Development Management enforces legislation applicable to both land use and building plan applications, through the application process and when someone uses land illegally or builds without the right permissions. These are known as ‘contraventions’ and follow specific processes for investigation. Where necessary the department will take appropriate action regarding concerns reported on any of the following perceived contraventions:

  • land or building use or construction, in the wrong zone – i.e. building a commercial property in a residential-only land use zone or living in a building only zoned for commercial use
  • development of new buildings or changes to existing ones
  • alterations to heritage buildings or sites
  • development of building or building works without proper permission or approvals
  • dangerous buildings or structurally unsound buildings

Report a Contravention

For more information contact your nearest development management district office. It is best to make sure the situation is actually illegal before reporting it as all complaints are considered official records and may result in prosecution. For this reason, the complainant’s information must be available as they may need to give evidence.

Please take note of the following when submitting an official complaint

  • your complaint must be in writing
  • it cannot be anonymous
  • you need to provide a detailed account of the alleged contravention 
  • you may need to give evidence Complete the Land Use Contravention Complaint form to lay an official complaint against a perceived illegal land use.

Land Use Contraventions

Illegal land use is a broad way of speaking about the many ways in which land can be used illegally – from building without the right permission, using land for purposes for which it is not supposed to be used for, or for living on land that belongs to someone else, without permission. These actions are known as “contraventions” and these scenarios are governed by the law and follow specific processes. Complete the Land Use Contravention Complaint form to lay an official complaint against a perceived illegal land use.

Building Use Contraventions

Building work, for example, can only commence on approval of a building plan and once the building inspector has conducted a commencement inspection. The building inspector may serve a stop order for any building work commencing before the necessary approvals are in place and the owner may risk expensive corrective work or even demolition and may also face prosecution or a fine.