Council’s planning departments are often considered as self-employment centres, creating a myriad of paper work, ever changing rules and regulations to be complied with that all require payments to be fulfilled on.
But without the rules and regulations and associated permits then we are in danger of buildings collapsing, walls falling on people, easements being built on, neighbours encroaching on your land; the list is endless. And for those and many more reasons, Planning departments set in place procedures to insure that the structural integrity and neighbourhood character is maintained. Failure to be aware of the permit requirements for your Landscaping or extension can be a very expensive exercise, more often than not requiring the removal of the structure that did not have or comply with the specific permit conditions as laid out by your council
The permit labyrinth is certainly not for the unwary. For instance, swimming pool regulations re fence heights, types, climbing points, nearby protrusion etc. etc. is altering each year trying to catch up with the statistics on children drowning. Not following the regulations can be worse than something just structural, it could result in the death of a child and the follow on legal ramifications
So be prepared, be all over the requirements for any permits for your construction, or have a suitable professional advice you as part of the design process