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Shipping Containers


The placement of shipping containers on properties has become more prevalent; not only within the Copper Coast Council, but in other regional areas throughout the state. They are being used on land in a manner that can be unsightly and detracting from the amenity of the locality in which the land is situated and is becoming a matter of concern throughout the Council.

Whilst historically the most common use was as a temporary storage option, especially in association with providing secure storage for materials being used in the construction of houses etc, these containers are now more frequently being used for permanent storage and use in place of actual constructed sheds.

A shipping container is consdered to be a building as defined in the Development Act 1993 as it is 'a building or strucutre, or a portion of a building or structure, whether temporary or permanent, moveable or immovable'.

Do I need to apply for approval?

Development Approval will be required for shipping containers to be placed on a property and will be determined by: 

  • the proposed use;

  • zoning of the property;

  • size, colour and condition of the shipping container;

  • siting of the shipping container on the property;

  • fixing on the property

  • Council's Shipping Container Policy.

Can I still use a container to store material if constructing an approved building?

Yes. A container can be used as a temporary store (but not for the purposes of overnight accommodation) directly in association with the performance of approved building work on the site. The container must be removed from the property at the completion of the relevant building work (unless you have gained Development Approval for it to remain).

I have shipping container/s on my property that does not have Development Approval – what am I required to do?

In the first instance contact Council’s Planning Officer to determine whether your container/s will be required to receive Development Approval. If so, then a Development Application is required to be lodged with Council for assessment and, if determined to be a suitable form of development, gain Development Approval.

Please note that there will be some instances where it may not be appropriate to have a container on the property (e.g. if the proposed use is unsuitable for the zone; affect on the amenity of the locality etc). If an application is refused, then you will be required to remove the container from the property.

Your cooperation in liaising with Council regarding containers on land will be appreciated to ensure that the storage requirements of land owners can be met whilst also meeting the legislative requirements which address potential effects on neighbours and ensuring the amenity of the townships and rural areas is maintained or enhanced.

Further Information

For further information please refer to Council's Shipping Container Policy - Shipping Container Policy

Please contact Council to discuss you specific situation on (08) 8828 1200 option 3.