Garages, sheds and gazebos

Exemptions from development approval

Certain roofed, enclosed or open on one side buildings  do not need development or building approval if they comply with rules set out in Schedule 1, Part 1.3, Division 1.3.2, Section 1.45) of the Planning and Development Regulation 2008.

Garages, sheds and gazebos are part of a group called Class 10a buildings that have different exemption criteria depending on the roofing and level of enclosure.

Examples of roofed, enclosed or open on 1 side class 10a buildings include:

  • garages
  • greenhouses
  • storerooms
  • conservatories
  • cubbyhouses
  • gazebos
  • outbuildings
  • sheds
  • studios
  • stables
  • workshops

Summary

The development is exempt from needing development approval provided that:

  • the building is enclosed by a roof and has walls on every side, or every side except 1
  • it is not more than 3m above natural ground level (the structure can be as high as 4 metres above ground level if no part is higher than a  30o plane - see picture)

 Carports_heightdiagram

  • it is behind the building line, and if it has a plan area of more than 10m2, it is at least 15m from the block’s front boundary
  • Additional criteria apply if two exempt class 10 structures would be built within 1.5m of a side or rear block boundary. More information

Please note that:

  • if the block size is not more than 500m2, a max plan area of 10m2 applies
  • if the block size is 500m2 to 600m2, a max plan area of 25m2 applies
  • if the block size is 600m2 or more, a max plan area of 50m2 applies
  • you should also consider other general exemption criteria that may apply.

 
If you are seeking to build on a rural block different exemption rules apply. (See Schedule 1, Part 1.3, Division 1.3.5, Section 1.85 of the regulation).

If you are still unsure whether your development is exempt you should check the regulation or call ACTPLA on phone: (02) 6207 1923.

A building certifier can ensure plans and work are completed in accordance with the law.

Exemptions from building approval

A garage, greenhouse, storeroom, conservatory, cubby house, gazebo, outbuilding, shed, studio, stables, workshop does not need building approval if it complies with relevant provisions of the Building (General) Regulation 2008, Schedule 1. Below is a summary of the building regulation.  If you are still unsure about whether your development is exempt from needing building approval you should go to the building regulations.

Summary

The development is exempt from needing building approval provided that:

  • it is not more than 3m above ground
  • the floor level is not more than 1m above ground
  • the frame does not have an unsupported span (including any cantilever) of more than 4m
  • the roof (including a sail or sail-like element) plan area is not more than 25m2

General rules for exempt building work

The proposed structure should not adversely affect:

  • the structural integrity of any part of a building
  • a fire-rated wall, ceiling or floor
  • a fire escape, emergency lift, stairway, exit or exit passageway
  • the natural light, the ventilation or fire protection system
  • the proposed structure should not affect the building in a way that reduces its compliance with the Building Code to below minimum requirements
  • erection of the structure should not involve handling asbestos or disturbing friable asbestos.

 For more information on exempt development call ACTPLA on phone: (02) 6207 1923.

The ACT Government is committed to improving the accessibility of web content. To provide feedback or request an accessible version of a document please contact us or phone 13 22 81.