Western Australia’s first-ever State Design Review Panel has been appointed to oversee the design quality of major new development proposals.
A pool of 50 highly-qualified experts will provide independent advice on the design quality of major development proposals, in time for today’s gazettal of the first tranche of the State Government’s new Design WA policy.
From today, new apartment developments need to adhere to Design WA codes to ensure all development is underpinned by good design, from the concept stage through to delivery.
It uses a performance-based approach to planning and design and is founded on 10 design principles including local character and context, sustainability, tree retention and amenity.
The newly-appointed design review panel comprises 37 experts from the core disciplines of planning, architecture, urban design and landscape architecture, and 13 specialists with expertise in heritage, sustainability, engineering and public health.
The establishment of this panel is vital to the implementation of Design WA policies and guidelines – placing good design at the heart of all development.
The panel will provide advice to government agencies, decision-makers and proponents, including the WA Planning Commission, Development Assessment Panels, redevelopment authorities, statutory authorities and local governments and will be chaired by the Government Architect Geoff Warn.
Assessing design quality as part of the planning process allows the opportunities presented by new developments to be fully realised, and can help expedite development application approvals, ultimately saving both time and cost.
As stated by Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:
“The community want developments that fit in with their surroundings and are vibrant and sustainable.
“Today’s gazettal will increase confidence and certainty by providing clearly-defined design standards that address critical issues such as parking, privacy and tree retention.
“The community has every right to expect that major developments perform well and can be designed sensitively and in keeping with the locations amenity, heritage and context.
“Taking action now will help us to create a legacy of well-considered, functional and attractive buildings, public spaces and infrastructure that will stand the test of time, for the benefit of generations of Western Australians to come.”
As stated by Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister for Planning John Carey MLA:
“The establishment of the panel is another key milestone towards our State doing density better.
“Having a panel of this calibre, with the potential to positively influence significant projects, presents an opportunity for the State to lead by example.
“It demonstrates that creating more vibrant, livable communities is the responsibility of both government and private sector and spans the entire range of developments – be they commercial, residential, civic or mixed-use.”