State Planning Policy 7.2 - Precinct Design

Policy
Precinct design provides a framework to guide the planning of precincts.

SPP7.2 Precinct Design was gazetted and became operational on 19 February 2021.

Precinct Design guides the preparation and assessment of planning proposals for areas that require a high level of planning and design.

Given the predictions of Perth and Peel @ 3.5 million, effective precinct design is integral to the future of our cities and towns. Precinct Design and associated Guidelines will apply to areas that require a high level of design focus due to their complexity, whether through mixed-use components, higher levels of density, an activity centre designation or character, heritage and/or ecological value.

The policy requires a tailored, performance-based approach to precinct design, supported by design review and a high level of community participation. The 10 Design Principles of good design outlined in State Planning Policy 7.0 Design of the Built Environment apply. 

Additional to the policy and guidelines, a Submissions Summary Paper and a Modifications Summary Paper are available for download.

Stage 2 includes:

State Planning Policy 7.2:  Precinct Design: the lead policy to guide the preparation and evaluation of planning proposals for areas that require a high level of planning and design focus due to their complexity - such as planned infill development, activity centre designation or areas with certain values such as heritage or local character.

State Planning Policy 7.2:  Precinct Design Guidelines: builds upon the 10 Design Principles contained in State Planning Policy 7.0 - Design of the Built Environment by introducing the concept of design review into precinct planning through six performance-based design elements.

State Planning Policy 7.2:  Precinct Plan Manner and Form: is the interim guidance on the manner and form in which a precinct structure plan and local development plan is prepared under Precinct Design. Precinct plans are a new instrument in the planning system, so it is necessary to provide the manner and form by which they are prepared as approved by the Western Australian Planning Commission.  The interim guidance outlines the sections of content for both plan types and what information needs to be included in each section.

For the final part of Design WA - Stage Two, the Department is undertaking reviews of draft State Planning Policy 4.2 Activity Centres (out for public comment until 3 March 2021 https://consultation.dplh.wa.gov.au/) and the proposed State Planning Policy 7.1 Neighbourhood Design (review of Liveable Neighbourhoods).

What is Precinct Design?

Precinct Design applies throughout Western Australia and provides guidance on the design, planning, assessment and implementation of precinct structure plans, local development plans, subdivision and development in areas identified as precincts. This policy and associated Guidelines, along with State Planning Policy 7.0 Design of the Built Environment (SPP 7.0), draft State Planning Policy 4.2 Activity Centres (SPP 4.2), and the local planning framework, are the predominant planning instruments for precinct design for decision-making authorities and referral agencies when considering strategic and statutory planning proposals, subdivisions and development applications.

What is a precinct?

Precincts are areas that require a higher level of planning and design focus due to their complexity, whether through mixed-use components, quality public transport infrastructure, higher levels of density, an activity centre designation or character, heritage and/or ecological value.

Precinct Design is a key component in the overall suite of Design WA policies. It assists with the planning and design of vibrant activity centres, station precincts, urban corridors and higher-density mixed-use areas. It also assists in the delivery of higher-density apartment buildings and medium-density development.  Collectively, the policies and supporting documents work together to ensure high-quality development in the right locations, such as the delivery of new METRONET station precincts.

Will Precinct Design add another layer of assessment to the planning system?

No. Precinct structure plans are a type of structure plan and are a replacement for activity centre plans.  

A precinct plan will not be required in every situation. It can assist with the detailed planning of more complex or strategic locations.  

How does Precinct Design impact the planning system or Regulations?

Accompanying Precinct Design and associated Guidelines are changes to the Planning and Development (Local Planning Scheme) Regulations 2015 to ensure terminology and criteria for developing precinct plans are aligned.  The Precinct Design interim manner and form guidance ensures this alignment.

If local governments have an activity centre plan, structure plan, scheme amendment or local development plan underway, recently advertised or approved, will it comply with the new policy?

The above plans will comply with the new policy under the following circumstances:

  • where a plan has already been endorsed over an area
  • where a plan has already been advertised
  • when a plan is underway, the Western Australian Planning Commission will need to determine whether it is progressed far enough to be compliant with the new policy.

How will Precinct Design support the Perth and Peel @3.5million Frameworks?

Precinct Design supports the frameworks by addressing identified infill targets, designated station precincts, designated activity centres and urban corridors in existing urban areas within the Perth and Peel regions.

Why another State Planning Policy?

Design WA aims to improve the design quality of the built environment. In WA, particularly the Perth and Peel regions, there is a need to plan for higher-density infill development to accommodate our growing population, prevent further urban sprawl and revitalise urban areas needing regeneration. This applies to all regions in WA.

Precinct Design is a high-level, state-wide planning instrument that will enable these outcomes to be achieved.

Documents

Page reviewed 2 December 2021