Building Permit approval - demolition of buildings or structures

Overview

In Western Australia it is an offence under the Building Act 2011 to commence any demolition work without a demolition permit. A demolition permit is required for the demolition, dismantling or removal of all buildings or incidental structures.

A refundable verge deposit(PDF, 117KB)  may be required to cover the cost of any infrastructure damaged (e.g. kerb/footpath) as a result of the demolition work. 

Other approvals required: If your proposed demolition work requires a health or planning approval, you should obtain these approvals before you submit your demolition permit application to the City. 

Duration: A demolition permit is valid for two years from the date of issue, unless otherwise stated on the permit.

Demolition permit exemptions: Part 5, Division 2 of the Building Act 2011 outlines specific exemptions for particular buildings and incidental structures (including temporary buildings). Regulation 42 of the Building Regulations 2012 further outlines demolition work that does not require a demolition permit. 

Regardless of any exemption that may apply there is always a requirement under section 38(2) of the Building Act 2011 for the Owner to ensure that all demolition work, when completed, complies with each applicable building standard.

Enquiries: If you have any building enquiries, please send an email to eBuilding@swan.wa.gov.au. Alternatively you may contact the City’s Building Services Development Liaison Officer on 9267 9267. 

Demolition contractor requirements

In accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984, the Occupational and Health Regulations 1996 the person named as the demolition contractor may be required to have an approved WorkSafe licence prior to commencing any demolition work and may also require an asbestos removal licence.

There are three types of demolition licence (Class1, 2 and 3). Each licence is valid for a period of two years and is endorsed with a number of conditions and legislation that relate to the way demolition work is carried out in WA.

There are two types of asbestos removal licence (unrestricted and restricted). Each licence in valid for a period of three years and is endorsed with a number of conditions that relate to the way asbestos removal work is carried out.

Is a licence required for all demolition work?

It is an offence to do any of the work described as class 1, class 2 or class 3 demolition works unless licensed to do the work.

For more information about the different classes please refer to the State Government's Department of Commerce website.

In Western Australia certain demolition work must be carried out by a WorkSafe demolition licence holder. To find an appropriate licence holder please refer to the Department of Commerce's directory

Is a licence required to remove asbestos?

In Western Australia the removal of materials that contain asbestos can only be carried out by a licensed holder, who is trained to handle and transport asbestos in a safe way.

Working with asbestos requires strict controls, in accordance with the Code of Practice for the Safe Removal of Asbestos 2nd Edition [NOHSC: 2002(2005)] and the Code of Practice for the Management and Control of Asbestos in Workplaces [NOHSC:2018(2005)].

There are two types of asbestos removal licences, unrestricted and restricted. Find out about the different types of licences

Find an appropriate licence holder in the online directory.

Determining the value of demolition work

When estimating the value of demolition work, the Building Regulations 2012 require that the value is the sum of the value of the following relevant components (including GST):

  • all goods, including manufactured goods, forming part of the construction work
  • labour
  • fees payable
  • profit margin
  • GST
  • services necessary
  • overheads 

For more information please refer to the Building Commissions Industry.

Submitting a demolition application

What to submit

 In order for the City to accept and lodge a demolition permit application we require the following mandatory items:

 Document required Details 
A demolition permit (BA5) application  
Site plan  Showing the location of the building or incidental structure that is being demolished
Evidence of the following approvals as relevant to the building or incidental stucture
  • health approval if the building work involves the demolition of any sewage treatment apparatus (ie. septic)
  • planning approval
Evidence that each person who provides a service has been notified of the intended demolition work.

These people may include but are not limited to the following services:

  • electricity
  • gas
Evidence that the building or incidental structure to be demolished has been treated to ensure that it is not infested by rodents at the time of the demolition  
Appropriate consent forms or court orders where work encroaches onto or adversely affects other land
Detail of the contractor, if asbestos is present  
Payment of the prescribed fees including the Building Services Levy and the Building Construction Training Fund Levy The Construction Training Fund (DTF) Levy is applied to all residential, commercial and civil engineering projects undertaken in Western Australia where the total value of construction is more than $20,000. The rate of the levy is 0.2% of the total contract price (inclusive of GST).
 Payment of fees  As per section 16 of the Building Act 2011 an assessment of your application will not commence until all fees have been paid. Find out more about fees(PDF, 203KB). If you have any difficulty calculating the fees please contact the City on 9267 9267.

The City may require an applicant to provide additional information or document(s) that it deems is necessary. The applicant must submit the additional information or document(s) within 21 days of a written request to avoid the application from being refused.

Once the City is satisfied that the application complies with the demolition standards, and all other relevant legislative requirements we will issue a demolition permit.

If an application is incomplete, or the required approvals have not been obtained, the City is entitled to refuse the application and to retain the application fee.

Who can apply?

Anyone can apply for a demolition permit. This includes the owner, demolition contractor, building surveyor or any other person.

The applicant is responsible for:

  • Providing details of the demolition contractor in the application form.
  • Lodgement of the permit application with all required supporting documents
  • Providing further information to the City within the specified time if requested
  • Obtaining all required approvals prior to lodgement of the demolition permit application.

Refer to roles and responsibilities of other key players on the building services page.

How to submit

The City receives building applications electronically. This option is available to all our customers and residents and it is our preferred choice for submissions. You may also submit your application in person, or by post.

Electronically:

  • If you are a registered user (i.e. applicants/builders who regularly submit building applications) please lodge the application using the online applications portal.

    If you are interested in becoming a registered user then please send an email to eApplications@swan.wa.gov.au  

  • If you are not a registered user please submit a PDF version of the application and supporting documentation to eApplications@swan.wa.gov.au

Please note: We can receive up to 30MB per email, however no single PDF should be larger than 10MB.

In person:

You may lodge an application over the counter at City of Swan, 2 Midland Square, MIDLAND WA 6056.

By post:

You may lodge an application via post at City of Swan, PO Box 196, MIDLAND WA 6936.

Assessment time frames

Under the Building Act 2011 the City has a fixed amount of time to grant or refuse a permit application. The point at which our timeframe for assessing an application starts is referred to as “starting the clock”.

 The length of time the City has to consider an application from when the clock starts is listed in the table below:

The clock starts at 12am the day after a complete application is received by the City.

Type of application Time the City has to decide
  • Building permit certified (BA1)
  • Demolition permit (BA5)
  • Occupancy permit (BA9)
  • Occupancy permit strata (BA11)
  • Building approval certificate (BA13)
  • Building approval certificate strata (BA15)
10 business days
  • Building permit uncertified (BA2)

(Class 1a and Class 10 buildings and incidental structures only)

25 business days

To help the City process applications within these strict timeframes, it is important to ensure that your application is complete and that all required approvals have been obtained before submitting your application.

The City may require an applicant to provide additional information or document(s) that it deems necessary.

The applicant must submit the additional information or document(s) within 21 days of a written request to avoid the application from being refused.

If an application is incomplete, or the required approvals have not been obtained, the City is entitled to refuse the application and to retain the application fee.

How much will it cost?

 All fees are payable at time of lodgement of an application. The fee types that may apply are:

 Fee  Description
The Building Act Fees The prescribed fee is payable to local government when an application is made. These fees cover the cost of assessment, regardless of the outcome ie. if the application is refused this fee will not be refunded.
The Building Services Levy (BSL)  A building services levy is payable to local government for building, demolition and some occupancy permits as well as for building approval certificates issued under the Building Act 2011. The levy is paid for the purposes of funding the operations of the Building Commission to regulate the building services.
The Construction Training Fund (CTF) Levy  The training is applied to all residential, commercial and civil engineering projects undertaken in Western Australia where the total value of construction is more than $20,000. The rate of the levy is 0.2% of the total contract price (inclusive of GST). In most cases the Levy is paid to the City when an application is made. Alternatively a direct payment to the Construction Training Fund may be made, in which case a copy of the receipt is required before hte City can accept or lodge the application.
 A refundable bond  May be required to cover the cost of any infrastructural damage to the verge, kerb or footpath, as a result of the demolition work.

The City receives demolition applications electronically. This option is available to all our customers and residents and it is our preferred choice for submissions.

You may also submit your application in person, or by post.

Electronically: Please submit a PDF version of the application and supporting documentation to eApplications@swan.wa.gov.au We can receive up to 30MB per email however no single PDF should be larger than 10MB.

In Person: You may lodge an application over the counter at City of Swan, 2 Midland Square, MIDLAND WA 6056

By Post: You may lodge an application via post at City of Swan, PO Box 196, MIDLAND WA 6936

Determining an application 

Applications are assessed for compliance with all legislative requirements. When the City is satisfied that the proposal complies with these requirements a demolition permit is issued.

The City must determine an application within 10 business days of submission unless amendments or additional information is requested.

Information must be provided within 21 days of a written request to avoid refusal, unless other arrangements are made with the building surveyor.

A demolition permit is issued with conditions to the approval. These conditions must be carefully read and understood prior to commencing any demolition work.

Appealing against a decision 

If an application is refused due to non-compliance the Applicant may lodge an appeal with the State Administrative Tribunal in accordance with the provisions under the Building Act.

For more information about the appeal process, please refer to the State Administrative Tribunal.

Duration of a demolition permit 

Extending the duration of a demolition permit

If a project takes longer than expected, an application to extend the demolition permit (BA22) must be submitted to the City before the expiry date of the existing permit.

The City will consider each application on a case by case basis and may add, vary or revoke the conditions of the demolition permit. 

How much will it cost to extend my permit?

All fees are payable at time of lodgement of an application. These fee types may apply:

  • The Building Act Fees: The prescribed fee is payable to local government when an application is made. These fees cover the cost of assessment, regardless of the outcome, ie. if the application if refused this fee will not be refunded.
  • The Building Services Levy (BSL): A building services levy is payable to local government for building, demolition and some occupancy permits as well as for building approval certificates issued under the Building Act 2011. The levy is paid for the purposes of funding the operations of the Building Commission to regulate the building services.
  • The Construction Training Fund (CTF) Levy: The training levy is applied to all residential, commercial and civil engineering projects undertaken in Western Australia where the total value of construction is more than $20,000. The rate of the levy is 0.2% of the total contract price (inclusive of GST).

In most cases, the levy is paid to the City when an application is made alternatively a direct payment to the Construction Training Fund may be made, in which case a copy of the receipt is required before the City can accept of lodge the application.

Read the full schedule of fees and charges(PDF, 203KB).

Do I need to do anything once my demolition work is completed? 

In accordance with the Building Act 2011 the demolition contractor must issue a notice of completion BA7 to the City within seven days of completing the demolition or stage of demolition for which the permit was granted. Penalty: a fine of $10,000.

This establishes the end date of the permit and is required for compliance and record keeping purposes.

What to submit

 To enable the City to accept and process a notice of completion the following must be submitted to the City:

  • an approved BA7 form which has been fully completed and signed 
  • a copy of all relevant inspection and/or test certificates that apply to the demolition permit.  

How to submit a notice of completion

Please submit a notice of completion (BA7) to eApplications@swan.wa.gov.au within seven days of completing demolition or stage of demolition for which the permit was granted.

Can a demolition permit application be withdrawn?

A demolition permit application can only be withdrawn before the assessment of an application has started. Once an assessment has commenced, the prescribed permit fee is not refundable.

When can a demolition permit application be withdrawn?

If an owner or an applicant decides they no longer want the City to assess a demolition permit application, it is possible to withdrawal the application if the application has been lodged but not yet assessed.

Who can withdraw a demolition permit application?

Either the Owner or the Applicant may withdraw an application, by sending a written request to the City to eApplications@swan.wa.gov.au.

Once the request has been processed the City will issue a confirmation notice for the unassessed application.

Can a demolition permit be cancelled or withdrawn?

The Building Act 2011 does not allow a permit to be cancelled or withdrawn. It can only be suspended if the builder submits a notice of cessation (BA8).

Until a notice of cessation is issued to the City, the demolition contractor remains liable for ensuring that all demolition work complies with the Building Act 2011.

A permit does not have effect during the period starting from the day on which a notice of cessation is received by the City and the day the City approves a new demolition contractor.  

When can a permit be suspended?

 A permit can be suspended when:

  • The demolition contractor submits a Notice of Cessation (BA8), or
  • The demolition contractor’s registration or authority ceases to have effect i.e. if a demolition contractor goes into receivership.

Who can suspend a permit?

Only the person named as the demolition contractor on a demolition permit may, before completion of the demolition or stage of demolition work for which the permit was granted, formally advise the City that they are no longer the responsible person for the project. This is done by submitting a notice of cessation (BA8)Penalty: a fine of $10,000.

Within seven days of giving a notice to the City, the demolition contractor must provide a copy of the notice to the owner of the building or incidental structure, as this alerts the owner to the cessation of demolition work and suspension of the permit.

How to submit a notice of cessation

Please submit all notices of cessations to eApplications@swan.wa.gov.au

Nominating a new demolition contractor

A demolition permit is issued under the Building Act 2011 and is therefore a legal document. If there is a requirement to transfer the permit from one demolition contractor to another an application needs to be submitted to the City.

To address any copyright concerns, the City recommends that an owner obtains permission from the original demolition contractor to reuse the original permit documents, before nominating a new demolition contractor.

If you aren’t able to obtain permission to reuse the documents or you are unable to obtain a notice of cessation (BA8), then you will need to apply for a brand new permit.

When can a permit be transferred?

 A permit may be transferred if:

  • an owner decides they want to transfer the permit from one demolition contractor to another and has received a notice of cessation (BA8) from the original demolition contractor
  • a demolition contractor has gone into receivership.

Who can nominate a new demolition contractor?

 An owner can nominate a new demolition contractor by submitting a demolition permit application (BA5)

Submitting a demolition application 

What to submit

 In order for the City to transfer a permit from one demolition contractor to another we require the following documents:

  • A demolition permit application form (BA5) needs to be completed and signed by the new builder.
  • A notice of cessation (BA8) which has been completed and signed by the demolition contractor named on the permit, or notification that a demolition contractor has gone into receivership. 

How to submit an application to nominate a new demolition contractor

Please submit all applications to eApplications@swan.wa.gov.au

Once the application has been approved the City will issue a revised demolition permit with the new demolition contractor details. The revised demolition permit will retain the original demolition permit number but will have a suffix added i.e. DP-####-YYYY / A.