This page provides information regarding building and renovating specifically for residential developments. All structural developments require a building licence. Most developments, excluding internal alterations, also require planning approval.

Important note: The following provides summary information on key topics related to residential developments. Refer to the Fees, forms and information sheets for detailed information and application forms.

Accumulated material (rubbish)

Accumulation of disused material (such as vehicle parts) and overgrown vegetation may be considered as an offence under the Local Government Act 1995.

To check what constitutes disused materials or overgrown vegetation contact the City's Environmental Health Business Unit on (08) 9205 8555.

Additions and alterations

All new residential dwellings require a building licence. A planning approval is also required where variations to the acceptable development provisions of the Residential Design Codes of Western Australia are being sought.


Asbestos cement is generally considered to be stable if it is left undisturbed. Asbestos products are to be transported and disposed of in accordance with Department of Environment Regulation requirements. There are specific requirements for the dismantling and removal of asbestos cement products in dwellings and other buildings to ensure that risk from asbestos fibre inhalation is reduced.

For more information visit the Department of Health website, Department of Environment Regulation website, or contact the City of Stirling on (08) 9205 8555.

Building repairs and maintenance

Buildings are required to be maintained in a safe and sound manner. Repairs may be required if a building is deemed to be structurally unsound and pose a safety risk to the general public.

Carports and garages

All carports and garages require a Building Licence and Development Approval.


All demolitions require a demolition licence and some also require planning approval.

Incinerators and backyard burning

Burning smoke from incinerators and backyard fires is a common nuisance and an inconvenience for residents. Smoke and ash from such fires can also contribute significantly to atmospheric pollution. Due to this, the use of incinerators and the burning of refuse on the ground is no longer permitted within the City of Stirling.

Residents may, however, deposit lawn clippings, leaves and other small items of garden refuse in their mobile garbage bin. Larger quantities of material and oversized items may be disposed of at the Recycling Centre, 238 Balcatta Road, Balcatta. The Centre is open from 7:30am – 4:00pm, 7 days a week.

Landfilling and excavation (earthworks)

Filling in excess of 500mm requires planning approval. Excavation within three metres of a neighbouring property has to comply with section 391 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1960.

Patios and pergolas

All patios and pergolas require a building licence. Planning approval is also required where variations to the acceptable development provisions of the Residential Design Codes of Western Australia are being sought.

Retaining walls and fences

All retaining walls over 500mm in height require planning approval and a building licence.

Fences within the setback area over 1.2 metres in height require both planning and building approval. Dividing fences up to 1.8m in height do not require any approval from Council and are controlled by the Dividing Fences Act 1961 (all new and repaired fences should conform to this standard).

The Citizens Advice Bureau of Western Australia may be able to assist on matters relating to the Dividing Fences Act. Further information may also be obtained by contacting the Legal Aid Commission or from the Building Commission within the Department of Commerce.

Construction requirements

Materials not permitted are barbed wire, flat or corrugated steel, flat sheet fibre cement, or sharp objects such as glass or nails embedded in a fence.

Where profiled fibre cement or steel ('profiled steel' is defined as sheeting having an indented or profiled lateral cross-

section but does not include corrugated iron or steel) is used as front fencing, the sheets are to be painted or colour-bonded.

The fence is to be trimmed to form a continuous line parallel with the slope of the land and must accord with manufacturers' specifications.

Front fences for a unit development are required to be of the same material and colour as used for the building.

Applications for front fences may require building approval.

For further information please contact the City of Stirling on (08) 9205 8555.

Satellite dishes and antennas

Certain satellite dishes and antennas require both planning approval and a building licence.
Please refer to section 6.8 of the policy manual for further details using the link below:

Policy Manual - 6.8 Satellite dishes