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Minor variations

A minor variation is a minor modification, addition, or variation to a building consent.

It doesn’t deviate significantly from the plans and specifications that were approved with the consent.

You could use comparable products (for example, substituting an internal lining for a similar one), make a minor wall bracing change, make a minor construction change (such as changing the framing method used around a window), or change a room's layout (like changing the position of fixtures in a bathroom or kitchen).

A minor variation doesn’t include any building work where compliance with the building code isn’t required. For example, a change can happen without the need to seek approval for a minor variation such as:

  • built-in shelving, storage units or seating in a residential dwelling
  • changing most wall coverings in a residential dwelling from paint to wallpaper
  • kitchen or bathroom joinery carcasses 
  • skirting, ceiling covering or decorative mouldings.

Sometimes the requested change is not a minor variation, and must be submitted as an amendment. For example a change of cladding, a change of footprint, or variations relating to a department within Council other than building services (e.g. Council assets (development contributions), finished floor level or daylighting (planning) or stormwater (development engineering).

Information on applying for an amendment

Submit the application

If you’ve started work, but you need to make a small change to your consented plans, you need to:

  • Stop work on that particular part of the project
  • Complete the On-site application for minor variations to approved plans below
  • Book an inspection, notifying us that this inspection is for
    • the relevant inspection type (e.g. Framing)
    • a minor variation.
Form Online PDF Word
On-site application for minor variations to approved plans - (64kb pdf) (259kb word)
On-site application for minor variations to approved plans - (60kb pdf) (259kb word)

Manage the application

  • You should have a copy of the following on site for the inspection:
    • completed application form
    • amended plans
    • Memorandum from a licensed building practitioner - Certificate Of design work
  • Most minor variations will require written approval from the owner
  • Note that if these documents are not available on site at the time of the inspector’s site visit, the inspection will be failed and you will be charged
  • In the course of the inspection, plans and construction documents will be reviewed and stamped (dated, approved and signed)
  • Post-inspection, you will need to upload a PDF version of all documents to the online building consent system and keep a copy on site. Be sure to:
    • Use the file naming convention Minor Variation <Inspection Type> e.g. Minor Variation Framing
    • Load into Other Documents tab on the Online Booking System

Please note that Council staff cannot accept hardcopy documents on site. It is the applicant’s responsibility to upload documents.

If the proposed work falls outside the definition of a minor variation, you must apply for an amendment. You can do this using the online building consent system.

Last Reviewed: 25/09/2018

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