Residential Design Codes

The City of Busselton Local Planning Scheme No. 21 (the Scheme) has a ‘density bonus’ which may allow for the development of an additional dwelling which the R-codes would not normally allow.

The Scheme states:

“The local government may grant development approval for the development of not more than two grouped dwellings on any lot comprising not less than 900m², applying a minimum site area of 450m² per grouped dwelling, within any area coded R10 or greater on the Scheme map, excluding standard residential lots with direct canal frontage in the Port Geographe Development area.”


".... the local government may, for the purposes of urban consolidation, grant development approval for the development of grouped dwellings at density R20, R25, R30 or R40 on any lot greater than 1,500m² within any area coded R20/40 on the Scheme map."

Development Approval from the City is required where this bonus is sought, and must be granted before a formal subdivision application can be made to the WAPC.

Water Tanks

If your property is located within a ‘Special Control Area’, Development Approval is required for a water tank. It must located within your building envelope and preferably constructed using darker colours.

Building Permits are required for all water tanks over 5000 litres.

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