Nuisance Building Sites

The Whitehorse City Council has an ongoing commitment to provide a vibrant safe and healthy environment for the local community. Development is a fundamental part of the urban environment, but construction works need to be controlled so they don’t become a nuisance to the public.

Construction and development works can have far-reaching impacts on adjoining properties, pedestrians, traffic, neighbouring residents and businesses but also on the environment as a whole.

Council encourages builders, tradesman, property owners and developers to implement good building practices and be mindful of the impact of their works on the local community.

The Whitehorse City Council Community Local Law 2014 ( PDF 280.06KB), which includes the Building and Works Code of Practice ( PDF 831.67KB) aims to minimise nuisances and damage to Council assets caused by building works and to maintain safety standards. 

Nuisances include construction noise, storm-water pollution, dust, litter and obstructions to pedestrians and traffic. These can all be inconvenient or dangerous to the neighbourhood and our environment by creating conditions that put the public’s safety at risk.

Building and Works Code of Practice

Anyone building within the City of Whitehorse should read through Council’s Building and Works Code of Practice ( PDF 831.67KB) before starting construction to ensure compliance with the relevant requirements.

The Building and Works Code of Practice ( PDF 831.67KB) aims to:

  • Ensure that any person who is responsible for building sites and building works (including developers, owners, builders, sub-contractors and tradespeople) understands the minimum acceptable standards for working on building sites
  • Reduce the negative impacts of building and construction on our local community
  • Protect the environment
  • Ensure safer building sites. 

The Building Site Code of Practice reinforces a number of existing laws including the Environment Protection Act 2017, Domestic Animals Act 1994, and the Whitehorse City Council Community Local Law 2014 ( PDF 280.06KB).

Compliance with the Building and Work Code of Practice

Council expects all builders and developers operating within the City of Whitehorse to comply with the Building and Works Code of Practice ( PDF 831.67KB) throughout the building process.

In most cases, once a complaint has been made, an officer will visit the site to determine if a breach of the Whitehorse City Council Community Local Law 2014 ( PDF 280.06KB) or the Building and Works Code of Practice ( PDF 831.67KB) occurred and what action will be taken if the law has been breached.

The penalties for breaching the Code range from an on-the-spot fines to prosecution in Court.

Common Building Site Issues

Whether it's a major project or home extension, building sites must comply with a range of laws to ensure they minimise disruption to residents and the community. If you think a building site isn't meeting its obligations, you have the right to make a complaint to Council.

Noisy Residential Building Sites

If you are disturbed by noise from demolition or construction activities, speak to the owner or site supervisor as soon as the problem arises. Often, they’re unaware that they are causing a problem and will remedy the situation. Most complaints relate to early starts, loud radios, and excessive hours of operation.

Construction site noise is restricted to certain times depending on the nature and size of the development. The Building and Works Code of Practice ( PDF 831.67KB) states that a person in charge of a building site must ensure unreasonable noise is not emitted during the residential construction and demolition working hours of:

  • Monday to Friday - 7am to 6pm
  • Saturday - 9am to 3pm
  • Sunday & Public Holidays - Not permitted

Commercial or Multi Storey Sites

Most large building sites will have times of operation listed in their Construction Management Plan. For these times you can contact Council on 9262 6333.

The EPA have established business and commercial construction guidelines for construction noise emissions.

Storage of Building Materials and Equipment on Roads, Footpaths and Nature Strips

Building works must not impact on pedestrian or vehicle traffic such as nature strips, footpaths or roads. This means:

  • Building materials cannot be stored on nature strips, footpaths or roads.
  • Pedestrian safety cannot be impacted by damaged nature strips or footpaths.
  • No mud or debris can be left on footpaths or roads.
  • All building works are prohibited on the road, footpaths or nature strip.

Unauthorised Damage to and Interference with Council Assets

The Whitehorse City Council Community Local Law 2014 ( PDF 280.06KB) has controls that provide protection for Council assets. The Procedures for Work on and Protection of Council Assets ( PDF 7.46MB) establishes a framework that all builders/developers must follow and comply with.

Waste Materials and Litter

All waste produced as a result of building works – including soil, dust, materials capable of being windblown, sediment or erosion and site storm-water run-off - must be contained entirely on the building site and must be disposed of regularly. Solid waste and potentially wind-blown materials can be stored in an on site skip bin with a secure lid.

Vehicles leaving the site must not deposit litter and should have their loads secured. This includes sand, silt, mud on tyres and material being moved off site that could foul storm water systems.

No storm-water, dust or air pollutants are allowed to escape the building site and all waste must be stored so that visual amenity is not affected. Soil stripped from the building site must be stockpiled on the site or legally disposed of.

Building Site Fencing

Building sites must have site fencing. They help to restrict access, prevent litter and building materials from being blown off site and help prevent theft.

Entry to Building Sites

Building sites must have an approved vehicle crossing.

Building Signage

The site must have a sign at the entrance that can be clearly seen, is at least 600 x 400 mm and includes the the Lot and street number and the name and address and 24 hour contact phone numbers for the person in charge.  

Building sites must also have details of the building permit displayed on site. The details required are:

  • Builder’s registration name, number, contact details.
  • Building surveyor's name and registration number, and contact details.
  • Building permit number and issue date.

Sanitary Facilities

A working toilet and hand basin with a supply of clean water must be provided on all building sites.

Animal Control

A dog taken onto a building site must be effectively confined within the building site, registered and not create a barking noise nuisance.