On 9 August 2023, the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) received a request from the Minister for Planning to defer gazettal of amendments to State Planning Policy 7.3 – Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) originally planned to come into effect on 1 September and to undertake further amendments to retain current policy provisions for R30 and R40 coded development. The Minister’s request was made in light of concerns around the well documented housing market and supply pressures currently being experienced and the potential impacts of policy changes to these codes at this time.
The WAPC considered the Minister’s request and has resolved to
- Acknowledge the request of the Minister for Planning received on 9 August 2023 in relation to State Planning Policy 7.3 and confirm its support to work with him on further revisions to the Policy to achieve the review outcomes he has defined.
- Instruct the Department of Planning Lands and Heritage Director General to:
a. Not proceed with the gazettal of the revised State Planning Policy 7.3 on 1 September 2023 and defer gazettal to a future date, in consultation with the State Law Publisher (if required); and
b. Seek the services of a consultant to identify options to give effect to the amendments to State Planning Policy 7.3 requested by the Minister for Planning in his letter of 9 August 2023 and prepare revised documentation to deliver the preferred alternative.
Gazettal of the revised State Planning Policy 7.3 (2023) incorporating the new Medium Density provision will consequently not proceed on 1 September 2023.
The impact of this decision on stakeholders anticipating gazettal of the revised policy is appreciated, as is the significance of concerns around housing costs and supply which prompted the request.
The WAPC will seek to progress the updates requested with all haste to provide renewed certainty around residential policy settings.
Further details on timing will be released as soon as they are known however it is currently estimated that the process may take around 6 months: this is partly due to the fact that the amendments will require redrafting of not just Volume 1 of draft State Planning Policy 7.3 but also consequential amendments to Volume 2 and a series of planning bulletins and statements which support and inform the policy.
Further information will be published as soon as it becomes available.
Western Australian Planning Commission