Applications for Building Approvals

Building in Esperance is a quick reference for anyone wanting to build, renovate or demolish in Esperance. You are encouraged to consult the Shire of Esperance Building Services to ensure that you obtain the correct advice about the process you need to follow prior to lodging an application.

Applying for a Building Permit is a basic checklist for the minimum standard requirements for the documents you will need to submit when you apply for a Building Permit.

Building Commission

All applications are now processed on-line, therefore documentation is preferred to be provided electronically. If your documentation is too large to email, please contact Building Services and we will arrange an alternative method for you to upload your documentation.

For additional information including applicable fees for Building / Demolition Permits and Building Approval Certificates please refer to the Building Commission website.

Contact Building Services:

(08) 9071 0629

Call in to the Administration Building on Windich Street. An appointment is preferred if you wish to speak to Technical Staff.

Please note: Prior to a Building Permit Application, or a Building Approval Certificate application being accepted by the Shire:

  • Development Approval (Planning) is required to be issued.
  • Apparatus for the Treatment of Sewage Approval should also be issued (if applicable).

Timeframes to Process & Issue Building Approvals

The clock starts at 12am the day after a complete application is received by the Shire of Esperance.

25 Business Days

Building Permit Uncertified (BA2) - Class 1a & Class 10 buildings and incidental structures only

10 Business Days

Building Permit Certified (BA1)

Demolition Permit (BA5)

Occupancy Permit (BA9)

Building Approval Certificate (BA13)

Building Services may require an applicant to provide additional information or document(s) that it deems necessary. The applicant is required to submit the additional information or document(s) within 21 days of a written request or the application may be refused.

If an application is incomplete, or the required approvals have not been obtained, the Shire is entitled to refuse the application and retain the application fee.

Applying for a Building Permit

When applying for a Building Permit it is necessary to submit detailed plans and specifications together with the relevant Application Form.

All applications are now processed on-line, therefore documentation is preferred to be provided electronically. If your documentation is too large to email, please contact Building Services and we will arrange an alternative method for you to upload your documentation.

If the work proposed relates to amending aspects of a current and approved Building Permit, a new Building Permit application is required to be completed. In addition to providing clearly marked and professionally drafted plans, all sections of the application form must be completed and signed clearly outlining each and every change and the value of the variations.

For very minor changes to a current and approved Building Permit, the Shire's Building Surveyor may determine that a minor amendment be approved without the need to obtain a new Building Permit. Please complete and submit an Application for a Minor Amendment to a Building Permit form, including detailed plans of the proposed amendments.

Building Permits now fall into two categories:

Certified Applications

  • Must be accompanied by a Certificate of Design Compliance, certified by a Private Building Surveyor.
  • All Class 2-9 buildings require private certification.

Uncertified Building Application

Includes Class 1a (residential housing) and Classes 10a and 10b (non-habitable buildings, fences, retaining or free-standing walls, swimming pools, private garages and sheds). For this category the Permit Authority (Shire of Esperance) will issue a Certificate of Design Compliance.


Some minor building works as defined under the Building Regulations 2012 may be exempt from requiring a Building Permit. For a written response regarding potentially exempt building works, please complete and submit an Exempt Building Work Request form, including detailed plans of the proposal.

Demolition Permit Information

A Demolition Permit must be obtained before work commences on the demolition for any housing, commercial and industrial demolition, including minor works such as garages and carports unless specifically exempt under r.42 of the Building Regulations 2012. If unsure as to whether or not a Demolition Permit will be necessary please contact Building Services on (08) 9071 0676.

A contractor licenced and approved by WorkSafe is required to oversee and carry out all demolition works except for single storey dwellings in accordance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2020 and Work Health and Safety (General) Regulations 2022.


Application for Demolition Permit.

Work Affecting Other Land

Have you been asked to sign a Form BA20?

A person responsible for building or demolition work must ensure that the work does not affect land beyond the boundaries of the works land. The Building Act 2011 ensures communication occurs between adjoining owners before commencing any building or demolition work.

The two most common reasons for the request for a Form BA20 to be completed in the Shire of Esperance are for adversely affecting other land in relation to:

  • Proposed retaining walls on or close to boundaries.
  • Proposed buildings on or close to boundaries.

It is an offence for a person responsible for work to adversely affect land beyond the boundaries without consent or court order.

Adversely affecting land includes:

  • reducing the stability, bearing capacity of the land or a building or structure on the land;
  • damaging a building or structure on the adjoining land; or
  • changing the natural site drainage that reduces the effectiveness of the drainage on the land or existing or future buildings or structures on the land.

If your neighbour asks you to sign a Form BA20:

  • You must be provided with the plans and specifications and any technical certificates for the proposed work.
  • All owners of the affected property are required to sign the BA20.
  • The associated Building Permit or Demolition Permit cannot be issued until the required Form BA20 has been correctly completed and signed.

Should you need assistance with completing the Form BA20, you are welcome to make an appointment with the Shire’s Building Surveyor.

Building & Energy

Owner Builders

Under the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 only a Registered Building Practitioner or a Registered Building Contractor can perform particular building work.

If you intend to owner-build, whether renovations or a new dwelling altogether, information and the owner-builder licence application can be found at the Building Commission website or from Building Services in the Shire of Esperance Administration Centre.

Energy Efficiency

New dwellings and extensions are required to comply with the Energy Efficiency Provisions contained in the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

For further information and a copy of the Energy Efficiency Checksheet and Glazing Calculator (which is required with all Building Permit Applications for dwellings and extensions), please refer to the Building Commission's website.

New Energy Efficiency provisions have been added to the Building Code of Australia (BCA) which require new dwellings and additions to comply with the provisions set out in Part 3.12 of the BCA.

The Shire is required to check compliance against these provisions and the onus is on the builder to demonstrate that new dwellings and / or additions comply with the various elements of Part 3.12 of the BCA. Compliance can be achieved in two different ways, namely:

Deemed to Satisfy

The Deemed-to-Satisfy provision consists of two compliance options:

  • Option 1: Energy rating in accordance with Clause 3.12.0(a)(i) of the BCA.
  • Option 2: Elemental provisions in accordance with Clause 3.12.0(a)(ii) of the BCA.

In addition, where either of the options are used, provisions for Services under Part 3.12.5 of the BCA also apply.

The BCA2012 check sheets previously available on the Building Commission website for new houses are out of date and should not be used; therefore they have been removed from the website. The Building Commission will not be providing updated versions of these check sheets.

Alternative Solutions

An Alternative Solution must demonstrate compliance with the relevant Performance Requirements in the BCA by using one or more of the following assessment methods:

  • Verification method (such as verification using a reference building under V2.6.2.2 of the BCA Volume Two or any other verification method that the relevant Building Surveyor accepts)
  • Comparison with the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provision
  • Evidence of Suitability
  • Expert Judgement

Part 2.6 of the BCA contains Performance Requirements for Energy Efficiency and Part 3.12 provides Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions. The BCA is available free online from the Australian Building Codes Board website.

WA Alterations and Additions Protocol for Energy Efficiency

The Building Commission has supported an industry-led project to provide a practical building solution to enable alterations and additions in Class 1 or attached Class 10 buildings to meet the energy efficiency requirements. This project has resulted in the development of a WA Alterations and Additions Protocol for Energy Efficiency (the Protocol). The Protocol provides the basis of an alternative solution that can be developed to demonstrate compliance with the BCA’s energy efficiency performance requirements for alterations and additions in Class 1 and Class 10 buildings.

Employ the Services of an Accredited Energy Efficiency Assessor

Assessors wishing to be accredited as NatHERS Assessors in WA must comply with the protocols set out by Federal and State governments in order to gain accreditation.

These protocols require assessors to have:

  • Industry experience and professional or trade qualifications.
  • Completion of approved training.
  • Continuing professional development training.
  • Compliance with a Code of Practice to ensure maintenance of professional standards.
  • Compliance with Accredited Assessment Procedures to ensure reliable, consistent assessments.
  • Maintenance of Professional Indemnity Insurance.
  • Auditing of assessments to determine compliance with professional standards.
  • ABSA Accredited Assessors are listed in the Find an Assessor section below, where consumers can locate professionals able to assist them with their various building assessment needs.

Australian Building Sustainability Association.

Building in a Designated Bushfire Prone Area

If you are considering building in a designated Bush Fire Prone Area construction must address compliance with bush fire requirements of the BCA.

The mapping of bush fire prone areas has been updated for the Esperance region. The Office of Bushfire Risk Management released an amendment to the Map of Bush Fire Prone Areas in July 2017 to rectify a data processing issue affecting some Esperance properties. The Map is used by land use planners and developers to inform the location and design of new development in bush fire prone areas. Residents can view the Map at  For more information, please refer to the FAQs on the map website or contact the Office on (08) 6551 4060 or

In accordance with Building Code of Australia (BCA) Performance Requirements Volume One - GP5.1 and Volume Two - P2.3.4; a building constructed in a designated bushfire prone area must, to the degree necessary, be designed and constructed to reduce the risk of ignition from a bushfire, appropriate to the:

  1. Potential for ignition caused by burning embers, radiant heat or flame generated by a bushfire; and
  2. Intensity of bushfire attack on the building.

Applies to: (regardless of the lot size)

  • Class 1 (e.g. Dwellings, Bed & Breakfasts)
  • Class 2 (e.g. Apartments)
  • Class 3  (e.g. Hotels; Accommodation for Aged Persons, Children or People with Disabilities)

Class 10a (e.g. Buildings or Decks (associated with Class 1, 2 or 3 buildings))

If your property is in a Bush Fire Prone Area, Australian Standard 3959 requires that your property be assessed to determine a “Bushfire Attack Level” (BAL), this will determine the appropriate construction requirements for your property. Only an Accredited Bush Fire Assessor is able to undertake this assessment.

The Building Commission’s Guide is available if you wish to improve the design and construction of your home to minimise potential damage from bushfires. The guide explains the construction requirements and building standards for new homes and assists with upgrading your existing home for better protection from bushfires.

Building Commission's

Building Permit Checklists

Building Permit information checklists detail the requirements for lodging applications for a Building Permit. These are available from the Building Services counter located within the Shire Administration Building or can be downloaded:

Checklist - Carports, Patios & Sheds

Checklist - New Dwellings & Additions

Checklist - Relocated Secondhand Building

Checklist - Retaining Walls, Decks, Stairs & Water Tanks

Checklist - Swimming Pools & Spa Pools

Note: These checklists are provided as a broad guide only and may be subject to change without notice. Additional information may be required following formal assessment of any application, particularly for alternative designs.

Internal processing checklists may also be obtained by contacting the Shire's Building Surveyor.

Crossover Applications

A Crossover Application must be lodged with the Shire's Asset Management team at least 10 days prior to works commencing on any section(s) of driveways within the road reserve.

For any queries or assistance, please contact Asset Management on (08) 9071 0641 or call in to the Shire Administration Centre (Engineering Counter) on Windich Street.

Crossover Application Form

Crossover Policy

Notice of Completion

Requirements under the Building Act 2011 (for all classes of buildings) state that the builder must submit a Notice of Completion (form BA7) within 7 days of finishing the work listed under a Building Permit.

The purpose of this Notice of Completion is to establish an end date for the Building Permit and for compliance and record keeping purposes. It also defines the date that the builder has fulfilled his compliance obligations under the Building Act 2011.