3m x 3m Garden sheds, 9 square metres, would generally fall under the local council regulations as an exempt development. NSW’s State EPP allows up to 20m2 in most circumstances. Many other areas in Australia allow up to 10m2. Exempt development means that so long as you meet a number of criteria, then you may erect your structure without having to get council permission.
The criteria would usually pertain to distances from boundaries, size of the garden shed, build the shed behind the building setback line of the street or average of such and how many exempt garden sheds you already have.
Let’s have a look at NSW’s State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 and the section about garden sheds. After that we’ll have a look at an example in Queensland, Toowoomba regional councils FAQ sheet on building.
Subdivision 9 Cabanas, cubby houses, ferneries, garden sheds, gazebos and greenhouses
2.17 Specified development
The construction or installation of a cabana, cubby house, fernery, garden shed, gazebo or greenhouse is development specified for this code if it is not constructed or installed on or in a heritage item or a draft heritage item or on land in a foreshore area.
2.18 Development standards
(1) The standards specified for that development are that the development must:
(b) not have a floor area of more than:
(i) on land in Zone RU1, RU2, RU3, RU4 or R5—50m2, or
(ii) on land in any other zone—20m2, and
(c) be not higher than 3m above ground level (existing), and
(d) be located at least 900mm from each lot boundary, and
(e) if it is not on land in Zone RU1, RU2, RU3 or RU4—be located behind the building line of any road frontage, and
(f) not be a shipping container, and
(g) be constructed or installed so that roofwater is disposed of without causing a nuisance to adjoining owners, and
(h) to the extent it is comprised of metal components—be constructed of low reflective, factory pre-coloured materials if it is located on land in a residential zone, and
(i) if it is located on bush fire prone land and is less than 5m from a dwelling—be constructed of non-combustible material, and
(j) if it is constructed or installed in a heritage conservation area or a draft heritage conservation area—be located in the rear yard, and
(k) if it is located adjacent to another building—be located so that it does not interfere with the entry to, or exit from, or the fire safety measures contained within, that building.
(2) There must not be more than 2 developments per lot.
Toowoomba , A Queensland councils take on Garden Sheds.
Their FAQ sheet on Building says
What is self-assessable development?
Some minor building work is deemed to be self-assessable. Prescribed self-assessable building work is specified under Building Regulation 2006, Schedule 1. While a building permit is not required for self-assessable development, the owner is responsible to ensure it complies with any applicable standards, such as structural adequecy, size limits, Building Codes of Australia and Planning Scheme or Queensland Development Code.
Examples of self-assessable building work include:
- Class 10 buildings and Structures up to 10m² in area and
- under 2.4m in height with the mean height not exceeding 2.1m with
- no side greater than 5m
- such as a small tool shed, garden shed, stable, fowl house, unroofed pergola, lawn locker, gazebo, unroofed deck not higher than 1m above natural ground level, greenhouse or the like
Generally speaking most councils customer service centres are very well versed with Garden shed regulations so a quick call to yours, will usually get you a quick answer.