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Part 17 Significant Development Pathway

While Part 17 is now closed to new development applications, the pathway continues to determine existing applications and process amendment applications.

The temporary Part 17 Significant Development Pathway is now closed to new development applications. It was replaced by the Part 11B Significant Development Pathway on 1 March 2024.

Part 17

The Part 17 Significant Development Pathway was a temporary initiative introduced by the State Government in 2020 to encourage major developments as part of its COVID-19 economic recovery program. The pathway continues to assess and determine development applications lodged by the 29 December 2023 deadline. The Part 17 pathway also remains open to applications to amend approved developments and process clearances of Conditions of Approval.

The Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) is supported in determining Part 17 applications by a team in the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage - the State Development Assessment Unit (SDAU).

The SDAU can be contacted:

by email: [email protected]

or telephone: (08) 6551 9450

Read the WAPC Chairman's statement

Pathway Assessment Process

The Part 17 application assessment process is not subject to any prescribed timeframes and is generally as follows.

Part 17 Application Assessment

SDAU undertakes public consultation and referral to relevant agencies, local government and Minister for Planning > Final design review by State Design Review Panel > If required, applicant submits revised plans and additional information > SDAU completed assessment and prepares report and recommendation for WAPC determination meeting.

Determination by WAPC

Meeting agenda published with SDAU recommendation > Deputation request period > WAPC meeting held to determine application, open to public > Minutes published and applicant, local government, referral agencies and submitters notified of outcome.

Amendments (Form 17C)

Proponent can apply to amend approved development, including an extension to substantial commencement period (Form 17C) > SDAU may undertake referral to agencies, local government and Minister for Planning, and in the case of major changes and extensions of time, public consultations > SDAU assesses application and makes recommendation to WAPC > Major changes determined by WAPC in public meeting with deputations > Minor changes determined under delegated authority.

Clearance of Conditions

Proponent submits Clearance of Conditions matrix and documentation specified in conditions, along with final working drawings > SDAU checks that documents satisfy conditions set out in Development Approval > Stakeholder referral takes place > Clearance provided by SDAU on behalf of WAPC > Clearances can be staged subject to WAPC approval.

Note: Indicative Only. Assessment process tailored to requirements of individual proposals and might involve fewer or more steps.

Part 17 FAQs

Does the WAPC still determine Part 17 Applications? 

The WAPC will continue to determine applications lodged under Part 17 of the Planning and Development Act 2005.  

What is the State Development Assessment Unit (SDAU)?  

The SDAU is a team of experienced planners who undertake various activities associated with significant development proposals on behalf of the WAPC. Its activities include: 

  • engaging with key stakeholders, including members of the public, the local government and other agencies such as Main Roads Western Australia and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, in consultation about proposals 
  • assessing development applications, which includes overseeing design review, preparing a report and making a recommendation about each application to the WAPC 
  • assessing applications to amend approved developments, including applications to extend substantial commencement 
  • issuing clearance for conditions of approval on behalf of the WAPC 

The SDAU coordinates all referral and consultation processes simultaneously to ensure they are efficient and delays are limited, and the WAPC's decision-making process can be streamlined. 

Can I lodge a Part 17 Development application? 

The temporary Part 17 pathway is no longer open to lodge Form 17B applications for new significant development proposals. From 1 March 2024, proponents with suitable significant developments can lodge applications for determination under the permanent Part 11B pathway.

How do I lodge an amendment application (Form 17C)? 

Form 17C applications for amendments to approved proposals can still be lodged through the Planning Online Portal.  

For more information, visit Part 11B Significant Development Pathway.

Which forms/documents do I need to lodge an amendment application? 

Proponents who wish to amend their approved Part 17 development must complete the following form: 

Amendments can include modifications to the development plans, changes to approval conditions and an extension to the specified period for substantial commencement. 

You will also need to provide details of the proposed modifications and technical documents to support your application. This could range from detailed plans and drawings, to technical reports such as traffic management reports and proposed management plans. 

Please contact the SDAU team to discuss your proposed amendment application. You can also refer to the Part 17 – Guide for Applicants for more information.  

What fees apply? 

A fee is payable in accordance with the published fee schedule when lodging Form 17C applications to amend or cancel your approved Part 17 development. 

Fees are exempt from GST. 

EFT transfer details will be provided when you lodge your application. 

What consideration is given to local planning scheme requirements, policy and local concerns under Part 17? 

The WAPC must have due regard for the local planning framework in determining Part 17 applications. However, it also undertakes a more strategic assessment to consider non-planning related matters in the public interest and the broader economic, social and environmental benefits that can be delivered for the State. 

The Part 17 pathway streamlined the assessment process for projects that have investment certainty and are well designed and ready for construction to commence. 

Are Part 17 applications advertised for public comment? 

Yes. Following planning, design and technical consideration by the SDAU and stakeholders, Part 17 applications are released for public comment. Plans and supporting documents are released on the Department's website and, where possible, at the local government offices in regional areas, for the community to view and provide feedback. Notices are also published in local newspapers, letters sent to the owners and occupiers of surrounding and nearby properties and applicants are required to install at least one sign at the site during consultation, with an illustration of the proposed development.  

17C applications to amend a development approval are released for comment where there is a request to extend the substantial commencement period or where design alterations or a change of use are likely to impact neighbouring properties. In these cases, immediately adjacent neighbours and those who made a comment on the original application will be contacted for comment. 

How long do I have to make a comment? 

There is no prescribed timeframe for public consultation however it is expected all 17B applications are advertised for a minimum of 28 days. The closing date for submissions for each application is included in the consultation notices.  

A proposal may be re-advertised where revised development plans are submitted after the initial consultation and depending on the extent of changes proposed. The consultation period for an amended application (Form 17C) will vary and depend on the nature and extent of the modification/s being proposed. Consultation for these applications will be established on a case-by-case basis. 

An amendment application (Form 17C) which seeks to amend the substantial commencement period will be advertised for a minimum of 14 days, and those who made submissions on the initial development application and immediately adjacent neighbours will be directly notified in writing and invited to comment on the amendment application. 

Which organisations and agencies are consulted on the application? 

The WAPC will refer the development application to the local government and all relevant regulatory agencies for comment. This could include the Environmental Protection Authority, Main Roads Western Australia, Public Transport Authority, Department of Transport, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Department of Fire and Emergency Services, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Heritage Council of Western Australia and others. 

Will information about a Form 17B development application and the determination be publicly available? 

Yes. Information will be published on the Department website including: 

  • agenda papers for WAPC meetings which are available at least five business days prior to the meeting 
  • the decision, including reasons 
  • where the matter is deemed to be of significant public interest, a broad public statement may also be made 
  • unconfirmed minutes of WAPC meetings which are available within 10 business days of the meeting

What impact does a review by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) have on the development assessment process? 

Proposals likely to have a significant effect on the environment, referred to as “significant proposals”, may be considered by the EPA for environmental impact assessment. View the EPA assessment process.

Assessment of a Part 17 application, including consultation with the public and relevant State and local government stakeholders, can continue while the EPA considers whether an environmental assessment is required and while the review is under way.  

However, the WAPC cannot make a decision that would allow the proposal to be implemented until such time as the Public Environmental Review process is complete and any Ministerial Statement has been issued. The WAPC is unable to make a decision that would be contrary to any Ministerial Statement issued in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act 1986

What form will decision-making meetings take? 

In the case of Form 17B applications and relevant Form 17C amendment applications, once the SDAU’s assessment is complete, the WAPC holds a special public meeting to determine the application. 

Information about the meeting is available on the Department website and members of the public who provided comments on the proposal or amendment are informed of the meeting date and details.  

Deputations can be requested. Information about applying for a deputation is available on the Department website.  

People can attend a meeting in person or virtually via a Zoom link.     

The order of business is set out in the meeting agenda. Agenda papers are published on the Department website a minimum of five business days before the meeting. The outcome of the meeting and reasons for the WAPC’s decision are also published within 10 business days of the meeting. 

In the case of Form 17C amendment applications that were not released for public comment, a decision may be made by the Department under delegated authority and a report with the outcome is published on the Department website.  

How can I present at a Western Australian Planning Commission meeting? 

Applications to make a presentation at a WAPC meeting are to be made in writing using the application form on the Agendas and Minutes page. Forms must be submitted no later than 2pm three business days before the meeting. 

What decisions can the Western Australian Planning Commission make? 

The WAPC may: 

  • approve the application  
  • approve the application subject to conditions 
  • refuse the application

Is the Western Australian Planning Commission’s determination publicly available? 

Yes. Information is published on the Department website including: 

  • the determination decision, including reasons 
  • where the matter is deemed to be of significant public interest, a broad public statement may also be made 
  • unconfirmed minutes of Western Australian Planning Commission meetings are also available within 10 business days of the meeting 
  • in the case of the Form 17C amendment applications that are not released for public comment, a delegated authority report is published

Is the decision of the Western Australian Planning Commission final? 

An applicant may request a determination is reviewed through the State Administrative Tribunal. 

Who is responsible for administering any conditions of approval on an application? 

The SDAU, on behalf of the WAPC, works with the applicant and relevant regulatory agencies to ensure all conditions are met. This includes any conditions that need to be satisfied prior to construction commencing as well as others over the life of the approval.