Demolition

Some demolition work does not need development approval if it complies with rules set out in regulations. Examples include demolition of certain houses and class 10 buildings* or structures.

Exemptions from development approval

The demolition does not need development approval if it complies with relevant provisions of the Planning and Development Regulation 2008, Schedule 1.

Please note: On 29 May 2012 additional requirements came into effect for DA exempt development of single dwellings on old residential land and single dwelling demolition across Canberra. The new criteria does not apply to DA exempt development of single dwellings in new estates.

A single dwelling can be demolished without development approval if it complies with heritage and tree protection legislation and the following:

  • Written information, including contact details and a covering information sheet (Form 7A) has been supplied to adjoining* residents before the demolition commences.

You will need to demonstrate that adjoining residents have been informed by providing the certifier a summary (Form 7B) of the information supplied, as part of the application for building approval.

Summary

The demolition of a building or structure, or part of a building or structure, doesn't need development approval if:

  • It is in relation to a building or structure which, if it were to be built would be an exempt development (i.e. not requiring a development application to build). 
  • it does not breach the Tree Protection Act 2005 or the Heritage Act 2004.

Please note: If the building or structure to be demolished is included in the heritage register or under a heritage agreement it is highly likely that it will require a development application and you should contact ACTPLA.  The ACT Heritage Register is accessible at www.environment.act.gov.au/heritage/heritage_register.

The demolition of a class 10 building  or structure, or part of a class 10 building or structure* doesn't need development approval if:

Please note: If the building or structure to be demolished is included in the heritage register or under a heritage agreement it is highly likely that it will require a development application and you should contact ACTPLA.  The ACT Heritage Register is accessible at www.environment.act.gov.au/heritage/heritage_register.

*See definitions

If the site is on national land you should contact the National Capital Authority for development approval.

If you are still unsure whether the demolition 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

The demolition does not need building approval if it complies with relevant provisions of the Building (General) Regulation 2008, Schedule 1.

Summary

The demolition is exempt from building approval provided that the building being demolished would be exempt from building approval if it was to be constructed today.

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.

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