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Planning and Development Amendment Act 2023 and Associated Regulations

Key planning reforms came into effect on 1 March 2024 and the next phase of planning reforms will come into effect on 1 July 2024.

Parts of the Planning and Development Amendment Act 2023 and some remaining parts of the Planning and Development Amendment Act 2020 became operational on 1 March 2024. Other parts of the Planning and Development Amendment Act 2023 will become operational on 1 July 2024.

This implemented changes to the Planning and Development Act 2005 focused on streamlining processes, reducing unnecessary red tape, improving efficiencies in planning processes and decision-making to support the delivery of housing and other critical infrastructure. Key reforms include:

From 1 March 2024

  • The creation of a new permanent significant development pathway and supporting amendments to support its implementation including reforms to the Development Assessment Panel system. More information can be found on the Development Assessment Panel Reforms and Significant Development Pathway page
  • Changes to better facilitate strategic planning and a contemporary State policy framework that achieves intended outcomes
  • New Regulations, amendments to existing Regulations and supporting guidance also came into effect on 1 March 2024

From 1 July 2024

  • Changes to local government decision making on single house developments and any development associated with a single house. From this date the determination of development applications for single houses or any development associated with a single house, excluding development of or associated with a heritage protected place, must be done by the CEO of the local government or employees authorised by the CEO, and cannot be done by Council
  • Reform of the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC). More information can be found on the WAPC review page

Copies of these Acts and Regulations can be downloaded from legislation.wa.gov.au.

The sections below provide information about when various parts of the Act have or will come into operation:

Information

Development Assessment Panels

Part 3 of Planning and Development Amendment Act 2020

Minor changes to the operations of Development Assessment Panels (DAPs) through the Planning and Development (Development Assessment Panels) Regulations 2011 (DAP Regulations) as well as the introduction of ‘district’ and ‘special matters’ DAPs (note reference to ‘special matters’ DAP is removed through Part 2 of the Amendment Act 2023). Supported by amendments to the DAP Regulations.

Part 2 of Planning and Development Amendment Act 2023

Removes the creation of a 'special members' DAP. Supported by amendments to the DAP Regulations.

Planning and Development (Development Assessment Panels) Amendment Regulations 2024

Changes to the DAP Regulations to implement the DAP reforms:

  • Create an opt in pathway for any non-excluded development over $2million.
  • Enable any non-excluded development by a community housing provider to opt into the DAP pathway regardless of size or value.
  • Enable the appointment of fixed term, full time or part time specialist members.
  • Transitional arrangements for specialist members to allow the DAP system to continue to operate while recruitment takes place.

Significant Development Pathway

Part 3 of Planning and Development Amendment Act 2023

Introduces a new significant development pathway with the Western Australian Planning Commission as the decision maker through a new Part 11B. Supported by fees and Regulations.

Planning and Development (Significant Development) Regulations 2024

New Regulations setting out procedures and processes for the significant development pathway including eligibility criteria, timeframe for determination and other assessment processes.

Significant Development Applicants Guide

Procedures and processes for significant development pathway (not covered by Regulation or expanding on content of Regulations).

Fact Sheet – Part 11B – Process for Premier’s Authorisation for a Significant Development Application

Outline of the process associated with requesting the Premier’s authorisation to lodge an application based on a proposals State or regional importance.

State Planning Policies

Part 3 of Planning and Development Amendment Act 2020

Amends the process for State Planning Policies (SPPs) and creates a new planning instrument ‘Planning Codes’ (Planning Codes). Provides for the preparation, review and repeal of SPPs and Planning Codes to be moved into regulations, as well as transitional provisions for the Residential Design Codes to move from being a SPP to a Planning Code. Supported by new Regulations.

Planning and Development (State Planning Policies) Regulations 2024

New Regulations setting out processes and procedures for making, amending and repealing State Planning Policies.

Planning and Development (Planning Codes) Regulations 2024

New Regulations setting out processes and procedures for making, amending and repealing Planning Codes.

Local Planning Schemes

Part 11, Section 76 of Planning and Development Amendment Act 2023

Amends section 83A(4) of the Planning and Development Act 2005 to clarify that consultation requirements in section 83 of that Act do not apply if the local planning scheme amendment is not required to be advertised under the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 (LPS Regulations), and the amendment is not required to be assessed by the Environmental Protection Authority. Supported by amendments to the LPS Regulations.

Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Amendment Regulations 2024

Changes to the LPS Regulations to:

  • Support the streamlined implementation of State Planning Policy and Planning Code Regulations.
  • Amend the definition of a ‘basic amendment’ to a local planning scheme to clarify that it does not require advertising and therefore does not require approval to advertise; and
  • Clarify and streamline the administrative processes for new and amended local planning schemes.

Other Related Legislation

Lands Amendment Regulations 2024

Amends the definition of the R Codes to include reference to planning codes in the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority Regulations 2011 and Strata Titles (General) Regulations 2019

Swan Valley Planning Regulations 2024

New Regulations for modifications relating to processes for amending the Swan Valley Planning Scheme as a result of changes to the LPS Regulations relating to s83A.

Western Australian Planning Commission

Part 8 (other than Division 3) of Planning and Development Amendment Act 2023

Amendments relating to the Western Australian Planning Commission, confirming its role as an expert and independent planning advisor and statutory decision-maker, rationalising its functions, amending the structure and membership, transferring operational detail into regulations, improving the framework for committees of the Commission, and providing a more efficient provision for the delegation of authority.

Reforms to Decision-Making Process for Single Houses

Intended to reduce unnecessary red tape, provide a consistent process for how single house developments are dealt with across the State, improve efficiencies in decision making to assist with the delivery of housing, and enable the Council to focus on strategic planning, ensuring that local planning frameworks are contemporary and fit for purpose.

Part 4 of the Planning and Development Amendment Act 2023

Introduces a new section 257C into the Act which provides the ability for regulations to specify that certain types of development approval functions relating to single houses must be done by or on behalf of the CEO of the local government.

Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Amendment (Single House Development) Regulations 2024

Supporting changes to Schedule 2 of the LPS Regulations to specify that development approval functions for a single house development or any development associated with a single house such as additions, alterations, patios or carports where not otherwise exempt are to be done by the CEO of the local government or other local government officer/s authorised by the CEO. This will not apply to any heritage protected place as defined in Schedule 2.

Information Videos

Note: these videos were current during the October/November 2023 consultation period.

Planning & Development Amendment Bill 2023 WAPC Reforms

Local Government Decision Making for Single Houses

DAP Reforms and Significant Development Pathway