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Planning Exemptions

You do not need planning approval for certain types of building works/projects, signage and advertising and business approvals. See out comprehensive list below.

When Planning/Development Approval Is Not Required

New Single Houses

You do not need planning/development approval for the construction of a single houses on a lot if it meets the deemed to comply provisions of the Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) and our local planning policies, and the property is not on a Heritage List.

Garages and Carports

You do not need planning/development approval for the construction of a garage in a residential zone if:

  • it is setback 4.5 metres (facing a primary street) or 3.0 metres (facing a secondary street)
  • the garage door is setback 3.0 metres (if parallel to the street) and the wall facing the street includes windows
  • the width of the garage and supporting structures does not exceed 50% of the frontage (single-storey dwellings) or 60% (two-storey dwellings).
  • the area of the proposed garage, together with the area of all existing buildings on the site (including the house), does not exceed 55%;
  • the property is not on a Heritage List.

You do not need planning/development approval for the construction of a carport in a residential zone if:

  • it is setback 3.0 metres
  • it is constructed of compatible materials, style and roof pitch to the existing dwelling;
  • it is designed to allow for an unobstructed view between the dwelling and the street, right of way or equivalent; and
  • the carport does not exceed 50% of the frontage at the building line.

Sheds/Outbuildings

You do not need planning/development approval for the construction of a shed/outbuilding in a residential zone if it:

  • it is not attached to a dwelling (house)
  • it is non-habitable (not to be lived in)
  • collectively it does not exceed 60m2 in area or 10% in aggregate of the site area, whichever is less  
  • the wall height does not exceed 2.4m  (measured from the natural ground level)
  • the ridge height does not exceed 4.2m (measured from the natural ground level)
  • is not within the primary or secondary street setback area*
  • is setback a metre from the side and rear boundaries**
  • the area of the proposed outbuilding, together with the area of all existing buildings on the site (including the house), does not exceed 50%***
  • the property is not on a Heritage List.

* These depend on the associated density code of the property. For example: if you are in a residential area with a density coding of between R15 – R25, the primary setback is 6m. The secondary street setback which relates to corner lots generally requires a setback of 3 metres.

** In some circumstances, an outbuilding may be constructed up to the boundary without the need for development approval. We encourage you to contact us to discuss your project with a planning officer.

*** The total amount of open space required depends on the associated density coding. Properties with a density coding of R12.5 require 55% open space, R15-25 require 50% open space and R30-40 require 45% open space.   

Fences

You do not need planning/development approval for the construction of a new front or secondary street fence*** if:

  • the maximum pier height is 2.0 metres
  • the maximum height of a solid portion to the front fence is 1.2 metres.
  • the maximum height of infill panels is 1.8 metres to the top of the panels;
  • fencing that is higher than 1.2m, but no higher than 1.8m complies with the visually permeable requirements set out by the Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) which require:
    • continuous vertical or horizontal gaps of 50mm or greater width occupying not less than one third of the total surface area;
    • continuous vertical or horizontal gaps less than 50mm in width, occupying at least one half of the total surface area in aggregate; or
    • a surface offering equal or lesser obstruction to view.
  • a suitable sightline truncation is provided. The fence should be reduced to no higher than 0.75m within 1.5m of where it adjoins vehicle access points where a driveway meets a public street or where two streets intersect. Alternatively, the fence must comply with the following requirements:
    • one pier to a maximum width located within the truncation area;
    • maximum wall height in the truncation area 0.75m from the verge height directly adjacent to the wall; and
    • fencing within truncation area is 80% visually permeable

You do not need planning/development approval for the construction of a dividing fence

You do not need planning/development approval for the construction of a retaining wall of a height up to 500mm above ground level

*** Note:

  1. A portion of fencing without permeable infill panels is permitted on the secondary street to a maximum height of 1.8 metres where it abuts the main primary outdoor living area. The remainder of the fencing should be visually permeable as outlined above.
  2. Where a retaining wall is visible above the road reserve level, the visible height of the retaining wall is to be taken into account in the assessment of the fencing height.
  3. Where a swimming pool is located in the front setback or secondary street setback In addition to meeting the above requirements, you will need to ensure the fencing is compliant with Australian Standard 1926.1-2012 requirements.

**** A post may be within 1.0 metre of the side boundary, as long as the cumulative length of structures on the boundary, including the existing house, outbuildings (sheds) and other shade structures is less than 9m. In some circumstances, a greater length of wall on the boundary may be permitted without planning/development approval. We encourage you to contact us to discuss your project with a planning officer.

Patios, Pergolas and Shade Sails

You do not need planning/development approval for the construction of a patio**** if:

  • It is setback 3.0 metres (facing a primary street) or 1.5 metres (facing a secondary street)*****
  • it has a maximum eave height of 3.0 metres above natural ground level;
  • it has a maximum ridge height of 3.5 metres above natural ground level;
  • it is open on at least two sides;
  • it does not cover more than two-thirds of the primary outdoor living area;

You do not need planning/development approval for the construction of a pergola or shade sail in a residential zone.

***** In some circumstances, the patio may be located closer to the street. We encourage you to contact us to discuss your project with a planning officer;

Granny Flats and Ancillary Dwellings

You do not need planning/development approval for the construction of a granny flat/ancillary dwelling in a residential zone if:

  • it is associated with a single house and on the same lot
  • the lot is not less than 450 m2
  • there is a maximum plot ratio area of 70m2
  • one extra parking bay is provided. This may be waived where the dwelling is within 800m of a train station or within 250 metres of a high frequency bus route.
  • it is designed and sited to comply with all relevant provisions of the Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) and our local planning policies.

Note: Granny flats/ancillary dwellings are only permitted on lots where the land title does not contain any common property (i.e. it must be a survey strata subdivision with no common property or green title). A granny flat/ancillary dwelling cannot be subdivided from the main dwelling, however it can be rented out to people who are not related to the occupants of the main house.

Swimming Pools and Spas

You do not need planning development approval for the installation of a swimming pool unless the property is on a Heritage List.

Other Small Projects

You do not need planning/development approval for the erection or installation of a cubbyhouse if:

  • it is not erected or installed in the street setback area of a building.
  • the floor is no more than 1 m above the natural ground level.
  • the wall height is no more than 2.4 m above the natural ground level.
  • the building height is no more than 3 m above the natural ground level.
  • the area of the floor is no more than 10 m2
  • is  not erected or installed within 1 m of more than 1 boundary of the lot.

You do not need planning/development approval for the erection or installation of a flagpole if:

  • the height is no more than 6 m above the natural ground level.
  • it is no more than 200 mm in diameter.
  • it is not used for advertising.
  • there is no more than 1 flagpole on the lot.
  • the flagpole is not located in a heritage-listed place

You do not need planning/development approval for the installation of a water tank if:

  • It is not installed in the street setback area of a building.
  • the height of the tank is no more than;
    • for a tank fixed to a building — the height of the eaves of the building; or
    • for a tank that is not fixed to a building and is more than 1 m from each boundary of the lot — 2.4 m; or
    • for a tank that is not fixed to a building and is 1 m or less from a boundary of the lot — 1.8 m. (d) The works are not located in a heritage-protected place.
  • the volume of the tank is no more than 5,000L; and
  • the tank is not located in a heritage-listed place

Solar Panels

You do not need planning/development approval for the installation of solar panels on the roof of a building, where the solar panels are parallel to the angle of the roof and the building is not a heritage listed place.

Maintenance, Repair, Temporary and Urgent Works

You do not need planning/development approval for maintenance and repair works unless:

  • the property is listed on Heritage List;
  • or it is a type of work referred to in the Heritage Regulations 2019 reg 41(1)(b)-(i)

You do not need planning/development approval for internal building work if it does not materially affect the external appearance of the building and:

  • it is not on a Heritage List; or ‘
  • it is on a list however the interior of the building is specified as not being of cultural heritage significance in the relevant register, order, agreement or list referred to in that clause.

You do not need planning/development approval for temporary works unless they exceed 48 hours.

You do not need planning/development approval for works that are urgently necessary for:

  • public safety;
  • the safety or security of plant or equipment;
  • the maintenance of essential services;
  • the protection of the environment;

UNLESS they are located in a heritage-listed place.

Demolition

You do not need planning/development approval for demolition work unless the property is on the Heritage List.

Business Approvals

We are working with the State Government to remove unnecessary red tape by expanding the range and types of businesses that don’t need planning approval and don’t need to provide parking. This includes shops, restaurants, cafes, offices, consulting rooms, small bars and private recreation facilities.

We encourage you to contact us to discuss your project so we can advise whether planning/development is needed. A planning officer is available during business hours to provide advice in person, over the phone, or by email. Depending on the complexity of the advice being sought we may ask you to lodge a request for written planning advice.

Advertising

You do not need planning/development approval for the temporary erection or installation of an advertisement unless:

  • The advertisement is erected or installed in connection with an election, referendum or other poll conducted under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth), the Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984 (Cth), the Electoral Act 1907 (WA), the Local Government Act 1995 (WA) or the Referendums Act 1983 (WA).
  • The primary purpose of the advertisement is for political communication in relation to the election, referendum or poll.
  • The advertisement is not erected or installed until the writ or writs have been issued or, for an election, referendum or poll under the Local Government Act 1995 (WA), until the 36th day before the day on which the election, referendum or poll is to be held.
  • The advertisement is removed no later than 48 hours after the election, referendum or poll is conducted.
  • The advertisement is not erected or installed within 1.5 m of any part of a crossover or street truncation.

Signage

You do not need planning approval for new signage if:

  • The sign complies with any requirements set out in our Local Planning Policy 2.2 - Outdoor Advertisements and Signage
  • The sign is not erected or installed within 1.5 m of any part of a crossover or street truncation.
  • The signage is not located in a heritage-listed place

You do not need planning/development approval for changes to an existing sign if:

  • The erection or installation of the existing sign was the subject of development approval or was exempt from the requirement for development approval.
  •  The changes do not alter the size or location of the existing sign or result in the sign containing any illumination, animation, movement or reflective, retro-reflective or fluorescent materials.
  • The sign is not used for advertising (other than the advertising of a business operated on the land).
  • The works are not located in a heritage-protected place.

Disclaimer

The advice on this page is a general guide only. We encourage you to contact us to discuss your project so we can advise whether planning/development approval is needed. A planning officer is available during business hours to provide advice on a range of matters either in person, over the phone, or by email. Depending on the complexity of the advice being sought we may ask you to lodge a request for written planning advice or a request for a deemed-to-comply check.

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