We Highly Reg-ommend You Be Aware of the Changes

The new Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 slipped silently into our planning life last month, but it is crucial that you be aware of the changes. Use caution when reading a local planning scheme as every WA local planning scheme has been amended. Use caution when studying structure plans as they no longer hold statutory effect. And don't become complacent - the newly introduced Regulations may change sooner than you think with the impending inclusion of the new Bushfire Regulations.

Of importance is the introduction of 'Deemed Provisions'. These automatically form part of all local planning schemes in WA and are a significant reform. As we see it, the Deemed Provisions will act to provide consistency between different local authorities, which is always welcomed. However, local authorities may embellish them with 'Supplementary Provisions' relevant to their local context. The Deemed Provisions primarily relate to:

  • Structure plan preparation, approval and amendments (including the Western Australian Planning Commission now being the sole determining authority for structure plans and activity centre plans).
  • Decision-makers are now required to give due regard to an approved structure plan and will no longer be bound by them. This means that any land uses permitted in a structure plan approved prior to the new Regulations may not necessarily be permitted now.
  • Heritage protection mechanisms, including designation of heritage areas, heritage conservation matters and the ability to vary local planning scheme provisions for heritage purposes.
  • Development approval, exempt development, advertising standards and matters to be considered by local governments.

The new Regulations also set out standard procedures for making and amending local planning schemes.

These procedures seek to streamline local scheme amendments by adopting a 'track-based' approach, with different timeframes allocated for basic, standard and complex amendments.
TPG team members have undertaken training held by the Department of Planning and are well-placed to navigate the application of the new Regulations to the various planning instruments, proposals and processes.

For more information, access the FAQs here. And if you would like to discuss how the new Regulations might affect your planning proposal, feel free to get in contact with Alison Healey, Senior Planner.

Alison Healey | Senior Planner


We'd like to let you know of an exciting change here at TPG Town Planning, Urban Design and Heritage.

We have joined forces with Western Australia's only specialist place-making consultancy, Place Match, to create an exclusive one-stop shop for place creation services.

Click here for more information.

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