Hon Rita Saffioti BBus MLA

Hon Rita Saffioti BBus MLA

Minister for Transport; Planning; Ports

    New planning regulations streamline system and cut red tape

    18/12/2020 10:35 AM
    • Common sense changes to local planning regulations to take effect in February 2021
    • Regulatory amendments a key pillar of McGowan Government planning reforms
    • Exemptions and improvements deliver consistency across all 139 local governments
    • Reforms will cut red tape and support local jobs 

    A number of common-sense amendments to local planning regulations will take effect next February, delivering on the McGowan Government's commitment to cut red tape, streamline planning processes and support local jobs.


    From February 15, 2021, homeowners and small businesses will be exempt from requiring planning approval for single homes, extensions and small projects such as cubby houses and patios.


    The changes provide for a 'deemed-to-comply' check which allows local government to ensure compliance with the Residential Design Codes, enabling development proposals to process straight to the building approval stage.


    Other changes will improve processes and consultation practices while reducing administration:

    • removing the need for planning approvals for certain change-of-use applications, such as establishing a small café, a restaurant or small bar;
    • a limit of only one further request for additional information from local governments for applications not requiring public consultation;
    • consistent public consultation requirements for complex development applications;
    • exemptions from planning approval for small projects such as decks, shade sails and patios
    • prioritising online publication of planning documents; and
    • introducing a single planning process for structure plans and precinct structure plans. 

    By July 1, 2021, a second stage of regulatory changes will take effect to the provision of car parking in developments. Subject to further consultation with local government, these changes will introduce a consistent approach to calculating cash in-lieu options for car parking.


    The new approach to car parking will be ready for the start of the new financial year and in response to public consultation, will apply only to planning applications in the Perth and Peel region scheme areas.


    These changes support new planning legislation introduced earlier this year, and a raft of revised State planning policies creating a contemporary planning system and supporting the State's COVID-19 economic recovery.


    Comments attributed to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:


    "Planning reform has been a major driver of the State's economic recovery from COVID-19, and this first tranche of common sense regulatory amendments will simplify our planning system.


    "We are slashing the red tape that can stifle good development and unifying the planning approach of all local governments through consistent, common-sense reforms.


    "Removing the need for planning approval for many single residential developments, change of use applications and small housing projects will significantly reduce the administrative burden on our planning system, and allow small businesses and homeowners to progress to building approval.


    "Combined with our planning reform legislation and upcoming changes to the Residential Design Codes (R Codes), these amendments will streamline processes, cut red tape and support local jobs."


    Comments attributed to Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Planning John Carey MLA:


    "I have heard many frustrations from small businesses and home owners who have exciting development plans that will open new opportunities for their families and the community, only to be met with unnecessary red tape.


    "We want to create vibrant and energetic town centres and retail and café strips - to do this we need to provide support to local businesses, slash red tape and remove the heavy administrative burden.


    "We need to provide greater flexibility for small business to adapt, particularly during COVID-19.


    "Small businesses are the big winners from these reforms and I can't wait to see the results of these regulations when they are introduced in February 2021."


    Minister's office - 6552 5500