Unauthorised building works are any building works that were undertaken without the correct planning, building and/or plumbing approvals and can include patios, sheds, brick fences, retaining walls as well as building alterations or additions.
If you carry out work without a permit, you may be required to re-do the work and obtain the required approvals or remove/demolish the illegal works. Rectifying illegal building works can be costly and there may also be increased fees if you are issued with an infringement notice.
Many building works require approval before they can begin. However, not all works require approval.
If you would like advice regarding whether you’re building works require approval, please contact Council’s Duty Planner on (02) 4677 1100.
Investigating and Penalties
Penalty notices may be issued to an individual or a corporation for unauthorised developments and/or works not in accordance with a current development consent.
Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979 Council can issue an Order requiring the building owner to demolish, alter, repair or remove the unauthorised structure.
A person undertaking building works without first obtaining approval can be prosecuted, for such offences as:
- using a premises without approval to do so (unlawful use)
- carrying out works without the correct approvals
- not complying with development approval
- not complying with a building approval
- environmental breaches
Council can commence legal proceedings for either a Court Order to demolish the structure or Council can seek the imposition of a penalty of over $1million.
Before commencing any Building Works, Council highly recommends you seek planning advice to check if Council approval is required before any works are commence.