You’ve just started planning your new build or renovation and come across the term “statutory requirements”… huh? This may seem like Greek at first, but don’t stress! This blog will help you in understanding the terms and calculations that form the basic laws of the building process.


Statutory requirements are laws that are governed by the town planning scheme and will place limitations on your building site.  Statutory requirements can be obtained from your Local Authority by requesting a copy of your Zoning Certificate and the Town planning Scheme, for your township (suburb). Below is an explanation of various Statutory Requirements you might come across.

Statutory Requirements


This defines land use as well as density. A good example of density is the addition of a ‘Granny Flat’. A granny flat or cottage constitutes a second dwelling and if a property is only zoned for a single dwelling then adding a second dwelling requires a town planning application. Land Use is what the stand is zoned for, residential, commercial, retail, and religious to name a few, so if you want to build an office building on a stand that’s zoned for residential use you would need to apply to have the zoning changed.


Coverage is expressed as a percentage of the stand that your built footprint covers. This includes all covered area’s that are impermeable spaces such as entrance canopies and or patio’s.

Coverage % = ground floor footprint area / stand area

It is regulated by the property zoning and the town planning scheme. If a dwelling is on maximum coverage no additions would be allowed to the footprint (on the ground floor), this does not however mean that first floor additions are limited.


Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is the ratio of the entire floor area including all storeys as a ratio of the stand area. It too is regulated by the town planning scheme.

Ratio = First floor area + Ground Floor Area / Stand

 *NB, only spaces covered by an impermeable roof or slab above need to be included in your total floor areas.


In addition to FAR limitations, some housing estates set regulations limiting the ground and first floor ratio. What this simply means is that the first floor is only allowed to cover the ground floor by a certain percentage. As an example the first floor might only be allowed to cover 75% of the Ground Floor.

% =   First floor area / Ground floor area x 100


A building line (dotted white line) denotes a line set back a specified distance from the boundary line that one is not allowed to build over. The building line usually differs from boundary to boundary. The street building line is usually set further back than side boundary building lines.  Building lines are determined by the town planning scheme. One can apply to have the building line relaxed but this is often a very lengthy process.


A servitude is similar to a building line however it generally contains services below ground, or access rights and cannot be built over or on. This is determined by the town planning scheme and is fixed.


The Town Planning Scheme and Estate Guidelines might have parking requirements. This will generally refer to the amount of on-site parking that must be accommodated for owners and visitors.


This info may be overwhelming, but we are just one call away to assist you with any questions you may have.