Other building topics

1. Stormwater

The Shire receives a large amount of concerns raised by the public regarding stormwater entering their properties. In most of these circumstances (due to the topography  of the peninsula) the cause is excessive rainfall creating overland and subterranean water flow, meaning rain water falling to the ground and flowing overland or below ground level due to the saturation of the soil.

Stormwater point of discharge application:

The stormwater point of discharge is a point specified by the Shire where stormwater from a property must be discharged.  The Building Regulations requires that stormwater collected off all new buildings is to be discharged to the approved stormwater point of discharge.  

In order to get a building permit, your building surveyor will require a report from the Shire stating the Shire stormwater point of discharge.

For confirmation of the approved stormwater point of discharge from your property you can either apply online or download and complete the form.

 Apply and pay online

Printable Application Form - Point of Discharge Build Over Easement(PDF, 53KB)

2. Domestic Rainwater Tanks

Domestic rainwater tanks do not require a Building Permit as the tank itself is not classified as a building unless the tank is contained within or on a proposed building, or supported by an existing building. In which case a Building Permit would be required.

Installation of a rainwater tank should be completed in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and guidelines and the rainwater tank must be installed by a licensed plumber.

The overflow pipe for a tank must be reconnected to the existing underground storm water system to alleviate storm water being discharged over your land or that of your neighbours when the tank becomes full.

A suitable support base should be provided to the water tank to ensure the tank does not slip or subside once filled to capacity.  It should be noted that a weight of a standard domestic water tank when full can be in excess of a number of tonnes. If constructing a tank on a raised platform or stand, a Building Permit is not required; however the structure must be capable of withstanding the loads imposed. Always check with a structural engineer to ensure that the footings and frame are adequate.

When locating a water tank in close proximity to a side or rear boundary consideration should be given to the amenity of adjoining neighbours. Consideration must be given to the overall height of the tank including any pipe work projecting from the top of the tank.

Even if the tank itself is exempt from planning and a building permit, a planning permit may still be required for the support stand or screening to be erected.

For further information relating to domestic water tanks please download Rainwater Tanks(PDF, 371KB) Fact File.

3. Backwash from Swimming Pools

The water discharged when backwashing the sand filter on a chlorinated or salt-treated swimming pool must not impact or flow onto any other property.

Water from a swimming pool backwash must be either –

  1. Treated via a solid settling tank or cartridge filter with the water recycled back into the pool




  2. Discharged onto your property via a sub-surface soakage/absorption system. For sandy soils, a soakge pit is recommended and for heavier clay soils an aborption trench is recommended. Please click here to access standard technical drawings for an absorption trench

     MP240.pdf(PDF, 148KB)



  3. Discharged into the sewerage system in accordance with South East Water requirements. Written approval MUST be obtained from South East Water prior to connecting any drainage works into the sewer system. Please note that pool backwash water is not permitted to discharge to a pressure sewer. Discharge is only permitted to a gravity fed sewer subject to approval.




  4. Connected to the Shire’s storm water network ONLY if it is treated to the following standard:

Total Residual Chlorine <0.1 parts per million, Suspended Solids < 10 parts per million

Chlorine levels can be tested using a standard pool testing kit. Specialist advice can also be obtained from a pool maintenance contractor

All plumbing works must be undertaken by a registered plumber who must provide you with a Victorian Building Authority Certificate of Compliance for any works undertaken.

Further Information:

South East Water - http://southeastwater.com.au/Pages/Home.aspx

Victorian Building Authority - http://www.vba.vic.gov.au/


4. Front & Boundary Fencing

The construction of fences is a topic that in many instances causes great confusion.

The Building Act 1993 and Building Regulations 2018 stipulate the requirements for the construction of fencing on a property. Under the Building Regulations there are two areas that need to be considered when constructing any fence. The first relates to the Siting Part 5 Building Regulation provisions governing the height and location of fences, and the second is whether a building permit is required to erect the fence.

Additional controls are also in place throughout some areas of the Shire under the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme.  If the planning controls for your property do not stipulate fencing heights, then the Siting Part 5 Regulations outlined in the Fact File below will apply. Always check the Planning Controls for your property prior to any works. The Shire’s Planning Team can be contacted on 5950 1010.

Even if both the Planning Controls and the Part 5 Siting Building Regulations don’t apply a building permit may still be required. 

For further information relating to front and boundary fencing please download Fences Building Regulations(PDF, 674KB)  and the Fencing Shared Cost with Shire(PDF, 313KB) Fact File.

5. Asbestos Removal

Asbestos was commonly used in many building materials between the 1950s and the 1990s.

All types of asbestos can be damaging to health. Generally however, the presence of asbestos does not pose health risks unless it is broken, in poor or deteriorated condition, or disturbed during activities that produce dust containing asbestos fibres.

If you have any concerns regarding the removal of asbestos please contact the WorkSafe Victoria Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 or visit the Worksafe website www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/asbestos

The Shire would always recommend engaging a licensed professional to manage and remove any asbestos materials. For more information view our section on Asbestos Disposal

6. Building Over Easements

The report and consent of a service authority must be obtained to construct a building over an easement.  An application form for Underground Council Drainage information and/or Build Over Easement approval is available by downloading Application Form for Stormwater Point of Discharge, Drainage Info and/or Build Over Easement approval.

 Apply and Pay Online

Download Point of Discharge Build Over Easement(PDF, 53KB)

7. Wood or Solid Fuel Heaters

Although a building permit is not required for the installation of a wood or solid fuel household heating appliance a licensed plumber must be used for its installation.

For further information and guidelines regarding the installation and use of or solid fuel household heating appliances please refer to the Shire’s Fact File Wood Heaters And Fireplaces(PDF, 300KB)

8. Dependent Person's Unit

A dependent person’s unit is a movable building on the same lot as an existing dwelling and used to provide accommodation for a person dependent on a resident of the existing dwelling.

A movable building is a structure other than a tent, caravan or vehicle, which is designed to be moved from place to place on more than one occasion.

A dependent person is a person who is incapacitated by virtue of medical, economic or social reasons and is therefore dependent on the person in the main dwelling for their accommodation.  If you are considering installing a dependant persons unit:

1. Check your copy of title for any relevant restrictions or any evident covenants which relate to your property; if so seek legal advice.
2. Approach Council and seek advice regarding relevant planning controls (i.e. Planning Scheme Overlays) which may have an impact on the development of a Dependent Person's unit.
3. Apply for a building permit for the construction of the Dependent Person's unit. In order for a building permit to be granted, the relevant Building Surveyor must be satisfied that the proposal complies with the above criteria.

Please note that the unit will need to be removed once the dependant person is no longer dependant on the main household. For example when the property is sold.

For further information regarding Dependent Person’s Units please refer to the section on Planning Fact Files

9. Termites

Following the amalgamation of the former Shires of Mornington, Hastings, Flinders and part of Frankston, the Mornington Peninsula Shire determined that the entire municipality be designated pursuant to the Building Regulations 2018, Regulation 150 as land in which buildings are likely to be subject to infestation by termites. This means that any building, except a detached class 10 building (i.e. garage, carport, non-habitable outbuilding) must have its structural members protected against infestation by termites in accordance with Australian Standard AS 3660.1-2000.

For further information relating to termite protection please refer to the Victorian Building Authority's website www.vba.vic.gov.au/consumer-resources/building/pages/termites

10. Smoke Detectors

House fires are life threatening, particularly at night when you are sleeping. Smoke from a fire will not normally wake you when you are asleep. In deciding on the position of smoke alarms it is important to remember that they are intended to detect smoke before it reaches the sleeping occupants of a building. The ensuing alarm is designed to wake the occupants and give them time to evacuate the building.

For further information relating to smoke alarms please refer to the Victorian Building Authority's website http://www.vba.vic.gov.au/consumer-resources/building/pages/smoke-alarms and www.vba.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/20389/PN-27-2006-Self-Contained-Smoke-Alarms-to-Existing-Buildings.pdf

11. Balustrades and Balconies

Balconies, decks and balustrades, if not suitably maintained and constantly monitored, can fail in spectacular fashion especially when a large number of people have gathered on the structure. Agents, and anybody buying a property, would be well advised to ask vendors for the details of any building permits issued for the building of the balcony or deck to ensure that it was legally approved. Timber and concrete balconies which are exposed to the elements require constant checking and, where necessary, maintenance. This is particularly so on the Mornington Peninsula due to the high content of salt-laden air.

Anyone who has a home with a balcony that is in disrepair and which collapses injuring people or themselves could find themselves in no mans’ land with insurance claims. This could leave them exposed to self-funding any damages claims for injuries sustained to themselves or others.

If you are undertaking minor repairs to your existing handrail using the same material and sizes, a Building Permit will generally not be required. If you intend to reconstruct the handrails and the structural members of the deck or the design changes you must obtain a Building Permit before the work commences.

For further information regarding balconies, decks and balustrades please refer to the Victorian Building Authority's website http://www.vba.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/20959/Balconies,decks-and-balustrades.pdf

12. Dial Before You Dig 1100

The community is supported by many underground lines, cables and substations . These include gas, electricity, water and telecommunications. Before you dig, it is vital to find out the location of these underground assets. If you don’t, and you cause damage to these resources, you could incur financial loss. Worse still, it could result in serious injury or death.

Melbourne One Call provides information on the location of underground assets. This service is free, so always Dial Before You Dig, Melbourne One Call: 1100 or complete an online request form from the Dial Before You Dig website http://1100.com.au/

13. Building Sites

Building site management - For further information regarding management of building sites, please visit our Engineering Department’s webpage.

Noise from a building site – Please visit the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria website http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/ for guidelines regarding the prohibited times for noise in residential areas.

14. Building Disputes

The Victorian Government have introduced a new service called 'Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria' (DBDRV) to replace the role of Consumer Affairs Victoria. This organization has been formed to resolve domestic building disputes between builders and building owners. There is no charge to access this service. For more information visit www.dbdrv.vic.gov.au.