Do I Need Council Approval for My Shed?

council approval for shed

It’s the question we are most often asked here at Southern Cross Garages. Unfortunately, there’s not a quick yes or no answer as it depends on where in Australia you live. Every council’s rules and regulations are different, so there can be variations even within the same state.

Generally speaking, the majority of councils in Australia will allow the construction of small sheds without a permit.

However, the number #1 thing to remember is that no matter what anyone tells you, it’s essential to contact your local council and ask them directly what their rules and regulations are. It’s the only way to avoid what could end up being a very costly mistake down the track.

Council Approval Checklist

As we deliver sheds to all parts of Australia, we don’t have room in this post to list every council’s requirements. Only your local council can provide appropriate advice regarding what you can and cannot build on your property. Even builders and tradesmen, although usually very knowledgeable, may not be up with the latest legislation as it changes frequently. Don’t assume what someone – a neighbor, friend or relative, for example – is correct. Always check for yourself! Here’s what you need to do if you are thinking about building a new shed:


  • Give your local council a call to find out what regulations apply. It won’t cost you anything to check, and it could save you money in the long run. If you build a shed, garage or carport without approval, you might run into difficulty when it comes time to sell. There’s also the possibility that council will fine you or ask you to remove the structure. 
  • If your structure does fall under the ‘exempt development’ category, make sure you pass on the exact specifications to the shed company you are purchasing from.
  • If you do need council approval, you will need to submit the relevant paperwork to council. Usually, you will need to submit a site plan, engineer papers and possibly a building license. Again, you will need to check with your local council regarding documentation. 
  • Talk to your neighbours. If you think your new shed will impact your neighbour’s view, light or space, let them know what you are planning. Keeping the peace with your neighbours could potentially help you avoid unnecessary headaches in the future. 

Find Your Local Council & More Info

If you’re still unclear about what you need to do, use the links below to find your local council and contact them with any questions. For more information about the general questions of council approval, this article provides a good insight. 

Local Council Finder 


If you are looking to purchase a new shed, give the friendly team at Southern Cross Garages a call. We are here to help with all your questions, and we can also provide a free quote.