A reader who wishes to buy a Wendy House wants to know what the maximum size is she can purchase before having to comply with any legislative requirements.
She has not advised what the size of the Wendy House is, nor is there any information whether the intended use is for storage or living purposes.
There is a common perception that a Wendy House with a size below 10 square metres requires no application and no authority for erection in an urban area.
It is correct that a Wendy House with a footprint of less than 10 square metres is classified as a minor building work under the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act.
See the reader’s question here.
However, under this particular definition, the 10 square metre restriction is in actual fact a reference to the maximum size of a tool shed, not a Wendy House for any use.
The regulations specifically require an application to be made to the building control office for authorisation to erect any building defined as minor building work.
This also applies to any work on a structure falling within the ambit of such a definition.
Any such erection or work shall not commence before authorisation has been granted.
However, authorisation is not required for minor building work for which, in terms of the proviso to the regulations, no plans are necessary.
A reading of regulation A2(1) identifies two possible instances where plans and particulars shall not be submitted.
The two relevant exemptions applicable to the current instance include where the minor building work is a building with an area of not more than five square metres.
The other exception under this regulation relates to an exemption under Section 13 of the act.
This states that a building control officer may exempt an applicant from submitting a plan and grant authorisation for the erection of such building in accordance with the conditions and directions specified in the authorisation.
If the reader’s intention is that the Wendy House is to be used for human habitation, additional requirements may apply.
The regulations state that any habitable room, bathroom, shower room and room containing a toilet pan or urinal must have lighting and ventilation.
This also applies to a room under a parking garage, allowing it to be used, without detriment to health or safety or causing any nuisance, for the purpose for which it is designed.
The regulations also specifically set out that any habitable room must have at least one opening for natural light.
In making an application for the required consent or exemption, the local authority may require the application to be accompanied by a fee.
This is often determined by the envisaged floor area of the erection to which the application relates.
Prior to the erection of any such structure, it is recommended that the local building control office is contacted to determine whether the intended structure complies with local authority requirements and whether approval is required.
If an application is required, the local authority could also provide guidance as to the manner in which the application is to be submitted, together with what documentation may be needed.
The reader should also be aware that, if it is intended to be placed where it encroaches on building lines, a special application for deviation may be required.
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