Can BAB waive the fee for building in a bushfire prone area?
When building in a bushfire prone area (BPA), the building regulations may impose additional construction requirements on your building project. The requirements are put in place to reduce the risk of ignition to your building in the event of a bushfire. These additional requirements may include solid-core timber doors, weephole ember guards, safety glazing, full roof sarking, aluminium window screening, and non-combustible roof coverings.
The requirements can be expensive and your builder may relay these costs on to you. Some builders may even refer to these additional costs as the "bushfire levy".
The Building Appeals Board has the power to modify or waive the regulations that require these additional construction requirements. The BAB will only decide to waive or modify the regulations if it can be proven that the regulation is inappropriate in the particular circumstances, or that doing so is in the public interest.
Generally, the Board will require the following documentation to support an application to be exempt from the relevant bushfire regulations:
- plan of subdivision
- development Plan/Schematics (usually available from the land developer)
- confirmation of the site-specific Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Rating via a BAL Report
- copy of Building Permit and endorsed plans (if issued)
- aerial photographs and photographs of the immediate site and site surrounds
- reasons and justification as to why the regulation is inappropriate
- any further documentation the Board considers necessary
Additional information on bushfire protection can be found on the DELWP website.