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Illegal Building Work


​What are the consequences of doing work which is not approved by Council?

Council views illegal building works or failures to comply with the terms and conditions of their development consents as extremely serious.

Regulations and systems are put in place for the benefit of the local community and the area as a whole. Council is committed to rigorously monitoring any unauthorised changes to Development Applications or illegal building works.

There are a range of legal mechanisms in place to control illegal building works. Builders, home owners and developers caught carrying out these works without the required consents will be prosecuted or fined in the Local Court, or in more serious cases injuncted through the Land and Environment Court.

Illegal building works are those undertaken without the issue of a valid Construction Certificate. This also includes building work where a Construction Certificate has been issued and certain conditions under the Development Consent have not been met.

Council is generally successful when it brings cases before the Land and Environment Court or Local Court against a developer, builders or home owners who carry out illegal building work contrary to their development consent. Often the Courts will impose hefty fines, or in cases known as ‘class 4 appeals’ in the Land and Environment, can order the demolition of the illegal building works entirely.

Where illegal building works are identified Council will:

  • Issue the builder with penalty infringement notices; and

  • Issue a “Stop Work” notice where illegal building works continue to be built.

  • Offer builders either the option of demolishing the illegal works or submitting a S96 application for a current Development Application, to modify the consent or a Building Certificate application.

  • Illegal building works which constitute major breaches will be prosecuted through either the local Court or the Land and Environment Court.
    If illegal building work is observed by Council that is under the control of a Private Certifier, the Private Certifier will be given the opportunity to respond to the illegal building works. Should the response be deemed inadequate, Council may report the Private Certifier to The Building Professionals Board.

The consequences of carrying out illegal building works are significant and you should not under any circumstances risk it!

What should you do if you believe work is being undertaken which is not approved?

If you witness suspected illegal building works or failures to comply with the terms and conditions of development consents, you should report it to Council as soon as possible. You can do this by calling Council on 99113555 or by lodging a Request for Service online (Category: Building Complaint).

It is the role of the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) to investigate and respond to these complaints.

Where Council is the PCA (or there isn't one) Council staff will investigate and respond to these complaints.

Where the PCA is a private certifier, upon receipt of a complaint, the Environmental Services Division will ;

  • identify the PCA and advise them in writing of the nature of the complaint and the complainant's contact details to allow them to respond.

  • advise the complainant in writing of the name and contact details of the PCA. Further, the contact details of the Building Professionals Board are provided should a complaint need to made against the PCA.