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Do I Need Council Approval for a Retractable Roof System?

Perth WA weather regularly provides us with opportunities to spend time outdoors. However, if you have gone to the trouble to add an outside area to take advantage of Perth’s climate, it doesn’t take long for most people to realize that some shade is in order. The winter sun in Perth is always welcome on a cold winter’s day, but come summertime, those golden rays can be brutal enough to keep you indoors.

Fortunately, Soltex provides various solutions for Perth residents to control the climate in their outdoor areas, including mechanical systems, both automated and manual, that block or let in the sun as needed.

One popular solution is to install a retractable roof system that allows you to adjust the level of shade, keep out the rain, or enjoy the warm rays on a winter’s day. And if rainclouds roll over while you are in the middle of your afternoon barbecue, there’s no need to dash madly indoors to continue cooking because the Soltex retractable roof system has you covered.

A covered outdoor area that can adjust for any weather conditions is a worthwhile investment that can add value, appeal and good looks to a property. According to the National Association of Retailers, a wooden deck alone can return more than 106% of its value if you decide to sell. Imagine how much more appealing and valuable an outdoor area featuring a retractable roof will be to potential buyers.

One of the most often asked questions we get from our customers here at Soltex is, “Do I need council approval for a Retractable Roof System?”

Why is Perth, WA Council Approval Important?

Approval from the Perth, WA council is critical when undertaking any renovation project around your home. If the council gets wind of any unapproved building project going on, you can bet an official-looking representative will come knocking on your door to inform you of the consequences.

If you are lucky, they will get to you before anything significant has been constructed, and you will be able to apply for approval. However, if you do happen to get the project finished, you can expect that the council will ask you to tear it down at your cost.

Should you manage to install a non-approved alfresco or deck onto your home with a retractable roof system without issue, don’t think you have gotten away with anything. When it’s time to sell your home, you can bet that all parties will be interested to know if your renovation is an approved addition.

Nobody wants to purchase a home with the risk that they may be asked to remove one of its structures. You will either miss out on a sale, be forced to sell at a reduced cost, or have to tear the deck or patio down at your expense.

How to Determine if You Need Approval

Broadly speaking, there are four zoning categories: commercial, residential, agricultural, and industrial, and all have specific rules, regulations, and policies related to buildings and extensions.

You don’t need planning approval for an alfresco with a retractable roof system if your design codes are compliant in the following zones:

  • Special Residential
  • Rural Community
  • Commercial
  • Business
  • Mixed-Use
  • Residential

Planning approval is always required for an outdoor area with a retractable roof system in any of the following zones:

  • Rural resource
  • General Rural
  • Special Rural

You must do things in order. If you haven’t yet installed your outdoor area, you should seek approval before applying for a building permit.

You will require a building permit for a patio that is greater than 10m2. If the deck is less than 10m2 and under 2.4m in height, you won’t need council approval unless a patio is already present on the property or it is going to be attached to an existing structure.

A few questions you should think about when considering a retractable roof system on your outdoor area includes:

  • Does your outdoor area design include a roof? If it does, how big is it?
  • Does the building already have a patio that the new design will replace?
  • Is the outdoor area a freestanding design, or is it attached to a home or other structure?

Answering the above questions will provide excellent guidance on whether you need council approval for a retractable roof system.

Other Considerations Requiring Council Approval

Certain conditions that can trigger a requirement for council approval if you plan on having a roof include:

  • If your outdoor area takes up more than 25 square metres or covers more than 15% of the ground floor area.
  • The floor of the pergola is going to be 60cm or more above ground level.
  • The outdoor structure will be less than 90 cm from an adjoining property.
  • You live in a bushfire prone area.
  • Your outdoor design will be attached to your home.

Check the WA Planning Map

If you are unsure about the zoning that applies to your area, this WA zoning map is a handy resource you can use to find out for sure.

In the map, you will find all the information you need regarding spatial planning, land, and heritage information for any piece of land in Western Australia. It has been designed to be easy to use for local government, industry, and the community to quickly make informed decisions.

The map works in most browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and even Internet Explorer if you have version 9 or above.

You can use the map to:

  • Research heritage, land, and planning information for any area around WA.
  • Make enquiries about information and policies for planning, heritage, and land.
  • Share details via social media and email.

Structure plans only go back as far as October 2015. If you cannot find one, that may be why, and you will need to contact your local government for help.

A helpful video is included on the page. Go through that, and you should have everything you need to use the map accurately.

The above should clarify any confusion about whether you need council approval for a retractable roof system in Perth, WA. If you are replacing the roof of your current structure with a retractable roof system from Soltex, WA, then it’s highly likely you are good to go. However, it pays to be on the safe side, and our professional staff are always ready to help with expert advice.

Perth Councils Information

City of Perth
Development Approval Service
P: 9461 3366

City of Subiaco
General Enquiries
P: 9237 9222

City of Vincent
General Enquiries
P: 9273 6000

City of Cambridge
General Enquiries
P: 9347 6000

City of Nedlands
General Enquiries
P: 9273 3500

City of Claremont
General Enquiries
P: 9285 4300

City of Peppermint Grove
General Enquiries
P: 9286 8600

City of Mosman Park
General Enquiries
P: 9384 1633

City of Fremantle
Planning officer
P:  9432 9999

City of East Fremantle
General Enquiries
P: 9339 9339

City of Melville
Planning Officer
P: 9364 0666

City of Canning
General Enquiries
P: 1300 422 664

City of Stirling
General Enquiries
P: 9205 8555

City of Bayswater
Planning Officer
P: 9272 0622

City of Victoria Park
General Enquiries
P: 9311 8111

City of South Perth
General Enquiries
P: 9474 0777

City of Gosnells
General Enquiries
P: 9397 3000

City of Armadale
General Enquiries
P: 9394 5000

City of Kwinana
General Enquiries
P: 9439 0200

City of Kalamunda
General Enquiries
P: 9257 9999

City of Belmont
General Enquiries
P: 9477 7222

City of Cottesloe
General Enquiries
P: 9285 5000

City of Mundaring
Planning Officer
P: 9290 6740

City of Swan
General Enquiries
P: 9267 9267

City of Bassendean
General Enquires
P: 9377 8000

City of Wanneroo
General Enquiries
P: 9405 5000

City of Joondalup
Planning Officer
P: 9400 4460

City of Rockingham
Building Services
P: 9528 0333

City of Serpentine-Jarrahdale
Planning Officer
P: 9526 1111



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