Builder handyman with construction tools. House renovation background.
Builder handyman with construction tools. House renovation background.

If you build it, council may knock it down

Clarence Valley Council are reminding residents to get development consent before converting a building such as a shed into a dwelling.

According to Clarence Valley Council environment, planning and community director, Des Schroder, council had become aware of a number of recent cases in the valley where industrial buildings had been converted for residential use, dwellings converted into flats and sheds converted into dwellings without planning approval.

"The workforce required for the many infrastructure projects in the Clarence Valley, including the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade, new Grafton Bridge and new jail means available residential accommodation is in short supply," Mr Schroder said.

"However, this is no reason to bypass the legal requirement to obtain planning approval and meet national health and safety standards designed to keep the community safe.

"These standards include the need for fire rated construction between dwellings; bushfire and flood protection standards and measures that protect community health and amenity."

Mr Schroder said council took unauthorised development or illegal conversions seriously.

"Action can include the issue of demolition orders, issuing of orders to cease residential use and alter the building back to the approved use," he said. "Council can issue significant infringement notices and take court action," he said.

Council staff are available to provide advice to any person planning a development in the Valley.

Contact Council's duty officer on 6643 0200 or email Fact sheets are also available at