Decks – approval requirements

A deck is a flat or raised platform capable of supporting loads, which is typically constructed outdoors. Decking is often built of timber or composite materials which are moisture and termite resistant and can be freestanding or connected to another building or structure.

Where screening is installed to prevent overlooking of an adjoining property, there is a requirement for the screening to meet the minimum standards of the Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) and be a minimum height of 1.6 metres from the finished level of the deck and be of a permanently fixed, durable material.

Planning requirements

Decks more than 500mm above ground level on a residential property are required to comply with both the R-Codes and the City’s policies. The R-Codes is a state planning document that applies development controls over all residential developments in Western Australia.

Generally, decking more than 500mm above natural ground level to a single house requires a development (planning) application where:

  • The set back is less than 1 metre to a side or rear boundary for a deck that is less than 9 metres in length and screening is proposed. A greater setback is required for decks longer than 9 metres, or where no screening is proposed to prevent overlooking into the adjoining property; and
  • The deck is within 7.5 metres of a side or rear boundary and no screening is provided to prevent overlooking into the adjoining property. Screening is required to be 1.6 metres above the finished level of the deck and be of a permanently fixed, durable material.

Should your dwelling be located within a structure plan area, additional requirements may apply.

A development (planning) application is required for all decks 500mm or greater from natural ground level for grouped dwellings, multiple dwellings, commercial developments or caravan parks.

Decks that are no higher than 500mm from natural ground level do not require a development (planning) application.

Fees are in accordance with the Planning Services Fees and Charges.

Building permit requirements

A building permit is not required when a deck complies with all the following;

  • Is no more than 20m²
  • Is not more than 500mm high
  • Is greater than 900mm away from any boundary
  • Is not subject to bushfire prone area requirements
  • Has no screening requirements.

Building permit application forms (certified or uncertified) are available from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website. Certified building permit applications must be accompanied with a Certificate of Design Compliance.

Fees are in accordance with the Building Services fees and charges.