Building

To contact the Building and Plumbing Department:

Phone: (03) 6397 7303 or email: building@nmc.tas.gov.au

General

Changes to Planning and Building Staff availability – commencing 8 January 2018

Due to the high volume of enquiries received, officers will be available for phone and face to face enquiries to discuss building and planning matters at the following times:

  • Monday – between 9:00am and 12:00pm

  • Wednesday – between 2:00pm and 5:00pm

  • Friday – between 9:00am and 12:00pm

For general enquiries please refer to our Fact Sheets located here or a copy can be obtained from the Council office.

Meetings can be arranged otherwise by appointment.

Thank you for your understanding.

Building FAQs

FAQs  

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BUILDING AND PLANNING PROCESSES AND APPROVALS?

Planning approval and building approval are two separate processes.

Planning permits give permission to use or develop land in a particular way.

The planning process is mainly concerned with assessing the impacts of a proposed use or development on the amenity of the surrounding area, such as:

  • Will there be loss of privacy or overshadowing problems?
  • Is a proposed development set far enough away from boundaries?
  • Is a proposed building too high?
  • Is the proposed use of the land appropriate to the area?
  • Will a proposed development affect the streetscape?
  • Does a use or development have enough car parking?
  • Will the proposed hours of operating of a use affect neighbours?

Building permits ensure that building work (which can include a change of use or demolition) complies with the requirements of the Building Act 2016, Building Regulations 2016 and the National Construction Code (NCC).

Building approval involves an assessment of a proposed use or development against the Building Act 2016, Building Regulations 2016 and the National Construction Code, and considers issues such as:

  • Is the building soundly constructed?
  • Have adequate fire protection measures been installed?
  • Is the building capable of receiving adequate levels of light and ventilation?
  • Is the building property sewered and drained?
  • Are the building's features safe for users?
  • Is the building accessible to, and does it contain facilities for, people with disabilities?

A use or development of land might require both planning and building approval. If a planning permit is required, it must be obtained before a building permit can be issued.

WHAT IS A LAND USE ZONE?

The planning scheme zones land for particular uses, for example, residential, industrial, business or other. The zones are listed in the planning scheme and each zone has a purpose and set of development standards. This information describes if a planning permit is required, and the matters that the council must consider before deciding to grant a permit.

The zone also contains information relating to land uses, subdivision of land, construction of new buildings and other changes to the land.

HOW DO I KNOW WHAT ZONE APPLIES TO A PROPERTY?

Each piece of land has a zone, such as residential, business, industrial, recreation or open space (shown by a colour on zone maps) that defines what use and development may be undertaken.

Some pieces of land are also subject to overlays (shown by hatching or colours on the overlay maps) and further code requirements (found in the planning scheme text).

You can find the zone of land and any applicable overlays at My Planning Enquiry

WHEN DO I REQUIRE A PLANNING PERMIT?

The Northern Midlands Interim Planning Scheme 2013 (the planning scheme) regulates the use and development of land within the Northern Midlands Council local government area.

The planning scheme consists of the maps, overlays and written text.   

You should contact council’s Planning section to find out whether you need a planning permit for a particular use or development. If you are going to buy or lease a property, it is recommended that you make sure it can be used for what you want it for prior to purchase/lease. It can’t be assumed, for example, that a property can be used for a particular business just because a business is already there. It also can’t be assumed that a planning permit application is not required because no building works proposed. You may need to get other approvals in addition to planning permit approval, such as building or plumbing approval.

When contacting Council’s Planning section you will need to provide:

  • Street address or title details of the property in question;

  • Details of your proposed use;

  • Details of any proposed development (size of building, distances from boundaries).

WHAT IF A PROPERTY IS HERITAGE LISTED?

Having a heritage listed property means that any modifications need to be thoroughly assessed to make sure that the heritage characteristics of the property or area are retained.

Northern Midlands Council planning scheme listing:

Planning approval is usually needed for use or development of a property that is:

  • Heritage listed in the planning scheme text; or

  • In a heritage precinct in the planning scheme maps.

Tasmanian Heritage Register:

A property might be listed on the Tasmanian Heritage Register. Heritage Tasmania provides information on how you can find out if a property is listed on the Tasmanian Heritage Register.

If a property is on the Tasmanian Heritage Register, it is protected under the Historic Cultural Heritage Act 1995. To determine requirements under that Act you should contact Heritage Tasmania.

DO I NEED A PERMIT TO FENCE MY PROPERTY? 

Street boundary fences

You will need a planning permit to build a fence if:

  • The property is heritage listed; or

  • The property is in heritage precinct; or

  • The fence is over 1.2m high.

Neighbouring boundary fences

You will need a planning permit to build a fence if the fence exceeds:

  • 1.2m in height within 4.5 metres of the frontage; or

  • 2.1m in height beyond 4.5m of the frontage (if fences are constructed of concrete, brick or block, a building permit may be required for the development)

The Boundary Fences Act 1908 and Boundary Fences Regulations 1998 define the law in Tasmania relating to constructing and repairing fences that divide adjoining land.  Council does not provide advice on where the property boundaries are.  Refer to the Certificate of Title Folio plan, or if in doubt a land surveyor will measure out where the boundaries area.  The Council does not have control over neighbour disputes regarding side or rear fences. If you cannot come to an agreement with your neighbour, you will need to obtain legal advice. Further information can be found in the Legal Aid Commission’s Boundary fences fact sheet.