2020 Amendments to the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015
The Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 (Regulations) were amended in 2020 to make various improvements to local planning processes and have been introduced in two stages.
The first stage included a broader range of exemptions for small home projects such patios, water tanks, and cubby houses.
A ‘deemed-to-comply’ check enables local government to ensure compliance with the Residential Design Codes, allowing such development proposals to progress straight to the building approval stage, which is still a requirement.
Other regulatory changes improve processes, reduce administration, and improve consultation practices, including:
- removing the need for planning approvals for certain change-of-use applications, such as to establish a small café or restaurant
- a limit of only one further request for additional information from local governments for applications that do not require public consultation or referral
- consistent public consultation requirements for complex development applications
- prioritising online publication of planning documents, with an option for hard copies to be made available and
- introducing a single planning process for structure plans and precinct structure plans.
There are various conditions relating to the above listed exemptions, so please refer to the Regulations for the details.
From 1 July 2021, a second stage of regulatory changes relating to car parking provision in developments in the Perth and Peel region scheme areas took effect.
The key parts to these provisions include parking exemptions for certain types of development and a standard and consistent approach to car parking variations, waivers, cash in lieu and shared parking.
The Regulations can be downloaded below.
Latest Amendments to the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015
Two sets of amendments to the Regulations are currently proposed to support the implementation of the reforms in the Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2023:
- Draft Planning and Development (Local Planning Scheme) Amendment Regulations 2023 (No.2)
- Draft Planning and Development (Local Planning Scheme) Amendment Regulations 2023 (No.3)
The Amendment Regulations 2023 (No.2) have been prepared to support streamlined implementation of regulations associated with SPP and Planning Codes.
The Amendment Regulations 2023 (No.3) have been prepared to implement the changes to local government decision making on single house developments.
More information about these reforms, including how you can make a submission on these amendments, can be found on the Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2023 webpage.
Further amendments to the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 to implement other reforms will be undertaken in the future.
The Regulations are a major part of Western Australia’s planning reform agenda, affecting arrangements for local planning strategies, schemes and amendments. In addition to a Model Scheme Text, the Regulations introduce a set of deemed provisions that form part of every local planning scheme in the State.
The Regulations along with frequently asked questions (FAQ) and other applicable documents are provided below. The Regulations, Deemed Provisions and FAQ documents have been updated to reflect all amendments gazetted.
Detailed flowcharts are available on the Planning process flow charts page.
Local planning strategies
The Regulations require a local government to prepare a local planning strategy for each local planning scheme that is approved for land within the district of the local government. A local planning strategy must be prepared in a manner and form approved by the Western Australian Planning Commission.
The local planning strategy guidelines comprise of the manner and form for a local planning strategy and the supporting guidance for implementing the approved manner and form for a local planning strategy.
The local planning strategy guidelines replace the guidance on the content and preparation of local planning strategies provided in the Local Planning Manual – a guide to the preparation of local planning strategies and schemes in Western Australia (2010).
Local planning schemes
The Regulations require local planning schemes to be reviewed in the form of a report submitted to the Western Australian Planning Commission. To provide consistency in structure and content, a manner and form document is provided below.
Form 1C, 1D, 2B and 2C found within the Scheme and Amendment forms document have been updated in response to the gazettal of amendments to the Regulations on 18 December 2020.
The model scheme template is provided to assist local government planners and industry in the preparation, review or amendment of local planning schemes to align with the Model Provisions (Schedule 1) of the Regulations.
Structure plans and local development plans
The Regulations prescribe processes applicable for the preparation and amendment of structure plans and local development plans. In response to these processes, the following guidance and manner and form documents have been prepared. Contemporary, clear and consistent guidance for preparing and assessing precinct and standard structure plans (and amendments) has been published. For more information, visit WA Planning Manual - Guidance for Structure Plans.
Forms 5A, 5B, 5C and 5E have been updated in response to the gazettal of the amendments to the Regulations on 18 December 2020, with further amendments to the remaining documents to be undertaken in due course.
Development assessment - Planning approval exemptions and streamlined approval processes
A number of explanatory guidance and manner and form documents have been prepared in response to amendments to the Regulations that either became operational on 15 February 2021 or 1 July (Part 9A - Provisions about car parking).
The explanatory guidance documents explain how specific clauses with the Deemed Provisions (Schedule 2) of the Regulations are to operate and support specific clauses within the Deemed Provisions (Schedule 2) of the Regulations that require conformance with manner and form.
Development assessment - Cash in lieu for on-site non-residential car parking
The explanatory guidance and manner and form documents provided below support provisions within Part 9A of the Regulations, specific to cash in lieu.
The manner and form document must be used to prepare a Payment in Lieu of Parking Plan (Plan) if a local government wants to apply cash in lieu conditions to non-residential development approvals.
The explanatory guidance provides information on how to prepare a Plan, including what information should be included and how best to implement it.
On 8 June 2021, the Method of Calculation provided below was published in the Gazette and it became operational on 1 July 2021. The Method of Calculation is required to be used by local government to calculate cash in lieu.
It is important to note that a two-year transition period is available for local governments to prepare a Plan while still enabling cash in lieu conditions to be applied to development approvals. This is only available if a local government already had an existing plan to spend cash in lieu, enabled by provisions within a local planning scheme or similar. The Method of Calculation provided below must however be used to calculate cash in lieu payments.
A fact sheet and flow chart to explain how cash in lieu is considered through a development assessment process is also provided.
Local Government exemptions from advertising requirements
The Regulations include standardised publication and advertising requirements for development proposals and applications. Regulation 76B and Schedule 2, clause 88 provides for the Western Australian Planning Commission to waive some or all of these requirements either indefinitely or on a case by case basis, through the issuing of a notice to local government.
The following exemption notices are currently in effect: