Shipping Containers, Pergolas, Sheds, Verandahs and Carports

A building permit is normally required if you want to build a pergola, verandah, shed or a carport or place a shipping container on your property.

Shipping Containers

A planning permit may not always be needed when placing a shipping container on your land, but a building permit will be required to use a shipping container for:

  • personal/domestic storage
  • farm or machinery storage
  • commercial purposes
  • habitable purposes.

Use of the shipping container for storage or as a building

  • There must be a dwelling on your property. A shipping container cannot be kept on vacant land.
  • A shipping container used for storage or as a building such as a studio or rumpus room will be classified as a shed or outbuilding under the Golden Plains Planning Scheme.
  • A planning permit for building and works to site a shipping container on your property may be required and will depend on your property’s planning zones and overlays.
  • Shipping containers used for storage or as an outbuilding will require a building permit and must comply with the requirements of the building regulations and all the relevant parts of the National Construction Code.

Moving or on a building site

  • Shipping containers placed on site temporarily to assist in moving house or for site building works during construction do not require a building or planning permit. It is recommended that the surrounding neighbours be notified of the proposed timelines.

Commercial use

  • Shipping containers used on commercial properties for any purpose other than short term loading of goods for shipping purposes or in designated container storage facilities, require a building permit.
  • A property used for the storage of empty shipping containers could be considered as a commercial use of the land. A planning permit would be required for the use of the land for shipping container storage. A building permit would not be required.

Council property

  • If you intend to temporarily place a shipping container on Council land or in a public place, you must first obtain a Local Law permit.

Carports and garages

A building permit is required to construct a garage or a carport if it is attached to another building or has a floor area greater than 10m2  (i.e  3 x 3.3, 4 x 2.5).


A pergola is an unroofed open structure that is typically attached to a house.

A building permit is required if the pergola is

  • Greater than 20m2 in area

  • Further forward than 2.5m from the front wall of a building

  • More than 3.6m high.


A building permit is required to construct a shed if it is:

  • More than 10m2  and more than 3 metres high (or 2.4 metres if located within 1 metre of a boundary)


A building permit is required to construct a verandah of any kind.

Note: You will need to contact a Building Surveyor to discuss your proposed project and ask what documentation is required for a building permit. The web search can be of assistance in finding a building surveyor.


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