Do I Need Planning Approval?

Find out when planning approval is required and how to lodge an application.

  • State Legislation

    Clause 61 of the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 outlines types of development that do not require lodgement of a planning application, including:

    For more information about other types of development that do not require lodgement of a planning application, see Clause 61 of the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 available from the State Law Publisher.

    City of Melville Policy

    The City's Local Planning Policy LPP1.17 Additional Development Exemptions (PDF) also contain additional parameters for certain types of development that do not require planning approval, including:

    • Compliant outbuildings (sheds)
    • Compliant patios and other shade structures
    • Minor structures such as flag poles, cubby houses and letterboxes
    • Swimming Pools
    • Demolition (of both residential and non-residential development) where the property is not listed on the City's Heritage List.

    Online Maps

    The City's Online Maps provides general property and zoning information to assist you in determining if lodgement of a planning application is required for your development proposal.

  • There are several types of development that require lodgement of a planning application:

    • New Grouped Dwellings
    • Non-compliant Single Houses
    • Non-compliant residential development - additions or extensions to existing dwellings including carports, patios and front fences
    • New or additions/alterations to existing non-residential buildings - including retail, commercial, medical or industrial premises
    • Change of use -from one use type to another
    • Signage - new signage or additional to existing approved signage
    • Home Occupation or Home Business (more information below).

    Some applicaitons will require pre-lodgement assessment with the City's Planning Services department prior to formal lodgement, which is mandatory for proposed developments which have an estimated cost of construction of $10 million or more and optional for those with an estimated construction cost between $2-10 million.

    For more information, see Pre-Lodgement Assessment below.

  • For advice on lodging a planning application please refer to the Lodge and Track Building and Planning Application page.

  • A request for Written Planning Advice can be lodged with the City. Written Planning Advice is an opportunity for information to be sought in respect of some or all of the following:

    • Development Approval history;
    • Zoning queries;
    • Planning policy advice; and
    • Confirmation whether Development Approval is required.

    Applications for Written Planning Advice must be lodged via email to A fee of $73 must be made along with providing the following:

    • A written request/cover letter outlining the specific advice or information being requested;  
    • Written Planning Advice Application Form; and
    • Where available, preliminary scale drawings such as a site plan, floor plans and elevations More detailed drawings will enable the City to properly assess the proposal and give practical feedback).

    On receipt of the request for written planning advice, a Planning Officer will carry out an assessment and provide a response via email. The City endeavours to respond to requests for written planning advice within 10 working days from lodgement. Subsequent advice on additional queries will require the lodgement of additional written planning advice and attract a new $73 fee.

    The City cannot guarantee that the requested information will be provided and in the instance that the requested information cannot be provided, the application fee is not refundable.

    The advice provided does not substitute the in-depth analysis typically associated with formal assessment of a development application and consideration of any public submissions. While the advice is given in good faith, it in no way binds a decision by the City. 

    Request for Written Planning Advice Application Form

    Lodge and Track Your Request For Written Planning Advice


Home Business, Home Occupation or Home Office

A proposed Home Office does not require planning approval.

A proposed Home Occupation or Home Business does require planning approval.

The minimum requirements for a Home Occupation are:

  • Operates in an area of 20 square metres or less
  • Only employs members of the household
  • Does not involve the retail sale, display or hire of any goods from the premises.

The minimum requirements for a Home Business are:

  • Operates in an area 50 square metres or less
  • Can employ up to 2 people who are not members of the household
  • Does not involve the retail sale, display or hire of any goods from the premises.

A Home Business operating from a house that is zoned Residential will require advertising to adjoining properties during assessment of the application.

Please refer to the definition of Home Occupation and Home Business under the City’s Local Planning Scheme No. 6 (PDF) for more detailed information.

Local Planning Policy LPP2.2 Outdoor Advertising and Signage (PDF) contains provisions for signage proposed for a Home Occupation or Home Business.

Applications for Home Business or Home Occupation are to be lodged in person or by post - see above information How to Lodge.

Major Development Pre-Lodgement Meeting

Multiple dwelling and mixed use developments where the proposal incorporates both residential and non-residential tenancies, as well as Development Assessment Panel applications (those above $2 million in construction costs) require a pre-lodgement assessment with the City's Planning Services department prior to formal lodgement.

Please contact us to discuss a preliminary proposal.

The Officer will undertake a pre-lodgement assessment of the proposal against the requirements of the Local Planning Scheme, Structure Plan/Activity Centre Plan (where relevant), the Residential Design Codes and Local Planning Policy.

The preliminary proposal will also be referred to the City’s Architectural and Urban Design Advisory Panel for review and comment. This is free of charge.

The applicant and architect will be invited and recommended to attend the panel meeting to outline the proposal and respond to questions by the Panel. Comments provided by the Panel are expected to be integrated into the proposal for formal lodgement.

Subdivision and Amalgamation of Property

The Western Australian Planning Commission determine applications for subdivision and amalgamation - applications are can be made through the Western Australian Planning Commission.

The potential to subdivide is determined by criteria such as the total site area of a property, the designated zoning and the allocated residential density coding for the property under the City of Melville's Local Planning Scheme No. 6 (PDF).

Residential property subdivision and amalgamation is guided by requirements contained under the Residential Design Codes (State Planning Policy 7.1).

Built Strata Applications- Recent Changes Effective 1 May 2020

A built strata generally will have already received approvals from both the City and where relevant, state authorities during the planning and building process.
This means only an additional approval from the City is needed to ensure the development is in accordance with the planning approval.

The built strata approval is issued in two parts by the City, one being the Form 15A (formerly Form 24), which ensures compliance with the original plans of approval, and the other being the Form 15C (formerly Form 26), which ensures all conditions of planning approval have been complied with.

To lodge an application with the City for a Form 15A and/or Form 15C built strata, the built strata application forms must be completed.

Information on these changes including updated subdivision application forms, guides, fact sheet, FAQs and model subdivision conditions can be found on the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage website



Some properties within the City are identified for their heritage significance and listed on the City of Melville Local Government Inventory and Heritage List.

For all works on these sites, development application is required.

The State Heritage Office provides access to information such as the inHerit heritage property database and contact details for consultants, heritage architects and conservation tradespersons.

More Information and Contacts

Please contact us if you need help to determine if lodgement of a planning application is required for your development proposal.

Please refer to the Urban Planning Schedule of Fees and Charges (PDF).

For State Planning Policies, including State Planning Policy 3.1 - Residential Design Codes and information about Development Assessment Panels, visit the Western Australian Planning Commission website.


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