Planning Minister Rita Saffioti is finalising 30 proposed regulatory changes that will streamline the State planning system, cut red tape and support Western Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
Amendments to local planning regulations will expand exemptions for many small residential and non-residential projects, including extensions and renovations to existing homes.
Proposed changes may include removing the requirement for some planning approval, the introduction of improved change of use, and parking requirements for small businesses in certain locations.
Key proposals in the draft Planning and Development (Local Planning Scheme) Regulations 2015 Amendments include:
- removing the need for planning approvals across local government for a number of different types of change of use applications, for example to establish a café or restaurants;
- a broader ‘deemed-to-comply’ check for single residential dwellings;
- 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;
- reduce holdups in the referral process to ensure a development application proceeds in the event timeframes are not met or responses are not received, and applications are determined based on the information available at the conclusion of the referral period;
- new exemptions from planning approval for small projects such as site works, cubby houses, signage and water tanks;
- online publication of planning documents, removing the requirement for presentation of hard copies in a physical location;
- introduction of a single process for structure plans and precinct structure plans; and
- introduce clear and consistent calculation of cash-in-lieu options for car parking as part of a planning application.
These are the first of more than 100 proposals to provide greater consistency across all levels of the planning system and support home owners and small businesses.
The proposed amendments are available for comment at https://consultation.dplh.wa.gov.au until September 18, 2020.
As stated by Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:
“These are common sense regulations that aim to provide consistency, cut red tape and streamline the planning system, and are in response to years of community and industry feedback.
“The proposed amendments follow the introduction of our new planning laws recently passed and will complement the revised residential design codes policy which is also currently open for consultation.
“We recognise the community’s calls for greater consistency in consultation on development matters and introduced a framework for consistent consultation on complex development applications.
“We are working to ensure planning is easier to navigate, consistent across the State and supports home owners, developers and small businesses during these challenging times.
“These reforms and proposed changes will ultimately help support the WA economy out of COVID while helping to protect and support local jobs.”
As stated by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Planning John Carey MLA:
“The proposed changes to these regulations will make it easier for small business by abolishing approvals across local governments for a number of change of use applications, including for cafés, restaurants and small bars.
“I’ve heard horror stories from small businesses of waiting very long times for planning approval, causing both huge additional costs and significant stress, almost forcing small business to just walk away.
“Our planning reforms are a common sense approach to helping cut red tape and get the economy moving again out of COVID-19.”