Building sites and the Local Law - FAQs

Builder views work on a new extensionHere are some frequently asked questions about how Council's Local Laws apply to the management of building sites in Yarra.  

Why does Council have Local Laws for building sites?
What is a Local Laws permit and why do I need one?
Who should apply for the permit?  
What happens if I don’t get a permit?  
How do I apply for a permit?   
How long will it take to get a permit?  
Will I have to pay for a permit? 
What times can I work?  
Occupation of roads and footpaths
Asset Protection Permits 
Building site run–off  
Spoil on roads
Waste management plans
Building site waste
On–site toilets
When is a permit not required?
How can I find out more about Local Laws?

Why does Council have Local Laws for building sites?  

Building works generate high levels of waste and their activities often need to occupy public land.
Council laws regulate these activities to ensure greater safety for the public and building workers, and to stop pollution.
Laws governing building works in Yarra fall under Council’s Environment Local Law (Local Law No. 3) and the Roads and Council Land Local Law (Local Law No. 2).

What is a Local Laws permit and why do I need one?

A permit demonstrates that you are aware of the rules that apply to the work you are doing, and ensures that the work complies with the relevant Local Laws and meets applicable safety and regulatory standards.

Who should apply for the permit?  

Land owners, builders or appointed agents of builders all share responsibility for ensuring the correct permits have been issued before work starts.

What happens if I don’t get a permit?  

Those who do not obtain a permit, or break the conditions of a permit, may be instructed to cease the activity and/or issued with an on the spot fine.
Each individual offence under Council’s Local Laws can attract a penalty of up to $2000.
In the case of serious breaches, Council can also bring cases before the courts.
Council also recognises and enforces State and Federal laws that apply to building activities.
Failure to meet requirements under those laws can attract financial and legal penalties well in excess of those prescribed under Council’s own Local Laws.

How do I apply for a permit?  

Contact Council’s Compliance Branch  on 9205 5063.

How long will it take to get a permit?  

It can take up to 10 working days to get a permit depending on the information required to support the application or the need to seek approvals from other responsible authorities.

Will I have to pay for a permit?  

Yes.
The amount will vary depending on the nature of the permit request.

What times can I work?  

Building works are NOT allowed on Sundays, ANZAC Day, Christmas Day or Good Friday UNLESS a special permit has been issued.
Builders are able to apply for after hours work permits in certain circumstances.
Times when building works ARE generally permitted:

• Weekdays: 7.00am to 6.00pm
• Saturdays: 9.00am to 3.00pm

Occupation of roads and footpaths  

A permit is required for the following activities on Council-controlled land:

• Fencing off or occupying an area, in particular the placement of plant, equipment or materials on a road
• Erecting a hoarding or scaffolding
• Using an elevated work platform
• Excavations or earth works which require access via Council land
• Removing or interfering with traffic signals, signs, barriers or other structures installed to protect pedestrians and manage traffic.

Council can impound any equipment being used for the above purposes without a permit.

Asset Protection Permits

An Asset Protection Permit is required prior to the commencement of any approved building works to minimise the likelihood of damage to Council property, and to maintain public amenity and safety throughout the duration of the building works (in accordance with clause 25B of Road & Council Land Local Law 2).

Building site run–off  

Suitable measures must be in place to minimise or prevent stormwater contamination caused by the run–off of chemicals, sediment, animal wastes or gross pollutants.

Spoil on roads  

Fines can be issued to people who cause the run–off onto roads of grease, oil, mud, clay or other like substances through the cleaning of their vehicle.
Fines can also be issued to drivers of vehicles that drop soil, earth, clay or other like substances from tyres and wheels on to the road surface.

Waste management plans  

It is advisable that a waste management plan be developed prior to the commencement of works.
This will minimise the risk of fines for poor waste management practices.

 

Building site waste 

A proper waste facility (such as a skip bin) must be provided on–site for the duration of construction.
The bin cannot be placed on any Council land or road without a permit and must be emptied whenever full.
All refuse from the site must be deposited in this facility.
On–site waste facilities must be emptied within seven days of the end of construction or issue of an occupancy permit, whichever occurs last.
A temporary vehicle crossing permit must be obtained for vehicles involved in the placing or removing of a waste facility on a building site.

On–site toilets 

All building sites must have a working sewered toilet or portaloo for the use of people on site.
One sewered toilet or portaloo can service up to three building sites if those sites are adjacent to each other and work is being carried out on those sites simultaneously.

When is a permit not required? 

Council may waive certain building site requirements (or issue temporary permits) depending on the individual merits of each request.
It is recommended you check with Council about your requirements under the Local Laws before you start work.

How can I find out more about Local Laws? 

Local Laws apply to hundreds of activities carried out every day in Yarra.

To learn more about Council’s Local Laws click here or contact Council’s Compliance Branch on 9205 5063. 


Further information
Construction Management Branch
9205 5063
info@yarracity.vic.gov.au

 

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