What do I need to know about planning regulations in the act?

Jun 11, 2019

building regulations canberra

Put simply, there is a lot to know about planning regulations in the ACT.

Building a single dwelling in Canberra requires compliance with an extensive set of rules enforced by the ACT Government. There are also a number of rules that have been developed by TCCS (Transport Canberra and City Services), which are also important.

As well as the standard planning regulations, different suburbs throughout Canberra also have their own regulations. For example, homes in new suburbs require compliance with the standard rules, as well as the rules for the development which may prescribe things such as: the types of materials that can be used in building, the requirement for solar energy facilities, provisions for water tanks, and so on. The same applies for suburbs that have been identified as bushfire or flood prone.

Building certifiers live and breathe government regulations, and are the only licensed professionals who can legally approve your building design to ensure that it meets all the necessary requirements.

As we covered in our last blog, there are certain circumstances where a building design that fails to comply will still be approved, providing the designer can prove that you have every intention of complying.

Here is a list of the general regulations single dwellings (i.e.: not duplex or commercial) need to comply with in the ACT:

  • Size of house compared to land (known as “plot ratio”)
  • Number of storeys allowed
  • Height of the building
  • Proximity to neighours’ homes
  • Overshadowing of neighbours’ homes
  • Placement of windows (privacy)
  • Amount of open space to allow for planting shrubs and trees
  • Setback from the street, as well as front and rear setbacks
  • Waste management (how waste is removed)
  • Stormwater easement clearance (TCCS)
  • Changes to established trees (TCCS)
  • Erosion and sediment control
  • Changes to the nature strip or trees on the nature strip
  • Incorporation of solar
  • Garages
  • Driveways
  • Fences
  • Swimming pools
  • Pedestrian and vehicle access
  • More!

While it may seem excessive, the regulations do help to protect privacy, preserve land and natural settings, and ensure safety.

And though it all seems like a bit much to wrap your head around, the benefit of hiring a qualified and established building designer, builder and certifier is that you never need to worry about the intricacies of planning regulations.

Your building designer will work with you to ensure that your perfect design is compliant, and if it isn’t, they will discuss the options available to you.

Rosin Bros provides a free initial on-site assessment of your block, and can immediately identify any problems you may have. After this, we can organise a Site Survey, Soil Testing, Planning Report and Concept Design for a moderate fee that gets things underway.

At no point will you need to worry about whether we have crossed every t or dotted every i. We’ve been building homes in Canberra for over 20 years, so we’re highly familiar with regulations and requirements.

To arrange a free site assessment for your block, or to discuss any concerns you have about planning regulations and your knock down rebuild or new home build, call us on 6247 4799 or email info@rosinbros.com.au.

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