Ararat residents with shipping containers on their properties are being encouraged to work with council to ensure they have the correct approvals and documentation.
The Victorian Building Authority states that shipping containers used as buildings require a building permit to be issued before any building work is carried out; this includes simply placing a building on a building on a property.
Ararat Rural City Council chief executive Dr Tim Harrison said council understands planning requirements can be challenging to work through; some residents may subsequently not have the documentation required.
"Council is aware of residents across the municipality who have shipping containers on their property and are working with these residents on a case-by-case basis to ensure they have the necessary approvals," he said.
"Regulations and codes for building are set at a state or federal level and are administered by council, who can provide specialised advice for our region to residents.
"These codes and regulations can be confusing, and staff at Ararat Rural City Council are happy to sort through them with people that need assistance.
"Easements, zoning and other controls called overlays may be present on a site which requires planning and approval to build over.
"As these vary from property to property, a planning enquiry should be made before any works are commenced."
Dr Harrison said people wanting help or clarification on planning matters are welcome to contact council for support.
"Community members who have questions about planning laws are welcome to contact Ararat Rural City Council's Building and Planning Department, who will be happy to provide advice on planning regulations," he said.
"Staff are able to answer any queries and refer people to a registered building surveyor, who can provide building advice and assistance lodging permits.
"Consulting Council and registered building surveyors with planning queries can provide people with more assurance and allow for all parties in planning decisions to reach an agreement before commitments or purchases are made.
"Council encourages developments coming to our region and wants to make these processes as transparent and simple for people as possible."
Council's Planning Department can be contacted by phoning 5355 0228 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The council has also now implemented Greenlight, a platform where residents can lodge enquiries on specific parcels of land and respond within two to three working days.
For more information, visit ararat.greenlightopm.com.
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