Residential Design Codes

The Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) provide planning and design provisions for residential development across Western Australia.
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The R-Codes provides planning and design provisions for residential development across Western Australia. The R-Codes aim to facilitate an appropriate standard of housing, encourage more diverse types of housing, promote sustainability and outline assessment pathways to facilitate better residential outcomes for occupants. They are also used for the assessment of residential subdivision proposals and should be read with Development Control Policy 2.2 Residential Subdivision for this purpose.

The R-Codes Explanatory Guidelines and Practice Notes provide assistance on operation and interpretation of provisions. The R-Codes Assessment Checklist streamlines residential development application compliance assessment to support a consistent, accurate and faster determination process. Previous versions of the R-Codes are available on the WA Legislation website.

The R-Codes are administered and applied by local government, so all enquiries relating to specific development proposals (including the application and interpretation of provisions of the R-Codes to specific development proposals) must be directed to the relevant local government where the development proposal is located.

Recent amendments to Residential Design Codes

The 2024 R-Codes were prepared as a series of amendments to State Planning Policy 7.3 Residential Design Codes (‘R-Codes’) to deliver better housing choice across Perth to reflect our changing lifestyles and housing needs and create more vibrant communities.

A video recording of the Amendments to the R-Codes information sessions held by the Department on the 12 March 2024 can be found here.  

Which R-Codes should I be using?

The R-Codes apply as follows:

Residential Design CodesSingle housesGrouped dwellingsMultiple dwellings
(includes dwelling components of mixed-use developments)
Volume 1All single house developmentAll grouped dwelling developmentR60 and below
Residential component of
mixed use development
Volume 2N/AN/AR80 and above
Residential component of
mixed use development


Frequently Asked Questions

What has been changed as a result of the Minister's amendments?

In response to growing concerns around pressures on the housing market and industry, the Minister for Planning requested the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) defer gazettal and prepare amendments to the draft policy.

The amendments sought to minimise change to popular R30-40 Single House product while retaining some of the greater flexibility and design improvements proposed through the original amendments.

These include:

  • Relocating R30-40 Single House development standards back into Part B to reinstate 2021 standards.
  • Retaining R30-40 Grouped Dwelling development standards in Part C and retaining 2023 draft standards with the following modifications:
    • Not proceeding with the draft 2023 Part C standards for Single House and Grouped Dwelling development relating to:
      • Minimum bedroom room size and dimension
      • Minimum primary living space size and dimension
      • Minimum depth of single aspect primary living space
      • Courtyard proportions relative to adjoining wall height.
  • Retaining current 2021 open space standards in place of draft new Part C site cover standards for a period of 24 months.
  • Retaining Planning Bulletin 112/2016 R-MD provisions for R25 – R40.
  • The titles of Parts B and C will not refer to ‘Low’ or ‘Medium’ density.

To maintain opportunities for greater housing diversity, the amendments:

  • maintain incentives for Small Dwellings and Accessible Dwellings in R30+ coded areas;
  • enable R-Code compliant Ancillary Dwellings (granny flats) on grouped dwellings/strata lots in all R-Codings (previously only applicable to Single House sites) and remove the minimum 350m2 lot size; and
  • delete deemed-to-comply provision 5.5.1 C1(v) in Part B which states, “ancillary dwelling is designed to be compatible with the colour, roof pitch and materials of the single house or grouped dwelling on the same lot.

Who was consulted on these changes?

The changes have been informed by consultation through the review of Volume 1, with more than 200 submissions received, as well as input from representatives of key industry and community stakeholder groups including:

  • Urban Development Institute of Australian
  • Housing Industry Association
  • Property Council Australia
  • Western Australian Local Government Association
  • Planning Institute Australia
  • Local Government Planners Association
  • Australian Institute of Architects
  • Major builders and developers.

What does this mean for medium density development?

The R-Codes will not assign particular codes as medium density. While there can be some debate around exactly what constitutes low, medium or high density, it is the quality and context of development that creates liveable communities. The National Planning Reform Blueprint released in August 2023 promotes the development of medium and high-density housing in well located areas close to existing public transport connections, amenities and employment.

How do changes to ancillary dwellings relate to Short Term Rental Accommodation (STRA)?

Ancillary dwellings are located on the same title as the main dwelling and are considered hosted accommodation – where the owner or permanent resident (host) lives onsite.
Specific conditions apply and all STRA will be required to be registered from 1 January 2025. You can find out more about STRA requirements at

Why have the R-Codes changed from a State Planning Policy to a Planning Code?

The R-Codes have moved from a State Planning Policy to a Planning Code to allow for a more contemporary and adaptable State planning policy suite, as part of the State Government’s Action Plan for Planning Reform.  The R-Codes now have the elevated legal status of subsidiary legislation under the Planning and Development Act 2005 (P&D Act). This reflects their wide-spread application as a technical planning document across the Western Australian planning system. Despite this change, the implementation of the R-Codes from a practical standpoint remains unchanged.

Will there be any other Planning Codes, other than the R-Codes?

At present, there are no plans to introduce further Planning Codes in addition to the R-Codes. There is, however, the ability for new Codes to be introduced in the future should the need arise. Broadly speaking, Planning Codes shall:

  • deal with any matter that can be dealt with by a local planning scheme, as listed in Schedule 7 of the P&D Act;
  • only have effect when ‘read in’ to local planning schemes; and
  • have the status of subsidiary legislation.

Any new planning code would be subject to stakeholder and public consultation prior to coming into effect.

Where can a granny flat now be proposed?

Granny flats, referred to as Ancillary Dwellings in the R-Codes, can now be constructed on all residential zoned land, including grouped and multiple dwellings and strata lots (not just on lots with single houses). These may be integrated with or detached from the dwelling.

For more information please view the Granny Flat info sheet.

If you own land that has a zoning other than residential, contact your relevant local government to understand the provisions of that zoning relating to ancillary dwellings.

What happens to existing planning instruments such as local planning policies, local developments, structure plans and the like under the new version of the R-Codes Vol. 1?

Local planning instruments (or portions of) that apply to Part C residential development, are subject to a special transitional arrangement. Note that this will also affect any local planning instruments created under the previous R-Codes Volume 2 (2019) that applied to apartments in R40-R60 areas. 

For more information on transitional provisions and arrangements see page 11 of the R-Codes Vol. 1 and Planning Bulletin 114/2024.

Local planning instruments (or portions of) that apply to Part B residential development, are not impacted. 

Local planning instruments (or portions of) that apply to development subject to the R-Codes Volume 2 are not impacted. 

What assistance is available to help understand the changes?

DPLH staff are available to provide advice where necessary. The Department will update information on this website as it becomes available.

Please direct further queries to

Queries regarding individual development applications and what specific local planning provisions apply can be directed to the relevant local government.