Town Planning - Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is an application for planning approval and when is it required?
  2. When is planning approval not required?
  3. How do I make an application for planning approval?
  4. What is the difference between planning approval and a building licence?
  5. Why is an application for Planning Approval required?
  6. Are there any different types of application for Planning Approval?
  7. Who determines my application?

1. What is an application for planning approval and when is it required?

An application for Planning Approval is separate to a Building Licence Application. Planning Approval is required for any type of development that is not permitted by the relevant town planning scheme. Planning Approval is also required for any aspect that does not satisfy the Acceptable Development criteria for residential dwellings under the Residential Design Codes.

The town planning scheme provides guidance to Council in considering development and growth within the Shire. Planning approval is required for any proposal that is on or adjoining a place contained on the State Register of Heritage Places. Please contact Hayley at the Shire Office to ascertain whether Planing Approval is required.

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2. When is planning approval not required?

Planning Approval is not generally required for the following development of land:

  • The use of land in a Reserve, where such land is held by the Council or vested in a Public Authority;
    • for the purpose for which the land is reserved under the Scheme; or
    • in the case of land vested in a Public Authority, for any purpose for which such land may be lawfully used by that Authority.
  • The erection of a boundary fence except as otherwise required by the Scheme.
  • The erection on a lot of a single dwelling house, including ancillary outbuildings, in a zone where the proposed use is designated with the symbol "P" in the Zoning Table.
  • The carrying out of any works on, in, over or under a street or road by a Public Authority acting pursuant to the provisions of the Town Planning and Development Act.
  • The carrying out of works for the maintenance, improvement or other alteration of any building, being works which affect only the interior of the building or which do not materially affect the external appearance of the building.
  • The carrying out of works urgently necessary in the public safety or for the safety or security of plant or equipment or for the maintenance of essential services.

Due to their being a number of town planning schemes operating within the Shire, the exemptions listed below are generic and it is strongly advised that you verify with Council whether it applies in your particular situation.

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3. How do I make an application for planning approval?

An application for Planning Approval requires the completion of the relevant form, plans and other details as required and payment of the prescribed fee.

In all instances, a site plan indicating existing and proposed buildings/structures contained on the property and a description of proposed development/use is required.

It is strongly recommended that you contact Hayley Williams at the Shire Office prior to the lodgement of your application to ensure that the necessary details are provided to assist you minimising any delay or cost.

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4. What is the difference between planning approval and a building licence?

The simplest distinction is Planning Approval is an approval for a land use only, whilst a Building Licence is related to the construction details of a building.

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5. Why is an application for Planning Approval required?

Planning Approval is required so that Council may assess development to ensure:

  • That it complies with the relevant Town Planning Scheme;
  • It is appropriate with the particular reserve, zone or approved use;
  • It is appropriate to other uses in the locality;
  • It is appropriate to the orderly and proper planning of the locality;
  • It will not adversely affect the amenity of the locality in which it is located.
  • It is an offence under the Town Planning and Development Act to commence development without first having obtained Planning Approval and complied with any conditions placed on the approval.

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6. Are there any different types of application for Planning Approval?

Yes, the town planning schemes contain various levels of approval, which can be generally described as follows:

  • P = permitted uses subject to compliance with the relevant standards and scheme requirements and any condition(s) imposed by Council in granting approval.
  • AA = discretionary approval required by Council and subject to compliance with any condition(s) imposed by Council in granting approval.
  • SA = discretionary approval required by Council, subject to public notice of the proposal being given for a period of 21 days and subject to compliance with any condition(s) imposed by Council in granting approval.
  • IP = discretionary approval required by Council and the use is deemed to be incidental to the predominant use of the land.

Council may decide to undertake public notification for any development should it consider that public notification is warranted.

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7. Who determines my application?

Planning Approval is granted by either of the following processes:

  • By the Principal Planner under delegated authority of Council; or
  • By Council at its monthly meetings.

Should Planning Approval require a decision of Council, it is important to allow sufficient time for Officers to assess and report on your application and the application needs to be received by the end of the month prior to the next Council meeting.

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