Wall Heights by Victorian Building Authority

Building Amendment (Walls and Carports on Boundaries) reform in wall heights by Victorian Building Authority on
10th December 2013 is a welcome change but is it coordinated with all segments of planning and building permit triggers.

The new look Victorian Building Authority recent reform to allow an increase in average wall height within 1.0m of boundary may assist owners wanting to build Carports whereby planning or dispensation was triggered when any part of their carport exceeded 3m (on average) regardless of siting on the property.

The average height of a boundary wall allowed without a planning permit will be increased from 3.0 to 3.2 metres under the reform. The maximum height of boundary walls is unchanged at 3.6 metres. Neighbors will be notified of any application to exceed boundary wall average or maximum heights, as per existing requirements.

Find out more about the amendments or read them in full.

Our concerns remain that most planning triggers, when in effect, are at 3.0m for any structure.

So it seems a Verandah has been ignored. Or have they and will this change flow through to Verandah’s and general planning or will councils continue to maintain this trigger?

Certainly current rule, which means almost any Gable Verandah or Carport is required to undergo planning, remains a contentious thorn to owners due to cost and delay. This is heighten by council continually answering owners questions with response “pergola do not need a permit” and not drilling down to ensure question didn’t relate to a Roofed project and that ResCode already adequately deals with siting issues and shouldn’t need council further approval for a project to proceed.

Lets hope the Minister for Planning Mathew Guy can continue to drill down to make a more efficient and fair planning and building system. We just hope he doesn’t forget the Verandah and Carport segment, which most “actual owners of properties” are having to deal with, and continues to add pressure to the approval process.