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Planning & Building Services

Houses & Smaller Residential Projects

Stage 1: Pre-Application Planning

Step 1: Establish a clear project idea and its use.

A vague project idea will lead to complications down the road. Though it may seem irrelevant to a simple project, the use of the building, structure, and/or property may affect the building/development permit approval process. For example, a shed for storing salt may be subject to different regulations than a shed for storing tools and other equipment.

Step 2: Determine if your project idea requires a building/development permit.

Depending on the nature of your proposed work, your project may not require any permit or formal approval from our office. To determine whether or not your proposed work requires a building and/or development permit, please contact us and ask to speak with a Building Inspector. (See FAQ 1.1: When is a building/development permit required?)

Step 3: Find out if the proposed project is a permitted use on the property.

Though you may own the land, it may have certain zoning that limits the property by use. (Some properties even have multiple zones within.) For example, if you own a piece of land in the City of Miramichi that is zoned 'Single or Two Unit Dwelling (R-2)', a mini home dwelling is not a permitted use. If you would like to find the zoning of your property, please see Zoning Maps or contact us and ask to speak with a Planner. (See FAQ 2.1: What is the zoning of my property?)

Step 4: Determine who is going to see your project through.

For a very simple project, you may decide on designing and building yourself. However, as your simple project becomes more detailed and/or is of a specific nature requring a professional stamp, you will likely need to hire (but not limited to) a New Brunswick licensed contractor, Certified Engineering Technologist (CET), Professional Engineer (P.Eng), and/or Professional Architect (P.Arch) in seeing your project through. As practicing builders, technologists, and professionals, these individuals have a responsibility to know the building and development regulations. Further, they are generally knowledgeable of the building/development permit approval process and can help ensure your development is structurally sound, safe, meets all regulatory requirements, and is completed on time and budget.

Step 5: Find out the required setbacks and other limitations of your project.

If you decide to take on your project yourself, find out the setbacks and other limitations of your project before you begin formalizing your plan and application. The developable area (i.e. where you can build or place) will depend on numerous factors including:

  • What you would like to build or place, for example a single unit dwelling (e.g. standard house), accessory building (e.g. shed, baby barn, or gazebo);
  • Zoning as determined by location (some areas do not have zoning); and
  • Other existing site constraints (e.g. natural features such a streams and steep slopes) 

Stage 2: Preparing Your Application

Step 6: Begin foramlizing your project plan.

Now that you have an idea of the opportunities and constraints on your property, begin planning the details of construction and the proposed location of your project. The 'Residential Building-Development Checklist (NBC-1)' and 'Residential Building-Development Site Plan Requirements' found in the Pamphlets & Checklists section will help you collect and organize the necessary details for your building/development permit application.

Step 7: Receiving approvals from other departments or agencies.

Though Planning Services is the authority having jurisdiction to issue building/development permits in the Greater Miramichi Region, you may require other permits and approvals from other government departments or agencies to see your project through. Though not an exhaustive list, most are included within the 'Residential Building-Development Checklist (NBC-1)' found in the Pamphlets & Checklists section. It is the responsibility of the property owner or authorized applicant to receive all required permits and approvals outside the jurisdiction of Planning Services.

Step 8: Complete a Building/Development Permit Application Intake Form and pay the required fee.

In order to begin the building/development permit application process, we require your contact info and a general description of your project (please see the 'Building/Development Permit Application Intake Form' in the Forms section). You can also pick up a hardcopy of the Form at our office. (For our locations, please see the Contact & Location section.) The building/development permit fee depends on the location, value, and nature of the proposed work. In the unincorporated areas, otherwise known as Local Service Districts (LSDs), the fee is combined. In the City of Miramichi, for example, there are separate building permit and development permit fees. The current fee schedule for our municipalities, Rural Community, and LSDs is found in our Fees section. (See FAQ 1.3: How much does a building/development permit cost?)

Stage 3: Building/Development Permit Follow-up

Step 9: Schedule your inspections.

Generally speaking, four (4) inspections are required. However, depending on the scope and nature of your project, fewer inspections may be required. Please contact us and ask to speak with a Building Inspector to find out exactly what inspections may be required. (See FAQ 1.4: What inspections are required?)