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An outbuilding can include things like:

  • garages
  • carports
  • barns
  • gazebos
  • sheds
  • stables
  • storage

Outbuildings and bushfire risk

Locating and designing an outbuilding with bushfire in mind is important as it can minimise the potential for fuel sources that can spread fire. Outbuildings and sheds should be appropriately separated from a dwelling, particularly those used to store combustibles.

Other things to consider include avoiding the stockpiling of wood and debris in spaces between buildings and the possibility of ember attack.

Note: The information provided here does not take into consideration other planning permit triggers on outbuildings, found elsewhere in the planning scheme. Always consult your local council about planning and building requirements for your proposal.

Planning permit requirements

The BMO includes a number of permit exemptions which can be found within clause 44.06 of the planning scheme. Generally, a planning permit for an outbuilding is not required when all the following are met:

  • The floor area is less than 100 square metres.
  • The outbuilding is not used for accommodation.
  • The outbuilding is ancillary to a dwelling located on the land.

Other exemptions may apply and should be discussed with your local council before making an application.

A planning permit for the construction of the outbuilding may be required under the BMO. Other planning requirements may also apply.

Your local council or registered building surveyor will be able to assist you in determining what is or is not needed.

Streamlined application process

A streamlined application process applies to outbuildings that meet pre-set bushfire protection measures:

  • have a floor area of at least 100 square metres
  • are not used for accommodation or other habitable purposes such as a home office, studio, pool house or bedroom
  • are ancillary to a dwelling, such as a garage, shed or carport
  • meet defendable space, vegetation management and fire separation requirements of Table 6 and Table 7 (where required) of clause 53.02 Bushfire planning

An application must include a Bushfire Management Plan showing:

  • the proposed bushfire protection measures
  • the location of the outbuilding
  • the location of any dwelling on the land or building used for accommodation (including a dwelling) within 10m of the outbuilding on adjacent land
  • areas of defendable space and vegetation management requirements
  • the fire separation requirements (where Table 7 is applicable).

An application that meets all the above criteria is not required to be referred to the relevant fire authority for comment.

Pre-set measures not met

Where the requirements have not been met the application will need referral to the relevant fire authority and the standard application requirements will apply.

This includes a:

  • Bushfire Hazard Assessment
  • Landscape Hazard Site Assessment
  • Bushfire Management Statement

Refer to Other development and single dwellings

You do not have to use the streamlined bushfire protection measures. The application will then be assessed through the standard BMO process.

Outline of regular BMO process - Other development page

Application Assessment

Your council will consider a number of issues when assessing your application, these are likely to include:

  • whether the application is eligible for a streamlined assessment
  • whether the application requires referral to the relevant fire authority
  • the level of bushfire risk at the local and landscape scale
  • the location, type and slope associated with nearby bushfire hazards
  • the proposed design and siting of the outbuilding relative to other buildings (such as a dwelling), property boundary and nearby vegetation
  • whether appropriate bushfire protection measures have been incorporated into the application; this includes defendable space and fire separation between buildings
  • generally, where an application is eligible for a streamlined assessment, a reduced area of defendable space is likely to be acceptable. When relying on defendable space on adjacent properties, the management of vegetation will be considered. If the vegetation is not managed in a low threat condition, the outbuilding may need to be sited further away from the boundary to provide adequate separation from the hazard.

Resources to assist applicants

Use the resources below to prepare your application.

Outbuildings in the Bushfire Management Overlay - Outlines the planning controls that apply, details the permit exemption for small buildings and is a step by step guide to preparing an application.

Outbuildings: Bushfire Management Plan Template - For use by applicants when preparing a planning permit application.

Page last updated: 19/02/24