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State-by-state guide for carport council approval

18 April 2023


Before choosing a contractor to build your new carport, there is one all-important question to ask: do I require council approval for a carport? Whether you require council approval for a carport depends on the height and floor area of the structure, and whereabouts in Australia the property is based.

When it comes to seeking council approval and meeting building regulations, there is a ton of misinformation out there. Fortunately, we’re here to set the record straight.


Do I need council approval for a carport?

Disclaimer: This information is provided for general use only, and is not intended as a guarantee of current regulations. Please review all regulations independent of the following information, or contact your local Fair Dinkum Build store to confirm exact requirements.

Carport building regulations vary state by state, and from one local council to the next. However, we've compiled the general rules from state to state to give you an idea of whether you'll need council approval when building a carport. Here's what you need to know:

New South Wales

In NSW you are only able to build one carport per property.

To find out more requirements you can visit the NSW planning website.

Carports and Garages (nsw.gov.au)


Generally, in QLD, you will need separate building approval to build a garage or carport on a property with an existing house.

QLD rules stipulate that any structure that meets or exceeds the following will require a permit.

  • A plan area of more than 10m²

Building a carport or garage | Brisbane City Council


South Australia

In South Australia, the construction of any new roofed area for a carport will require development approval. Carport approval is required before any building or installation work is conducted. 

Getting professional help | PlanSA

Western Australia

In Western Australia, development approval is always required for building a carport. Western Australia has strict building rules and even requires development approval for minor domestic structures.

Furthermore, depending on the council, certified development approval applications may require to be accompanied by a Residential Design Codes (R-Codes).

In Western Australia, there are also strict rules surrounding the distance a carport can be built from a secondary street boundary.


A lot of councils in Tasmania don't require a permit or building approval for building a carport. However, some will need planning approval.

You can build a small shed (non-prefabricated) up to 18m2 without a building permit.

You can erect a prefabricated shed up to 36m2 without a building permit. You need to notify the council on completion using the Form 80 Notification of Low Risk Work available on the CBOS website: www.cbos.tas.gov.au

Fact Sheet - Sheds and similar structures - Building Act 2016 (cbos.tas.gov.au)


Northern Territory

In Northern Territory, there are exemptions for garden sheds, fences, and shade structures, however you will need building approval for a carport.

You can get building approval from either of the following:

  • an approved self-certifying manufacturer
  • or a registered NT building certifier.

Building a garden shed, carport, fence or shade structure | NT.GOV.AU


Carports will not require a permit if

  • The floor area is less than 10m2
  • The height is less than 3m or 2.4m within 1m of the boundary line
  • It is attached to another building on the same property
  • Is located behind the front wall of the main building
  • Is not constructed of masonry

Planning and building permits | Victorian Building Authority (vba.vic.gov.au)


Other Carport Regulations

Can a local council stipulate how many carports you can have?

Yes. The number of carports you are allowed to have will depend on the state you reside in, and, possibly, the council your residence is a part of.

For example, NSW only allows one carport if there is a single home on the property. The exception is if there is a primary and secondary dwelling on the lot, then two carports are allowed.

Are there cases when carports are denied building approval and not allowed?

Yes, a local council can deny an application to build a carport. Carport applications are often rejected when the space is too small.  

For example, in NSW, if a property is less than 8m wide and there is no vehicle access from a secondary road, a carport will not be allowed.

What is the maximum size carport allowed?

The size of a carport allowed usually depends on the size of your yard or property. However, each state and council has different rules, so it's best to check with your local council about what is allowed.

Are there any regulations around the disposal of rainwater from the roof?

Yes, when rainwater is drained into rainwater tanks it can become a health risk by providing a breeding site for mosquitoes.

Most states and councils will have rules surrounding the disposal of rainwater from the roof of a carport and this may be required to be outlined on your building application to receive council approval. Again, this will depend on where your development is located.

Am I allowed to connect a carport to my house or an existing building?

Yes. However, this may need to be noted on your development application. Connecting a carport to a dwelling will also need input from a professional. You will need to have the house's facias and eaves assessed to see if they are capable of holding the weight of the span of the carport.

If the house's facias and eaves aren't capable of holding the weight, you'll need to get the area reinforced. It's important to consider that this will come at an extra cost.

However, you may only connect the carport to your house and there are rules surrounding how close it can be to a property boundary.

As long as you receive approval to build the carport from the local council, then the complying development will be allowed.

Does every state require council approval to build a carport?

No, while most states do, there are some exceptions where approval isn't required.

Can I build a carport if I live in a bushfire-prone area?

In most cases, yes. However, different councils have different rules for building on land that is prone to bushfires.

For example, in NSW a carport must be constructed of incombustible materials if it's built within 5 meters of a house and the land is considered bushfire prone.

If you live in NSW you can find out if your property is on land that is prone to bushfires by heading to this link.


What other approvals do I need to consider?

Because the rules vary so greatly from state to state and from council to council, it's hard to stipulate exactly what is and isn't required.

To find out the specific regulations and the approvals that you will need to consider, get in touch with your local authority, or have a look at the local council's website. 

Ready for a quote?

If you're looking to build a carport and are interested in getting more information about your options and the cost, get in touch with your local Fair Dinkum Builds store for a quote Get a Quote (fairdinkumbuilds.com.au).