Building Regulations & ResCode
From 24 August, 2001, siting regulations known as ResCode apply to building permit applications.Height and setback measures have partly changed and new measures to regulate overlooking, overshadowing, rainwater soakage and solar orientation have been introduced. As before, designs not in compliance with the prescribed measures cannot be granted a building permit unless Council consents to the alternative.
Table of Contents
Decision Time Frame
Pursuant to sub-regulation 2.5(2) of the Building Regulations 1994 the time after receipt of a copy of an application for the reporting authority to report on or consent to a matter under Division 2 of Part 4 is 15 business days.
Although the Council will endeavour to meet the above time limit it may not be met - particularly where the Council seeks submissions from adjoining owners. Please consult with the Council as to time frames at time of referral.
An owner has rights of appeal to the Building Appeals Board (Ph 9285 6400) - including (within 30 days) - any:
- requirement of a reporting authority to give more information or amend a permit application (s138 of Building Act)
- the determination or exercise of discretion or
- failure within a reasonable time to make a determination or exercise that discretion (s144 of Building Act).
Design ConsiderationsPursuant to clause 4A of Schedule 2 of the Building Act Council must refuse to give consent to a design, which does not comply with Ministerial decision guidelines for siting matters. Designers will need to be fully aware of these guidelines to avoid refusal of consent and fee retention. Copies of the regulations and guidelines are available from the Council.
Former VicCode 1 No Longer To Apply
previous VicCode 1 criteria - unless accompanied by an agreement between the relevant building surveyor and the owner as to any specific new regulations to apply.
Although the Planning Scheme has been amended by ResCode it should be noted that:
- local planning overlays remain unchanged
- there are no Neighbourhood Character overlays
- a planning permit is required for the construction or extension of one dwelling on a lot less than 300m2 in a Residential 1 zone.
2.1 of the Building Regulations includes additional document requirements for building permit applications. Included are:
- The location, dimensions and area of impermeable surfaces covering the allotment if necessary for the purposes of regulation 4.12
- The location and dimensions of car parking spaces for the purposes of regulation 4.13
- The location, dimensions and area of secluded private open space for the purposes of regulation 4.21.
Building surveyors must ensure that, where necessary, the above information is obtained before applications are referred to the Council for any consent. If such information is not present, (1) consent will be refused (where such information is clearly necessary) or (2) a flawed decision may be made - for which the building surveyor may be accountable.
Persons other than building surveyors (such as architects, draftspersons and owners) who apply for consent will need to be aware that the Council may request further information in broad terms. Such persons must ensure they are aware of the relevant regulations and guidelines or use a suitably experienced adviser/consultant.
It is strongly recommended that referrals be accompanied with supporting information to demonstrate that the guidelines have been considered and met by the designer.
Clause 4A of Schedule 2 of the Building Act provides that, if in the opinion of the reporting authority (Council), the application may result in a nearby allotment suffering detriment, it must give the owner of the allotment an opportunity to make a submission in respect of the possible detriment.
Please note that the above provision requires the Council:
- to determine the possibility of detriment
- to give opportunity for any submission.
Any comments of adjoining owners tendered by the referring building surveyor or applicant will not over-ride the possibility that the Council may be obliged to advertise.