Approval vs finalisation


When buildings and structures require building approval, a private building certifier will assess the proposed work and issue a building development permit.  This means that you have approval to build the structure according to the permit (approved plans and conditions).

The building permit will note what inspections must take place while the work is underway.  The private building certifier who issued the permit will carry out these inspections.  If it has been built according to the permit, and the relevant documentation required is submitted, the certifier will issue the finalisation certificate. Depending on the structure building this could be a Form 21, Form 17 or Form 11. 

The private building certifier will then issue a copy of the finalisation certificate to Council, and the approval is then marked as finalised.

Customers requesting to finalise a building approval must refer to a private certifier in the first instance. The ability of Council to finalise a building development approval is dependent on the status of the approval. An approval can be finalised provided it is still in effect (i.e. it has not lapsed), complete a Request to finalise a building approval(PDF, 225KB). If the approval has lapsed, an entirely new approval from a private building certifier will be required.


Council remains the sole regulator for approval/inspection of plumbing and drainage work. Therefore, when plumbing or drainage work is considered permit work, you are required to obtain approval from Council prior to your plumber commencing work. Often, your private building certifier will lodge the application to Council on your behalf. Once a permit has been issued, your plumber can then commence work and call for the required inspections.

If all inspections are acceptable, and all the documentation required to be submitted is received, Council will issue the relevant documentation and the plumbing approval will then be marked as finalised.

Customers requesting to finalise a plumbing approval that is out of currency must complete a request to finalise a plumbing approval(PDF, 226KB). Note: 

  • Where a compliance permit or notice to commence regulated work was issued, the currency period is three years from the date of issue.
  • Where a Form 17 permit has been issued, the currency period is two years from the date of the permit unless otherwise extended.