Pergolas, shade sails and verandahs

There are a number of different structures available on the market that can be used to provide shelter and improve the amenity of your back yard.

A pergola does not have a solid (impermeable) roof and are not enclosed on their sides, but it may be roofed with shade cloth.

A shade sail is similar to a pergola, as it uses a permeable roof material (shade cloth) and its sides are not enclosed. Pergolas and shade sails may be free-standing or attached to the dwelling.

A verandah has a solid (impermeable) roof, usually made of translucent plastic corrugated sheeting or colour-treated corrugated iron, and may have enclosed sides. A verandah may be free-standing or attached to the dwelling.

Some of these structures require approval from Council, while others do not. Whether or not development approval is required will depend on the location of the proposed structure, as well as its size and the materials used in its construction.

Some types of structures are specifically exempt from the requirement for development approval, while others that require approval may be eligible for a streamlined assessment process.

The following information provides some guidance in determining what approvals are required. It is also recommended that you provide Council with details of your proposal so that we can confirm whether or not development approval is required.

A pergola that is ancillary to an existing dwelling (other than a Local or State Heritage Place) does not need development approval or Building Rules Consent if it:

  • does not have a roof;
  • is open on each freestanding side;
  • has no part higher than 4 metres above natural ground level; and
  • is not being constructed so that any part of it will be forward of any part of the building line of the dwelling facing the primary street.

If any of these criteria are not satisfied, then development approval would be required.

It is recommended that you provide details of the proposed structure to Council prior to commencing construction, so that we can confirm whether or not development approval is required.

A shade sail that is ancillary to an existing dwelling, other than a Local or State Heritage Place or within a Historic Conservation Zone, does not need Development Approval or Building Rules Consent if:

  • it is constructed of a permeable material;
  • the area of the shade sail does not exceed 20m²;
  • no part of the sail will be more than 3 metres above ground or floor level; and
  • is not being constructed so that any part of it will be forward of any part of the building line of the dwelling facing the primary street.

If any of these criteria are not satisfied, then development approval would be required.

It is recommended that you provide details of the proposed structure to Council prior to commencing construction, so that we can confirm whether or not development approval is required.

All proposed verandahs require Council approval. Your proposal may fall into the following categories, depending on size, location and height.

If the proposed verandah meets the following criteria it only requires Building Rules Consent:

  • ancillary to an existing dwelling;
  • not in front of any part of the building line of the building to which it is ancillary;
  • maximum floor area 40m²;
  • if situated so as to abut, or to have any part of the designated structure on a boundary of the allotment, or so as to have any part of the designated structure within 900 mm off a boundary allotment then:
    • maximum height of posts or any other part of the designated structure being 3 metres (measured from natural ground surface)
    • maximum roof height 5 metres (measured from natural ground surface)
  • if situated so as to abut or be on a boundary;
    • a length not exceeding 8 metres
    • will not result in all relevant walls or structures located along the boundary to exceed 45% of the length of boundary
  • if ancillary to a detached or semi-detached dwelling will not exceed 60% of the total roofed area of buildings on the allotment, any other kind of dwelling – will not exceed 70%;
  • minimum set-back 5.5 metres from the primary street.

If the verandah is proposed to be constructed over an existing or proposed driveway, the proposal is likely to be described and assessed as a carport by Council (Refer to Information Guide 28—Sheds, Garages and Carports for further information).

If the proposed verandah meets the following criteria it requires Development Approval, however it is a streamlined process, which has a general time frame of two(2) weeks if all the correct information has been provided and a planning authority cannot withhold approval:

  • ancillary to an existing dwelling
  • not in front of any part of the building line facing the primary street
  • not within 900mm of a boundary of a secondary street
  • maximum floor area 60m²
  • maximum height for posts or other part of the structure 3m (measured from natural ground surface)
  • maximum roof height 5m (measured from natural ground surface)
  • if situated so as to abut or be on a boundary (not being primary or secondary street boundary)
    • a length not exceeding 8m
    • will not result all relevant walls or structures located along the boundary to exceed 45% of the length of boundary
  • if ancillary to a detached or semi-detached dwelling will not exceed 60% of the total roofed area of buildings on the allotment, any other kind of dwelling – will not exceed 70%.

Should your proposal not fall into any of the above categories then your application will require a “Merit” assessment against the City of Port Lincoln Development Plan and Development Regulations 2008 and will require Development Approval.