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Department of Justice

Permit types


Your first step is to find out from your local council if you need a planning permit before you start any building work or related activity.  You need to make sure your building work will be complying and not contravene the local planning scheme.  For instance, there may be setbacks from boundaries that you need to consider when building.

After checking with your local council, you may not need a permit for the building work you want to do, but you still need to make sure the size and design of your shed complies with the National Construction Code and Tasmanian legislation.

Some small structures that may not need a permit are:

  • Fences
  • low decks
  • farm sheds
  • structures no bigger than 18m²
  • a prefabricated shed up to 36m2 (means factory-made components or units that are transported and assembled on-site to form the complete building)

More information on building sheds in Tasmania can be found in the resources section.

Planning permit

A planning permit is required when:

  • building work has an impact on the land or surrounding area
  • building work is in heritage precincts, coastal erosion hazardous areas, coastal inundation hazardous areas, landslide hazardous areas, biodiversity protection areas, scenic landscape areas, attenuation areas

If you need a planning permit, your local council will ask you to:

  • provide details of your building work
  • complete a development application form
  • provide  copies of plans drawn by a licensed Building Designer or an Architect
  • provide a Certificate of Title
  • provide other documents to help the planners assess your application
  • pay fees

Building permit

Building work is categorised as low, medium or high risk and if your building work is classified as high risk, you will need a building permit.

To find a description of your building work, go to the Resource tab and read the Director’s Determination – Categories of Building and Demolition Work.

You may need a demolition permit if it’s high risk demolition with no rebuilding. If it’s demolition as part of building work it may still be low-medium risk and not require a building permit.


Josh wants to build a shed 18m² which he could normally build without a permit but when he spoke to his local council, they advised that he does need a planning permit because his build is in a hazardous area.  If Josh had built the shed without a planning permit, his build would be classified as an ‘illegal’ build.

Plumbing work is categorised as low, medium or high risk.  To find a description of the plumbing work that you want to do, go to the Resource tab and read the Director’s Determination – Categories for Plumbing Work.

Depending upon what you are building / installing, you may be able to undertake the work yourself, or a competent person contracted by you, or a licensed plumber.

No building permit

As an owner you:

  • can do general maintenance and repairs on your home
  • can build fences, low decks, farm sheds and carports but some larger projects will need to be carried out only by a licensed builder without needing a building permit
  • can build small structures no bigger than 18m², or erect a prefabricated shed up to 36m2 (means factory-made components or units that are transported and assembled on-site to form the complete building)
  • can engage a licensed builder to build larger structures without a building permit
  • may be able to contract a licensed builder to build a new house and a licensed building surveyor to approve your building
  • need to notify your local council when you have finished building certain low

As an owner builder you:

  • would have been issued with an Owner Builder Permit under the Occupational Licensing Act 2005
  • can build what is listed under what an owner can build
  • can perform a specific building project on a Class 1a building

Detailed information about what you can build can be found under resources.

Event permits

A Temporary Occupancy Permit (TOP) is issued by a building surveyor under the Building Act 2016.

The permit allows the use of an existing building or temporary structure for a short term activity such as a public or a private event.

A Temporary Occupancy Permit may be granted for up to three years for a structure that is going to be used in the same way, under the same conditions.


A TOP is required where a person intends to:

  1. temporarily use an existing building for a use which is not the normal use permitted.  An example is holding a market in a warehouse.  The normal use of the warehouse is goods storage; the temporary use is a public market.
  2. operate an event or function using temporary structures.  For example booths, tents, marquees, seating or stages.
  3. put up a temporary building or a temporary structure on private property.  For example a temporary boat or vehicle shelter, a temporary radio mast or for a wedding or party.

Under the Building Act 2016 a person must not occupy an existing building or temporary structure without an occupancy permit unless:

  1. a temporary occupancy permit is in force; or
  2. a temporary occupancy permit is not required.

Further examples of when a Temporary Occupancy Permit may be required include:

  • outdoor concerts, rallies, festivals, or similar events where there are temporary stages, tiered seating or temporary shelters erected
  • indoor entertainment or events in an existing building e.g. a bush dance held in a shearing shed; a food and wine festival held in a warehouse
  • markets, (either indoor or outdoor), fairs, shows, carnivals and rodeos
  • sporting events where there are temporary structures erected e.g. car rallies, rowing carnivals, school sports days.

An owner or an agent of an owner may apply through their building surveyor for a Temporary Occupancy Permit. The application form is available from your building surveyor.

Exemptions from a Temporary Occupancy Permit

Some types of smaller temporary structures are exempt from requiring a Temporary Occupancy Permit.  Exemptions are detailed in the Building Regulations 2016.

Exempt mobile structures

  • mobile food vans
  • mobile accommodation at a caravan park, a camping ground or similar area
  • portable toilets
  • on a construction site, scaffolding, cranes, hoardings, or site sheds
  • prefabricated buildings less than 50m² for temporary use.

Exempt tents, booths or gazebos

  • a tent, booth or gazebo with floor area of less than 75m² if it is the only one on the site and other criteria are met:
    • used for two days or less
    • does not have an ignitable fuel source or electrical wiring
    • does not need off-site disposal of wastewater
  • a tent, booth or gazebo with a maximum floor area of 20m² open on one side and 10m away from an ignitable fuel source ( such as a cooking facility)
  • a tent for temporary use in a caravan park, camping ground or similar area.

Exempt groups of temporary structures at markets, carnivals etc

Specific exemptions from a permit also apply to groups of small tents, stalls and gazebos used by stallholders for shelter and storage.  The maximum size of each group of structures is 80m² and more than one group is permitted on a site as long as there is adequate separation between them.

Special safety criteria also apply to any structures where an ignitable fuel is used, such as for cooking.

Refer to regulation 70 of the Building Regulations 2016 for more details of what are exempt structures and the specific conditions that may apply.

Other requirements

Building owners, event managers, stall holders and people putting up structures comply with all other legal requirements before an event or new use begins.

Public gatherings

A Place of Assembly Licence is required under the Public Health Act 1997 to use or lease a place where the public congregates for special events.  This is to protect the health and safety of patrons. This applies to mass gatherings only (1000 people present for at least 2 hours).

Apply at your Local Council for a Place of Assembly licence.


If your event is serving food you should contact your Local Council to make sure you meet the minimum food safety requirements. Department of Health and Human Services website has information on Food safety on their website.

The guideline was developed for individuals, businesses, charities and community organisations that operate mobile food businesses (for example food vans and temporary food stalls).


You may need a liquor licence if serving alcohol at an event. More information is available from the Liquor and Gaming Branch of the Department of Treasury.

Workplace health and safety

The place where the temporary structure is put up and used by the public is a workplace.


Contact your Local Council to see if there are specific By-Laws regulating markets.