Patio – approval requirements

The Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) define a patio as:

“An unenclosed structure covered in a water impermeable material which may or may not be attached to a dwelling”.

For structures that have roofing that is permeable to water refer to Pergolas, shade sails and vergolas.

A patio may require development (planning) approval or a building permit prior to be being built.

Planning requirements

On a residential lot, a patio will require development (planning) approval where it is not exempt, or does not meet the requirements of the R-Codes, Residential Development Local Planning Policy, or structure plan (if applicable).

Development approval for a patio to a single house or grouped dwelling is not required when:

  • It is not visible from the street;
  • The wall/post height is lower than 3.5 metres in height from natural ground level;
  • The posts and roof are setback a minimum of 500mm for a side or rear boundary (with the exception of a street boundary where the R-Code setback applies);
  • The cumulative length of the patio, and any attached structures are setback less than 1 metre from the boundary, does not exceed 9 metres in length; and
  • All other requirements of the City’s Local Planning Scheme No. 3, deemed-to-comply provisions of the R-Codes or the replacement requirements of the City’s Residential Development Local Planning Policy, a requirement of an applicable structure plan, or other local planning policy.

Generally, development approval for a patio is required when:

  • It is visible from the street and designed to match the house;
  • It is at the front of a property and does not meet the minimum or average setbacks to the street required under the R-Codes;
  • It is setback less than 1 metre to a side or rear boundary for a patio length greater than 9 metres;
  • It increases the existing natural ground level by more than 0.5 metres (for example, if decking is proposed); or
  • It covers more than 1/3 of the minimum outdoor living area required under the R-Codes.

Additional requirements may also apply if the subject property is located within a structure plan area.

Patios to all multiple dwellings, commercial developments or caravan parks will require development (planning) approval.

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

Development (planning) approval is required before a building permit can be issued.

Building permit requirements

A patio that is not freestanding (that is attached to a structure or building) will require a building permit.

If a patio is freestanding and doesn’t exceed 10m² and is not more than 2.4 metres in height, it will not require a building permit. All other freestanding patios that do not comply with these requirements will require a building permit.

Building permit application forms (certified or uncertified) are available from the Building Commission’s website.

Certified building permit applications must be accompanied with a Certificate of Design Compliance.

Please refer to the City’s Uncertified Building Application Checklist – Patio (Class 10a) for information required to be provided with the building permit application (BA2 form).

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