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Chapter 4.


 “Do I need a permit? ”

In most cases, Yes!  However,


Temporary Dwelling   

All councils are not the same, in fact they can change policy quite often as well. 

A normal house requires building approval or a building permit.  

However, shipping containers can also be labeled as a temporary dwelling which can make it very simple. 

Example, you can live in a caravan in the back yard without a building permit, however councils put a time limit on it on how long you can live in the caravan for. 

A transportable home, you can also live on the land under similar rules, so a shipping container home in some council areas can also be live in as temporary Accommodation while you are building the full home elsewhere on the property, so you are best to talk to the council in your area to see what is the best options for you. 

Permanent Dwelling   

Having said that, if you’re looking to have the container home as a permanent home, you will need a full building approval from your local council. 

The council approval process: 

  1. Have professional plans drawn ready for council submission. 

  2. Have contour survey done of the land and site plan drawn ready for council submission. 

  3. Plans, engineering and insurances should then be submitted to council. 

  4. Private certifier can also be used for council lodgments. 


Every council differs in relation to processing times depending on their workload and time of year. 

Simon Say’s “Check the other options” 

  • A Temporary Dwelling may work for you. 

  • Private certifiers are usually a lot quicker at getting the approval. 

  • Make sure you have all the documentation in place before you submit it, to save time on delays.  

  • Ask for a lodgment check list to make sure you get it all. 

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