Building and renovating: permits and processes

Getting a building permit

This page has information about applying for a building permit, also known as building approval, in the Northern Territory (NT).

You must have a building permit before you begin construction.

A building permit is issued by a building certifier before construction begins to show that they have approved your proposed building work. The building certifier checks that your plans comply with the law.

Read more about building work that requires permits

Before you apply

Before applying for a permit, you must engage a building certifier, get plans for your proposed project, and prepare supporting documents for your application. 

Engage a building certifier

You should engage a building certifier to help prepare your application. Read more about engaging a registered building certifier.

Get plans for your proposed project

To prepare plans for the structure you want to build, get help from a building professional who knows the NT building system. This will ensure your finished drawings are accurate, clear and complete. 

Drawings should, at a minimum, include a site plan that is accurate and to-scale floor plans, elevations and structural details. 

Your project may also require hydraulic, civil or fire system plans. 

You may also need other assessments such as for energy efficiency. 

Discuss your requirements with your building certifier.

Prepare supporting documents 

You must give your building certifier plans and details of the proposed work to prepare your application for a building permit.

Depending on your project, you may also need to give the following to your building certifier:

  • an owner builder certificate or details of your building contract with a registered builder
  • structural engineer’s certification for the structural design
  • certified plumbing design 
  • fidelity fund certificate
  • other permits and approvals including development permits and covenant approvals
  • any other documents requested.

How to apply for a building permit

Once you have engaged an NT registered building certifier and prepared your plans and supporting documentation, follow these steps: 

Step 1. Ask your building certifier to give you a building permit application form.

Step 2. Submit the completed application form, a statement describing the purpose of the building, and supporting documents to your building certifier. 

Your building certifier will assess your application to make sure that the proposed work complies with the Building Act, Building Regulations and the National Construction Code.

Conditions of a building permit

Building permits are valid for two years from the date of issue. 

The permit period may be extended by applying to your building certifier before the expiry date. 

The building permit states at what stages of construction inspections will need to occur. 

Once a building permit has been issued, any changes to the approved work must be approved by the building certifier before the changes are carried out on site.

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Last updated: 31 March 2016

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