Change of land use approval requirements

On 18 December 2020, the Planning Regulation Amendment Regulations 2020 were gazetted by the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC). These amendments introduce various improvements to local planning processes and the first stage of these changes became operational on 15 February 2021. In the context of development applications, the amendments generally relate to the following:

  • Exemption of small residential developments (such as some patios, water tanks, cubby houses etc)
  • The introduction of a ‘deemed-to-comply’ check process so a preliminary assessment can be undertaken by the local government to determine if planning approval is required for single houses
  • Removing the need for planning approval for certain change of use applications.

The Regulation amendments will mean some of the City’s processes will change, so people who frequently do business with the City’s Planning Services may find the assessment process different to normal practice. This includes (but not limited to) requiring all of the necessary information up-front as part of the application and the City only sending one ‘request for information’ for non-complex applications to address any issues identified during the assessment.

In addition, some of the City’s policies and information sheets will be superseded by the changes introduced by WAPC. The City is currently in the process of updating the City’s documents, but in the meantime, if any inconsistency exists between the Regulations and City’s information, the Regulations will prevail.

As a result, certain development which currently requires planning approval may be exempt from 15 February 2021. For further information on the specific exemptions under the Amendment Regulations, please visit the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage website or contact the City’s Planning Services on 9400 4100.

A change of use refers to a modification to an approved land use for a particular site, or specific tenancy or unit. An example would be changing a ‘Shop’ tenancy to a ‘Restaurant’.

Changing the use of a particular site or tenancy may require: