Planning approval is required to be obtained prior to undertaking development or changing the approved use of land and premises within the Shire. There are a limited range of instances where planning approval is not required. This is mainly for minor works or where the need for approval has specifically been exempt. It is always advisable to check with the Shire’s Planning Services to ascertain whether approval is required, even if your Real Estate agent or builder has advised that you don’t need Planning Approval.
Applications for planning approval received by the Shire will be determined using the following process steps. The time taken to assess an application varies according to the nature and complexity of the proposal.
For more complex applications it is advisable to arrange a pre-application meeting with one of the Shire’s planners. The proposal can then be discussed, and officers will advise of relevant considerations or requirements which should be addressed in the application. Whilst this is an informal part of the process, it does enable issues to be identified so that they can be addressed before the application is lodged, ensuring cost and time delays are not encountered in processing the application.
When lodging an application for planning approval, you must include:
- a completed application form signed by the owner of the land
- the correct application fee
- two sets of accurate plans (generally including a site plan, building plans and elevations together with any other supporting information required by the Shire to properly consider your application.)
- other explanatory or supporting information as the Shire may need to properly assess your application.
Incomplete applications are normally returned and do cause delays in obtaining approval. The Shire has produced a range of information sheets for common application types which provide comprehensive information on its planning and application requirements.
Once all required information is received, your application will be formally assessed against the requirements of the Shire’s planning framework.
If an application cannot be determined within the first week, the Shire will write to you acknowledging receipt of the application and providing contact details of the officer dealing with your application, the results of a preliminary assessment and a likely decision date.
In some cases it may be necessary to request modified plans or additional supporting information, refer the application to external government agencies such as the Department of Water or seek feedback from nearby landowners or the general community before a decision is made.
In most cases the Shire has 60 days in which to make a decision on your application. Extended timeframes can apply with agreement with the applicant. Some applications will require referral to Council or a Development Assessment Panel for a decision, however the majority of development proposals can be determined under delegated authority.
Once a decision has been made you will receive a letter advising of this and of any conditions of approval or reasons for refusal along with a set of the endorsed plans. It is important that you keep any approval issued by the Shire, as it sets out the requirements that must be met in undertaking the proposal.
If you are dissatisfied with a condition of approval or a decision to refuse your application, there may be a right to apply for a review of the decision. The application for review must be lodged with the State Administrative Tribunal within 28 days of the decision date, with a copy of the application provided to the Shire.
The application for review must be lodged with the State Administrative Tribunal within 28 days of the decision date, with a copy of the application provided to the Shire.
Development Assessment Panels
Each DAP consists of five panel members, three being specialist members and two local government councillors.
As an outcome of recent planning reforms, planning applications for proposed development with a value over $10 million dollars is assessed and determined by the Metropolitan South West Development Assessment Panel (DAP). In circumstances where applications have a value of between $2 million and $10 million dollars, applicants are able to choose whether the application is to be assessed and determined by the DAP or by Council or the Shire (under delegated authority).
Previous agendas and minutes are available to download here.
For information about how DAPs operate, membership and development application types, please refer to the WA Planning website.