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Building
Council's Building Service is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Building Act 1993 and the Building Regulations 2006. A building permit may be required before construction commences and it is recommended to check with a Building Surveyor prior to the commencement of any building works. Council no longer issues building permits for projects, thus all applicants need to consult a private building surveyor.

Termites
Mansfield Shire is a designated termite area. Termites live in underground colonies and need constant contact with moisture and the ground. While they are most commonly known to eat through wood, they can also damage most materials found in a house including plastics, rubber, fibreglass and plaster.When building you are required to provide termite protection.

Two options are available:
  1. Provide barriers against termite infestation to protect the whole building
  2. Using termite resistant materials for all structural elements
To comply with the Building Code of Australia protection should be provided in accordance with the relevant Australian Standards (AS 3660) which describe protection options that may utilise physical barriers, termite resistant materials or combinations of these options.

Chemical barriers:  The use of chemical barriers to control termites in buildings requires licensed operators. Chemical barriers must be complete and continuous and be maintained that way. Good site preparation is needed to ensure uniform distribution of the chemical. Chemical barriers for termite infestation have come a long way since their introduction and can now be used as an environmentally-friendly alternative.

Physical barriers:
  • Woven stainless steel mesh - This system consists of a fire woven marine grade stainless steel mesh, which is used as a physical barrier. The mesh is too small for termites to pass through and too hard for them to chew through.
  • Graded stone particles - consists of finely graded stone particles, the proportion and dimensions of which are strictly controlled. Graded stone particles can be installed under concrete slabs and suspended floor type systems to form a continuous termite barrier in conjunction with other termite barrier systems and building practices.
  • Sheet materials - usually formed from galvanised sheet metal 0.5mm thick, the termite shield delays and impedes the passage of termites. Ant caps must be placed at all entry points to a building in order to form an integrated system. In the case of raised floor construction, this would mean shields on top of stumps and within any base structure walling.
You may elect to use a combination of the above mentioned systems to protect your home.It should be noted that regardless of the type of system installed, there are no guarantees in keeping a building free from termite attack.

Standards and codes only minimise the risk. As longevity of a building is an essential element for an owner, there are several options of treatments to choose from and must make a concerted effort in determining the most efficient and effective solution for protection against termite infestation. In all cases one must ensure that inspections are carried out on a regular basis in order to monitor potential activity of termites.

Relocating a dwelling
Requirements associated with the relocation of a Class 1 dwelling in Mansfield Shire:
  • Arrange with a Building Surveyor or building consultant to provide a report on the condition of the building or photographs both internally and externally clearly indicating the condition of the building, structural adequacy and presence of termites.
  • Provide three copies of house plans and three copies of site plan indicating the location of the building, soil test results, stump layout plan, copy of Title and title plan, and a completed Building Permit Application form.
  • Provide a copy of a building permit indicating that the building may be removed/demolished in its current location.
Note
  • A Town Planning approval may be required prior to the building permit being issued and if necessary a permit to install a septic tank.
  • A building approval issued for the relocation of a Class 1 dwelling shall lapse after a period of 12 months.
No building may be placed on site until a building permit is issued.
For further information please contact the Mansfield Shire Building Office 5775 8555.

Swimming Pools and Spas
Information describing Swimming Pool and Spa Safety Barrier Laws for Private Homes can be found on the Building Commission website.

 

Guidelines for Erection of a Shed or Outbuilding on a Vacant Allotment

The issue of people constructing sheds on properties prior to a dwelling and subsequently using them illegally for habitable purposes has been an ongoing and significant problem within the Shire. Habitation of sheds/outbuildings can lead to:- 
    • sub-standard living conditions e.g. lighting, ventilation, sanitary provisions 
    • the building not providing adequate fire protection measures 
    • loss of potential rate revenue though illegal occupation of sheds as dwellings 
    • a lessening in aesthetic standards of structures in rural settings

Any application made to the Municipal Building Surveyor for a dispensation to Regulation 422 of the Building Regulations 2006 to construct a shed/outbuilding on vacant land, will only be considered if accompanied by a properly completed Statutory Declaration declaring that the shed or outbuilding ‘will not be used for habitable or any other purpose/s inconsistent with Council’s dispensation’.

Any dispensation issued will also be made subject to the following:-

  1. a building permit being issued for a dwelling on the same allotment within 12 months of the date that dispensation was granted, and
  2. construction of the dwelling commencing within 12 months and completed within 2 years of the building permit being issued, or
  3. where construction of a dwelling has not or is not likely to have commenced or be completed within the above time frames (for a legitimate reason), Council at its discretion will require the owner to either -

    3.1 provide a written request for continuation of the existing consent for a period approved by Council, or

    3.2 remove the shed from site
  4. where the owner fails to satisfy one of the above criteria as applicable within an approved time frame, Council may commence appropriate legal action to have the shed removed from the allotment.

If you are able to meet all of the above criteria, you can apply for Council report & consent by completing the application for Report and Consent Form 2013-2014, paying the prescribed fee, and submitting to Council the necessary documents, including a properly completed 422 Statutory Declaration.

NB: Farm buildings proposed to be erected on an allotment located within a 'Farming’ zone under the Mansfield Planning Scheme and which are exempt from requiring a planning permit will not be subject to the above requirements. However, a Regulation 422 application for Council report & consent is still required to be made.

 

Building in a Bushfire Prone Area
The 2006/07 bushfires in Mansfield Shire clearly highlighted the importance of building and positioning your home to reduce its vulnerability to fire.

To protect individuals and your assets you are encouraged to give consideration to the fire safety features that can be incorporated into your home.

On 10 March 2009 the Victorian State Government revoked Regulation 804 and now deems the entire state of Victoria as a Bushfire Prone Area. For more information please refer to the Building Commission Fact Sheets.

Wildfire Management Overlay
This has been replaced by the Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) refer below.

 

The Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) has been introduced to replace the Wildfire Management Overlay.

The provisions of the BMO ensure that development in areas that may be affected by bushfire can only take place after full consideration of bushfire issues including where the building is located on the site, emergency access and fire-fighting water supply. The BMO requires that new development implement appropriate bushfire protection measures.  If risk to life and property from bushfire cannot be reduced to an acceptable level the development will not proceed.

The BMO includes a statutory provision in planning schemes and a map showing where the provisions apply to specific land. The requirements for development within a BMO are clearly specified in planning schemes.

A planning permit issued under the BMO will include a condition that requires the bushfire protection measures to be maintained.

To find out more about the BMO click here