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Friday, 15 June 2012

Do I need Council approval or Building Plans for extending a Wendy House?

Please advise. Is a plan or approval needed to extend an existing Wendy house if the owner of the house gave their permission to go ahead with the extension? The house was bought, thus does not belong to the council. There are also 10 000 other Wendy houses in the same area with no building plans or approvals. Why does an extension need to be approved, if that is the case?

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Les provided the following answer.

In answering your question, I have taken the "normal" approach which is that in every single case that I have dealt with over many years, plans are required to be submitted for any structure that has a solid roof over it, be it a Wendy house, a lean-to, a covered pergola, lapa or gazebo.

Apart from the structural design of the building and the materials used, the issue is that the council calculates their rates on roof area and they can only do that from plans that have been submitted. Wendy houses are often viewed as temporary structures and are sometimes treated differently to other solid buildings. They are also generally viewed as non-habitable buildings unless provision is made in the positioning, design and construction for habitation, in which case plans are required.

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A phone call to your local council building department will clear the issue up for you.

Other things that will be taken into account will be whether the building is within your building line setback because encroachment into this area, even with a temporary structure, will require your neighbour's consent. This will also apply to an extension of an existing Wendy house, given that plans for the existing structure were approved by the municipality in the first place before it was built. Plans may in any event, only be submitted by the registered owner of the property. The fact that the house is privately owned does not constitute grounds for not having to submit plans.

Having said all of that, different rules apply in different areas (as for squatter areas or where shacks for back yard dwellers are permitted or at least quietly ignored) and so each application will be treated on merit and should take the local area into account.

I trust that this answers your question.

Kind regards,
Les Abbott

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