Draft Swan Valley Planning Scheme

The draft Swan Valley Planning Scheme covers the area that has been defined by the Swan Valley Planning Bill 2020.

The scheme is the centre of a new planning framework to guide future development in the region, protect long-term agricultural production in the Swan Valley and grow new tourism and hospitality reflective of the rural landscape.

The proposed zones within the scheme area are:

  • Rural Residential
  • Swan Valley Rural
  • Priority Agriculture
  • Residential
  • Village
  • Enterprise

The scheme has two elements available for download:

Consultation

Submissions may be lodged online on our consultation hub.

Have your say

Alternatively, submissions may be emailed to swanvalley@dplh.wa.gov.au or by post to Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, Locked Bag 2506, Perth WA 6001.

Submission close Friday 28 May 2021. Late submissions may not be accepted.

FAQ and submission assistance information

Submissions
What should I do if I have trouble lodging my submission?

Please call 6551 9187 for assistance any time (leave a message with a return telephone number) or email swanvalley@dplh.wa.gov.au and a Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage officer will be in contact.

I have a question. Who can I speak to?

If you are having difficulty understanding the draft Swan Valley Planning Scheme or have a specific question, email it to swanvalley@dplh.wa.gov.au.  

If you would like to discuss your question with a Department officer, please provide a contact number in your email and expect a call within a day or two. 
 

I made a submission on the draft scheme in October/November 2020. Do I have to make another submission?

No. Submissions lodged during public consultation in October and November 2020 will be considered and do not need to be resubmitted. 
However, any additional comments are welcome and will be added to your initial submission. 
All submissions will be considered, and the final scheme determined by the Minister for Planning.
 

Can my submission be about the Swan Valley Planning Act 2020?

No. Submissions should focus on provisions of the draft scheme, not the new legislation as it is finalised.

Zones
What are the proposed zones in the draft scheme?

The draft scheme is informed by a map with the proposed new zones for all land in the Swan Valley.

  • Priority Agriculture
  • Swan Valley Rural
  • Rural Residential
  • Residential
  • Village
  • Enterprise

The zones reflect the objectives of the Swan Valley Planning Act 2020.

What is the proposed Priority Agriculture zone?

This zone is directly related to protecting the Swan Valley as a productive agricultural area. It is mostly comprised of land zoned Swan Valley Rural under the current City of Swan Local Planning Scheme No. 17.

Most land between West Swan Road, Great Northern Highway and the railway is proposed to be included in the zone. The zone is shown as a medium green shade on the scheme map. Land is proposed to be included in this zone based on analysis of the following information:

  • the Review of land capability assessment for the Swan Valley (2016) including soil, water access, irrigation potential, supporting data and advice from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation;
  • existing water allocation and potential water access across the Swan Valley;
  • an analysis of existing agricultural uses in the Swan Valley; and
  • identification of existing vineyards in the Swan Valley.

Proposed Priority Agriculture zone objectives (page 12 of the draft scheme) are:

  1. To protect priority agricultural land in the Swan Valley including existing vineyards and other areas of horticulture from incompatible land use and development.
  2. To provide for long-term agricultural production in the Swan Valley by preventing further subdivision of land and protecting good quality soils from non-agricultural use and development.
  3. To limit hospitality and tourism development and land use to areas where it is incidental, complements agricultural production and does not detract from the rural character and amenity of the Swan Valley.
  4. To ensure all land use and development enhances the cultural heritage, natural environment and unique landscape of the Swan Valley. 
What is the proposed Swan Valley Rural zone?

The proposed Swan Valley Rural zone comprises land generally suited to agriculture, hobby farming and equestrian uses that may not meet one or more criteria of the Priority Agriculture zone. It mainly includes land zoned Swan Valley Rural under the City of Swan Local Planning Scheme No. 17. The zone consists of the western fringe of Swan Valley and most land east of the railway. The zone is the palest shade of green on the scheme map.

Proposed Swan Valley Rural zone objectives (page 12 of the draft scheme) are:

  1. To seek to protect rural land in the Swan Valley from incompatible land use and development.
  2. To provide lots no smaller than four (4) hectares to support a range of rural land uses including hobby farms and equestrian activities.
  3. To facilitate hospitality and tourism land use where it complements rural land uses and does not detract from rural character and amenity.
  4. To ensure land use and development respects the Swan Valley's cultural heritage and natural environment.
What is the proposed Rural Residential zone?

This zone is proposed to capture all existing rural residential subdivisions (including those that were not identified in previous scheme mapping) to better reflect the existing lot sizes and subdivision layout of each area. There are six proposed Rural Residential (RR) zones, each with its own provisions (pages 60-63 of the draft scheme). The zone is shown as light brown with RR and a number on the scheme map.

The six proposed Rural Residential zoned areas are:

RR1 – Belhus

RR1 is the existing Area A in the northern part of the Swan Valley.

RR2 – Henley Brook

RR2 is the existing western portion of Area A in the Swan Valley.

RR3 – Dayton East

RR3 includes land between the western edge of the Swan Valley and the proposed Henley Brook Avenue extension (reserved Other Regional Roads in the Metropolitan Region Scheme) in West Swan. It was not previously part of the Swan Valley however was included through the Swan Valley Planning Act 2020. The land is currently either zoned General Rural or reserved for Public Purposes in City of Swan Local Planning Scheme No. 17.

RR4 – West Swan

RR4 is an historical rural residential subdivision immediately north east of the interchange between West Swan Road and Reid Highway. Although it is currently part of Area B and zoned Swan Valley Rural under City of Swan Local Planning Scheme No. 17, its lot sizes are significantly smaller than the usual four (4) hectare lots of Area B.

RR5 – Caversham North

RR5 is proposed as a small rural residential area over several lots between new urban development on the western border of the Swan Valley and West Swan Road. It is proposed in response to ongoing landowner concerns about impacts of drainage, seasonal flooding and reduced ability to viably undertake agriculture on the lots. The land is currently zoned Swan Valley Rural under City of Swan Local Planning Scheme No. 17.

RR6 – Caversham West

RR6 is proposed as rural residential to reflect the existing subdivision design, layout and smaller lot sizes than typical of Area B. It is currently zoned Swan Valley Rural under City of Swan Local Planning Scheme No. 17 and includes flood prone land preventing further subdivision.

The minimum lot size for Rural Residential (RR) subdivision varies and is detailed in the Subdivision Frequently Asked Questions.

Each Rural Residential zone has its own development provisions (Schedule 5 on pages 60 to 63 of the draft scheme text).

 

Proposed Rural Residential zone objectives

  1. To provide for rural residential lots as a transition between existing urban development and the Swan Valley rural area.
  2. To ensure subdivision and development is consistent with an approved structure plan and maintains the rural residential character of the locality.
  3. To provide opportunities for incidental land uses where they do not detract from rural character and amenity.
  4. To ensure land use and development respects the Swan Valley's cultural heritage and natural environment.
What is the proposed Residential zone?

The only residential land within the Swan Valley is the eastern part of the Herne Hill townsite. The proposed Residential zone is bound by McDonald Street to the north, Railway Crescent to the east, Argyle Street to the south and sports clubs/grounds and vacant land to the west. It includes Andrews Way, Boer Way, Horner Way and Till Street. It is currently zoned Residential under City of Swan Local Planning Scheme No. 17 and is not proposed to change from its current R20 status. It is labelled R20 on the scheme map.

Proposed Residential zone objectives (page 13 of the draft scheme) are:

  1. To maintain housing in Herne Hill at a density that meets the needs of the Swan Valley community.
  2. To encourage good quality design, built form and streetscapes throughout the residential area.
  3. To provide for a limited range of incidental land uses that are compatible with and complementary to the residential area.
  4. To ensure new development is consistent with the unique rural character of the Swan Valley.
What is the proposed Village zone?

This proposed zone makes up the remainder of the Herne Hill townsite. It currently contains private sporting fields and clubs, commercial businesses, a large vacant lot, and several residential properties.

The zone will continue to function as a local centre and, over time, may have increased development potential through an approved structure plan. The zone is shaded pale orange on the scheme map.

Proposed Village zone objectives (page 13 of the draft scheme) are:

  1. To provide for residential development and a range of uses, including limited retail, tourism and community uses, in a local centre.
  2. To ensure subdivision and development is consistent with an approved structure plan.
  3. To encourage good quality design, built form and streetscapes throughout the village area.
  4. To ensure land use and development is consistent with the unique rural character and amenity of the Swan Valley.
What is the proposed Enterprise zone?

This proposed zone is located on the eastern side of Great Northern Highway, north of the Reid Highway intersection. It is intended to provide for a limited range of services consistent with the rural character of the Swan Valley that cannot be provided elsewhere in the Swan Valley. It presently includes land uses of this nature. The zone is shaded light purple on the scheme map.

Proposed Enterprise zone objectives (page 13 of the draft scheme):

  1. To provide for a limited range of light industrial services, relating to agricultural and rural uses, that cannot be provided elsewhere in the Swan Valley.
  2. To ensure subdivision and development is consistent with an approved structure plan.
  3. To coordinate subdivision, land use and development to achieve the desired character for an enterprise park in the Swan Valley.
  4. To ensure land use and development respects the Swan Valley's cultural heritage and natural environment.
Where do I find the proposed development provisions of the draft Swan Valley Planning Scheme?

Development provisions guide how Development and Land Use is assessed.

The draft provisions for each zone are detailed in Schedule 5 – Additional Site and Development Requirements (pages 55-65 of the draft scheme) under the zone name. 

Floor areas for sheds and outbuildings, setbacks, maximum site coverage, wall and building heights, provisions for specific development, and requirements for structure plans are detailed for each zone.

Schedule 5 also includes development provisions for transportable buildings and sea containers (page 56 of the draft scheme).

Things to consider including in your submission on ‘zones’
  • Whether the proposed zones accurately reflect the rural character and land uses of the Swan Valley
  • If the objectives of each zone match and suitably summarise the intent of the zone
  • Whether a proposed zone suits a specific property or locality
  • Whether proposed development provisions reflect the existing and anticipated future development of the zone
  • Whether additional development provisions are necessary for other types of development
  • Whether any zones are inconsistent with the rural character of the Swan Valley
  • If changes are required to zones and/or their extent in the final scheme
  • Additional types of development that should not require a development approval
Land uses
What development will not require approval under the draft Swan Valley Planning Scheme?

Clause 56 (1) and (2) (page 30 of the draft scheme) provide for development that is proposed not require a development approval. Clause 56(1) refers to Schedule 2 Clause 61 of the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 (legislation.wa.gov.au) which lists current exemptions.

These include the demolition of most buildings, extensions, outbuildings, pergolas etc., installation of swimming pools, shade sails, water tanks, solar panels and, maintenance and repairs provided they are not at a heritage-protected place.

Additional development may be exempted in the final scheme.

What Land Uses are proposed to be allowed under the draft scheme?

The draft scheme includes a land use permissibility table (pages 14 and 15 of the draft scheme) that lists all uses and their permissibility. The table is specific to the unique situation of the Swan Valley and varies from the current land use table in City of Swan Local Planning Scheme No.17.

Land uses must fall into one of the five categories (page 16 of the draft scheme) summarised below:

P

the use is allowed without a development application if it complies with any relevant requirements

I

The use is only allowed if it is an incidental use (the use is secondary and smaller in scale than the main use) however any associated construction requires a development application

D

the use is allowed if a development application has been approved

A

the use is allowed if a development application has been informed by consultation prior to a development approval being issued

X

the use is not permitted (the use is prohibited)

For more information relating to the ‘I’ category, scroll down to the FAQ on Incidental Uses.

Are new vineyards allowed under the draft scheme?

Yes. A vineyard is proposed to fall within the definition of ‘agriculture – intensive’ and be allowed as a permitted use in both the proposed Priority Agriculture and Swan Valley Rural zones.

The definition of ‘agriculture – intensive’ also includes the production of vegetables, flowers, exotic or native plants, fruit or nuts, plant or fruit nurseries, and irrigated fodder, pasture and turf. This range of agriculture facilitates diversity, choice and options for different land capabilities across the Swan Valley.

Are equine uses allowed under the draft scheme?

Yes. If the proposed equine use does not involve permanently employing a person who is not a member of the occupier’s household, the rearing, agistment, stabling and training of animals is proposed to be allowed as a permitted use in Priority Agriculture and Swan Valley Rural zones. In this case, the equine use is within the definition of a rural pursuit/hobby farm.’ However, a development approval is required in the Rural Residential zone.

If the equine use is proposed to be commercial and/or employ person/s who are not members of the occupier’s household, it is called an ‘equestrian facility’ and will require development approval in the Priority Agriculture and Swan Valley Rural zones. In the Rural Residential zone, an ‘equestrian facility’ requires a development approval and the notification of owners and occupiers of land in the vicinity likely to be affected by the development.

The definition of an ‘equestrian facility’ is “land and premises used for the commercial agistment, training or exercising of horses, or the training of riders, drivers, jockeys and others in the care of horses or horsemanship, and may include permanent employment of persons who are not members of the occupier’s household.”

Are hobby farms allowed under the draft scheme?

Yes. Under the draft scheme, a ‘rural pursuit/hobby farm’ is defined as “any premises, other than premises used for agriculture (extensive or intensive), that are used by an occupier of the premises to carry out any of the following activities if carrying out of the activity does not involve permanently employing a person who is not a member of the occupier’s household -

a. the rearing, agistment, stabling or training of animals

b. the keeping of bees

c. the sale of produce grown solely on the premises.

A rural pursuit/hobby farm is proposed to be allowed as a permitted use in the Priority Agriculture and Swan Valley Rural zones. In the Rural Residential zone, the use requires a development approval.

What new and modified land use terms and definitions are in the draft scheme?

The land use terms listed in the land use permissibility table are directly linked to the definitions in the draft scheme (Schedule 1 of the draft scheme on pages 35–48).

Draft land use term definitions were prepared in consideration of model scheme provisions, other local planning schemes and the current provisions of the City of Swan Local Planning Scheme No.17 with a focus on rural, tourism and hospitality land use in the Swan Valley.

Below is a summary of the reasoning behind several new and modified terms and definitions adapted to the Swan Valley:

Aquaculture is usually included in the definition of agriculture – intensive in local planning schemes along with the growing of grapes, vegetables, flowers, plants, fruit, nuts and irrigated fodder and pasture – all of which are encouraged in the Swan Valley. Aquaculture, on the other hand is not, so is separated into its own term and generally prohibited throughout the Swan Valley (pages 14 and 38 of the draft scheme).

The term ancillary dwelling is proposed to be separated into two definitions in the draft scheme. An Ancillary Dwelling will refer to the same type of dwelling as in City of Swan Local Planning Scheme No.17 (defined in the R Codes) but will not apply to the two main rural zones. A new land use definition – rural ancillary dwelling is proposed for the Priority Agriculture and Swan Valley Rural zones. It is proposed to allow for a larger ancillary dwelling (up to 100m2) to reflect the larger lot areas of the two zones (pages 14, 15, 39 and 46 of the draft scheme).

The term brewery has been renamed brewery, cidery or distillery to ensure that the three uses are identified and treated in the same way in the Swan Valley (pages 14 and 39 of the draft scheme). The use is proposed only to be allowed if secondary to a main use (e.g. agriculture). 

The proposed definition of café includes a maximum lettable area of 100m2 to ensure that new café proposals are low key and a secondary use in the Priority Agriculture zone. In the Swan Valley Rural zone, a café can be proposed as the main use of a property (pages 14 and 40 of the draft scheme).

The definition of food and beverage production is proposed to be modified in the draft scheme to better reflect the type of food and beverage production suited to the Swan Valley by discouraging industrial level manufacturing activities. It must not affect rural amenity, must include an area for the sale, sampling and consumption of the produced food/beverage onsite and be secondary to a main use onsite (e.g. agriculture) in the Priority Agriculture and Swan Valley Rural zones (pages 14 and 41 of the draft scheme).

Similarly, the definition of a restaurant is proposed to have a net lettable area of more than 200m2 to reflect that the use is of a larger scale than a café. The use must be secondary to a main use (e.g. agriculture) in the Priority Agriculture zone however may be the main use of the land in the Swan Valley Rural zone subject to consultation on a development application (pages 15 and 45 of the draft scheme).

The draft scheme proposes a new development and land use in the Swan Valley called a wayside stall (pages 15, 48 and 56 of the draft scheme). Like a traditional roadside stall historically located by the side of a road in market garden and agricultural areas around the world, the main difference is a wayside stall is located entirely on private property. The concept is intended to provide a low key option for selling produce grown on a Swan Valley property while adding interest for visitors and tourists.

The proposed definition of a wayside stall is “a stand, vehicle or other temporary structure located on private land which offers for sale to the general public produce or commodity grown and produced on the land.”

Takeaway outlet is introduced as a term to allow for small scale take away businesses without a facility for drive-through service and a net lettable area of less than 100m2 in the Village and Enterprise zones. It is intended to cater for family businesses such as a fish and chip shop or bakery that is consistent with the rural character of the Swan Valley. A fast food outlet is proposed to be prohibited in all zones (pages 14,15, 41 and 47 of the draft scheme).

What happens to existing land uses under the draft Scheme?

Any land use that is lawfully approved (e.g. under City of Swan Local Planning Scheme No.17), and currently operating in the Swan Valley, may continue to operate once the new scheme comes into effect.  The same applies to any valid development and land use approval that has not expired including development and land use that is proposed to become prohibited under the new scheme.  This is known as a non-conforming use (page 18 of the draft scheme).

Provided the development and land use continues and complies with any conditions of approval, it may permanently continue to operate.

If the land use ceases to operate for six months or longer, it will no longer retain its non-conforming use right and any future use will need to comply with the Swan Valley Planning Scheme.

Things to consider including in your submission on ‘land uses’
  • Whether definitions of land uses reflect the rural character and typical uses found in the Swan Valley
  • Should any uses be redefined or clarified in the final scheme
  • Whether certain uses should or should not be in the final scheme
  • Whether new types of land use and different definitions are needed to reflect the rural character of the Swan Valley
  • What uses should be allowed in each zone
  • Which category (P, I, D, A, X) each land use should be classified as in the Land Use Table
  • which category (P, I, D, A, X) should each use be in
  • suggestions for new land uses and definitions specific to the Swan Valley (e.g. Guest House).
Subdivisions
How will applications be lodged and assessed under the proposed Scheme?

When the new scheme comes into operation, all development and subdivision applications in the Swan Valley will be decided upon by the Western Australian Planning Commission, mainly through the new Swan Valley Statutory Planning Committee.

The new system is designed to closely reflect the process followed by local governments (including the fee schedule) so the main difference for applicants will be lodging the application with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH), rather than the City of Swan. The existing elodgement and payment system for subdivision applications is planned to be expanded to cater for Swan Valley development applications.

Any application that has not been decided upon once the new scheme comes into operation will be assessed under the new scheme.

Any review underway by the State Administrative Tribunal which is not finalised when the new scheme comes into operation will be reviewed against the new scheme.

DPLH liaison with the City of Swan will occur as part of the assessment.

What does the Swan Valley Planning Act 2020 say about subdivision in the Swan Valley?

The Swan Valley Planning Act 2020 generally discourages future subdivision in the Swan Valley by requiring subdivision only be approved if it satisfies all the objectives of the Act.

In summary, the Act requires that any future subdivision:

  • protects Swan Valley as a productive agricultural area within the Perth metropolitan region
  • maintains the rural character and conserves the heritage of Swan Valley
  • prevents new residential development in the Swan Valley (i.e. urban and suburban subdivision) except for single houses on single lots in keeping with the rural character of the Swan Valley (other than in the Herne Hill townsite).

Proposed Swan Valley subdivision provisions can be found in Schedule 5 - Additional Site and Development Requirements (pages 55–65 of the draft scheme).

What are the proposed general subdivision provisions for Swan Valley?

The following general provisions (page 55 of the draft scheme) are proposed to apply to all land in the Swan Valley:

  • The subdivision of land will not be permitted unless it complies with all relevant scheme requirements including minimum lot size for the relevant zone.
  • Any existing approval for more than one dwelling on a lot, or the existence of more than one dwelling on a lot, will not be taken as justification for subdivision.
  • Each lot must have direct access to a gazetted public road, and the construction of the road may be required as a condition of subdivision.
  • Each lot must be connected to essential infrastructure services including reticulated water and electricity supply.
  • Each lot must be connected to reticulated sewerage, or be able to accommodate on-site effluent disposal in accordance with Government policy.
  • Each lot must be able to accommodate bushfire protection requirements in accordance with State planning policy.
What are the proposed subdivision provisions for the Priority Agriculture zone?

In the Priority Agriculture zone, the only subdivision proposed to be allowed (pages 56–57 of the draft scheme) is:

  • an amalgamation of existing lots where an agricultural and/or land management benefit is demonstrated; or
  • a boundary realignment between existing lots where an agricultural and/or land management benefit is demonstrated; or
  • a succession subdivision where all the following criteria are satisfactorily demonstrated:
  1. a subdivision application lodged within five years of the date of gazettal of this scheme; and
  2. the subject land must have remained in the same/current ownership since at least
    18 September 1995; and
  3. the subject land must have continually operated as a family-run grape growing business since at least 18 September 1995; and
  4. the proposed subdivision and subsequent development must not reduce the area of land under grape vines on the original parent lot as at the date of gazettal of this scheme; and
  5. the subdivision and subsequent development must not negatively impact the Swan Valley rural landscape character; and
  6. the proposed lots are each capable of accommodating a new or existing single dwelling that satisfies the requirements of this scheme and related policies; and
  7. the subdivision and subsequent development must not impact native vegetation; and
  8. the proposed lots must have direct access to a gazetted public road; and
  9. the proposed lots must be capable of being serviced by essential infrastructure in accordance with relevant Government requirements.

A maximum of one succession lot may be created per family-run grape growing business, including where a business operates over multiple lots.

Any approval of succession subdivision must include a condition preventing the sale of either new lot for a minimum of five years from the date that the new titles are created via a deed of agreement between the owner and the Western Australian Planning Commission, or similar mechanism.

What is a succession subdivision?

Succession subdivision is a recommendation of the Swan Valley Planning Review aimed at retaining continually operating family owned grape growing businesses in the Swan Valley to assist in meeting the challenges of generational change and succession to retain vineyards.

Why are the proposed subdivision provisions for the Swan Valley more restrictive than before?

To protect the Swan Valley as a productive agricultural area in the Perth metropolitan area and maintain its rural character (required by the new Act), land that has been identified as suited to agriculture is to be protected against further subdivision.

The proposed subdivision provisions of the draft scheme are informed by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Review of land capability assessment for the Swan Valley 2016, which makes the following statements:

There is no shortage of small lots in the Swan Valley for agriculture.

Smaller lots generally limit a producer’s overall versatility and capacity to adapt to meet changing market demands. They limit the type of agricultural enterprise in the Swan Valley.

More than three quarters of the lots in the Swan Valley are 4ha or smaller, and these lots extend across almost half (45%) of the entire Swan Valley.

Almost 90% of the lots are 5ha or smaller and the average size is 2.8ha (median is 2.1ha).

Land that is suitable for vegetable and fruit production, with ready access to a suitable source of irrigation water and located close to Perth, is in short supply and difficult to replace. Large, contiguous lots with water suitable for large-scale development are becoming scarce on the coastal plain overall (Percy et al. 2008). It is for these reasons that productive areas, such as the Swan Valley, will become more significant for agriculture into the future.

Less than 20 per cent of lots in the Swan Valley were larger than eight hectares in 2016. Further fragmentation of the remaining larger lots may impact Swan Valley as a productive agricultural area and is therefore discouraged in the draft scheme.

What are the proposed subdivision provisions for the Swan Valley Rural zone?

In the Swan Valley Rural zone (page 59 of the draft scheme), subdivision may only be supported if:

  1. the proposed subdivision is for a demonstrated rural purpose;
  2. the minimum area of each proposed lot is 4 hectares;
  3. each proposed lot can accommodate a new or existing dwelling (single house) that satisfies the requirements of this Scheme and any relevant planning policies and codes;
  4. the proposed lot is not of battle-axe configuration;
  5. the minimum street frontage is 100 metres; and
  6. it responds to any other matter deemed relevant by the Commission.
What are the proposed subdivision provisions for the Rural Residential zone?

The subdivision requirements for each of the Rural Residential zones (RR1–RR6) (pages 60–63 of the draft scheme) vary.

The minimum lot size for new subdivision proposals in each RR1–RR6 area is based on historical subdivision, existing lot layout and consideration of current subdivision requirements, as follows:

RR1

Belhus

two (2) hectares

RR2

Henley Brook

one (1) hectare

RR3

Dayton East

one (1) hectare

RR4

West Swan

4,000m2

RR5

Caversham North

one (1) hectare

RR6

Caversham West

2,000m2

I am getting inconsistent information about subdivision in the RR2 – Henley Brook area. What are the minimum lot size options for subdivision in RR2 – Henley Brook?

The minimum lot size for the RR2 – Henley Brook will be decided by the Minister for Planning as part of finalising the Swan Valley Planning Scheme. The Minister will consider all submissions in making her decision.

It is understood that recent social media commentary and letter drops by independent parties within the Henley Brook community has led to some confusion.

The three distinct options for the future minimum lot size of RR2 – Henley Brook are:

1.         Retain the existing minimum lot size of two hectares

2.         Create a new minimum lot size of one hectare

3.         Create new minimum lot size of 4,000m2 (as ambitiously suggested in the Swan Valley Action Plan).

Other minimum lot sizes may be suggested.

It should be noted that a 4,000m2 minimum lot size for Henley Brook is inconsistent with the Government Sewer Policy (September 2019), which requires a minimum lot size of one hectare for onsite effluent disposal in the RR2 – Henley Brook area. 

Individual submissions by Henley Brook landowners and residents should clearly state their preferred minimum lot size and reasoning to assist the Minister’s consideration of this matter.

What are the subdivision provisions for the Residential zone?

Subdivision of the Residential zone may be considered in accordance with the R Code provisions for R20 coded areas being a minimum lot size of 450m2 (page 63 of the draft scheme).

What are the proposed subdivision provisions for the Village zone?

The Village zone may only be subdivided based on an approved structure plan. There is no minimum lot size for the zone (page 64 of the draft scheme).

What are the proposed subdivision provisions for the Enterprise zone?

The Enterprise zone may only be subdivided based on an approved structure plan. There is no minimum lot size for the zone (pages 64–65 of the draft scheme).

Things to consider including in your submission on ‘subdivision’
  • Whether subdivision should be further restricted in the Swan Valley
  • Thoughts and comments on the minimum lot size proposed for each zone or area of interest, and across the Swan Valley
  • Whether the concept of succession subdivision to assist long term grape growing family businesses should be supported
  • Criteria for succession subdivision
Incidental uses
What is an Incidental Use?

The draft scheme provides for the incidental use of land in the Swan Valley. This type of use is only allowed if it is a secondary use on a property (that is, it is not the main use of the land).

In rural areas, where agricultural uses are encouraged, incidental uses are mainly to limit hospitality and tourism to a scale where it is incidental and complementary to a primary use and does not detract from the rural character and amenity of the area or reduce the ability to farm other rural properties.

In other words, an incidental use cannot be the main (predominant) use of a property and can only occur if it is secondary to another use; usually an agricultural use, and generally of a smaller scale.

Incidental uses are not part of the City of Swan Local Planning Scheme No. 17 Land Use Table that currently guides planning for the Swan Valley.

What definitions are relevant to an Incidental Use?

The Land Use Table in the draft scheme (on pages 14 and 15) includes an ‘I’ symbol to represent an ‘Incidental Use’. An incidental use is explained (on page 16 of the draft scheme) as a use that:

is permitted if it is consequent on – or naturally attaching, appertaining or relating to – the predominant use of the land, and it complies with any relevant development standards and requirements of this scheme.

An incidental use (page 36 of the draft scheme) means:

a use of premises which is consequent on, or naturally attaching, appertaining or relating to, the predominant use.

A predominant use (basically the opposite of an incidental use – page 37 of the draft scheme) means:

the primary use of premises to which all other uses carried out on the premises are incidental.

What Incidental Uses can be considered in the Priority Agriculture zone?

Incidental uses in the Priority Agriculture zone (which is primarily focused on promoting agriculture including grape growing) can be:

  • art gallery
  • brewery, cidery or distillery
  • café
  • cinema/theatre
  • club premises
  • exhibition centre
  • food and beverage production
  • garden centre
  • holiday accommodation
  • market
  • reception centre
  • private recreation
  • restaurant
  • tavern

Any of these uses may be considered provided they are secondary and lesser in scale than the prominent use (for example, a vineyard).

Any construction associated with an incidental use requires a development application.

What Incidental Uses can be considered in the Swan Valley Rural zone?

For the Swan Valley Rural zone, a similar list of incidental uses includes:

  • art gallery
  • brewery, cidery or distillery
  • cinema/theatre
  • club premises
  • consulting rooms
  • exhibition centre
  • food and beverage production
  • garden centre
  • holiday accommodation
  • light industry
  • reception centre

The subtle difference for the Swan Valley Rural zone is that consulting rooms and light industry may occur if incidental to a main use under the draft scheme.

A café may be considered as a primary use in the Swan Valley Rural zone via a development application.

What Incidental Uses can be considered in other Swan Valley zones?

No incidental uses are proposed for Rural Residential, Village and Residential zones due to their generally smaller sized lots and to ensure that the amenity of surrounding properties is considered through the assessment of a development application.

In the proposed Enterprise zone, incidental uses are proposed to include consulting rooms and office uses. This is to ensure the site is not developed solely for a large medical facility or as offices, and to ensure the property is redeveloped in the context of retaining Swan Valley as an area of landscape value with development consistent with its rural character.

A Swan Valley planning policy will provide additional guidance and information on incidental uses.

Things to consider including in your submission on ‘incidental uses’
  • If incidental uses should or should not be allowed for the Swan Valley
  • Whether other opportunities for incidental uses should be added to the final scheme
  • Whether any of the proposed incidental uses in the draft scheme should not be included in the final scheme
  • If further clarification and detail of what an incidental use is needed
  • Any comments on incidental uses
Hospitality and tourism
Are tourism and hospitality encouraged in the Swan Valley?

Yes. New tourism and hospitality proposals in the Swan Valley are possible if they satisfy the requirements of the Swan Valley Planning Act 2020.

The Act allows for tourism and hospitality in the Swan Valley provided new development proposals:

  • protect the Swan Valley as a productive agricultural area within the Perth metropolitan region
  • maintain the rural character and conserve the heritage of the Swan Valley
  • ensure that horticulture, viticulture, hobby farming and equestrian activities remain the principal land uses in the Swan Valley
  • are compatible with horticulture, viticulture, hobby farming and equestrian activities
  • ensure that new non-rural development of rural land in the Swan Valley is designed and located so as to reduce any nuisance or other detrimental impacts that could arise from existing or future uses of other rural land in the region for horticulture or viticulture.

            The new scheme will not affect the continued operation of existing lawful tourism and hospitality land use and development approved under City of Swan Local Planning Scheme No. 17.

The draft scheme promotes tourism and hospitality that is incidental to a main use of a property (e.g. agriculture) detailed in the above FAQ on incidental uses. In the proposed Priority Agriculture zone, this includes an art gallery, brewery, cidery or distillery, café, cinema/theatre, club premises, exhibition centre, food and beverage production, holiday accommodation, market, reception centre, private recreation, restaurant and tavern.

This is similar for the proposed Swan Valley Rural zone apart from a café which is proposed to be considered in on its own via a development application.

To ensure that new major proposals satisfy the above criteria, the following tourism and hospitality uses – Caravan Park, Hotel, Motel and Tourist Resort – are proposed to be prohibited in all Swan Valley zones. Although this may give the impression that these uses are not allowed in the Swan Valley, there is an avenue to seek support for larger scale tourism and hospitality.

What about larger scale tourism and hospitality in the Swan Valley?

Larger scale tourism and hospitality proposals are proposed to be considered through a scheme amendment.

A scheme amendment may be approved where it is demonstrated that the larger scale proposal maintains the Swan Valley landscape and rural character, conserves heritage, confirms the proposed style, design and positioning of structures, and ensures the non-rural development will sit comfortably in the Swan Valley landscape and not impact existing and potential rural land use (such as farming) in the area. Other matters, such vehicular access and parking, may be considered as part of the amendment.

A scheme amendment is the appropriate mechanism to advance a tourism or hospitality proposal that is inconsistent with the Land Use Permissibility Table (e.g. an incidental use on a large scale or as a predominant use and prohibited uses) on pages 14-15 of the draft scheme. If supported, the scheme would be amended by inserting the property address, approved use and any applicable conditions to the list in Schedule 2 - Additional Uses (pages 49–52 of the draft scheme).

A scheme amendment ensures a larger scale tourism or hospitality concept will satisfy the objectives of the Act and scheme before a development application can be approved.

As the scheme amendment process, if approved, will have addressed the more complicated aspects of the proposal’s suitability in the Swan Valley, the development approval process will likely be streamlined.

Things to consider including in your submission on ‘hospitality and tourism’
  • Whether the draft scheme allows for a reasonable balance between agriculture and tourism in the Swan Valley.
  • Whether the provisions for tourism and hospitality in the Swan Valley need to be more flexible or strict.
  • If tourism should generally be discouraged in the Swan Valley.
Water and economic incentives
Water access and allocation is important. How will the new scheme address water in the Swan Valley?

Access to water is a major consideration and concern for the sustainable protection and success of agriculture in the Swan Valley.

As part of the whole of Government commitment to the Swan Valley (outlined in the Swan Valley Action Plan), the issue of water management and access is important.

The draft scheme cannot address water access or allocation as it is dealt with under different legislation.

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation are working together to create a new water allocation area solely for the Swan Valley. The intent is that water allocation be secured for the Swan Valley with the ability to trade water allocations into the valley but not out. The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation is leading this process in its role as the State water manager in its upcoming Gnangara Water Management Plan prepared under the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914.

Incentives for Swan Valley are important. How will the new scheme address them?

The draft scheme is not an appropriate tool to address or provide equitable economic incentives to grape growers or other Swan Valley groups.

However, this may be advanced by the Government in consultation with the community.

The Swan Valley Action Plan and Act establishes the Swan Valley Strategic Leadership Group to champion and consider the Swan Valley beyond the planning portfolio. The group may be a suitable starting point for identifying appropriate opportunities for future funding or incentives to ensure long-term success for Swan Valley.

Submission with content on ‘water’ and/or ‘incentives’
  • Submission content about water accessibility, allocations and provision in the Swan Valley will be forwarded to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.
  • Submissions suggesting incentives for the success of the Swan Valley will be forwarded to the Swan Valley Strategic Leadership Group.
General information
When will the draft scheme be finalised and come into operation?

The Minister for Planning will take all submissions on the draft scheme into consideration before finalising the scheme.

When new regulations to inform the Swan Valley Planning Act 2020 are finalised, the rest of the Act will come into operation on a day fixed by proclamation.

Under the Act, the first Swan Valley Planning Scheme will come into effect on the “scheme start day” which is anticipated to occur later in 2021.

What was raised in the first round of submissions on the draft scheme about the Priority Agriculture and Swan Valley Rural zones?

To date, submissions are generally supportive or neutral on the two new rural zones however, several submissions question having two rural zones.

Under the City of Swan Local Planning Scheme No. 17 there are already two rural zones in the Swan Valley, being Swan Valley Rural and Rural Living.

The rationale for the two new rural zones is that land most suited to agriculture is zoned Priority Agriculture while the Swan Valley Rural zone takes in the remainder of Swan Valley rural land, catering for equine uses and hobby farming. The new zones share similarities in distribution with the existing zones. The new Priority Agriculture zone takes in much of the existing Swan Valley Rural zone while the new Swan Valley Rural zone takes in most of the existing Rural Living zone.

Existing vineyards are purposely included in the Priority Agriculture zone which appears to have caused some confusion and concern. Some submissions raise concern about different zones abutting each other. Although this is generally not an issue as both zones are rural, one option may be to not tie existing vineyards into a specific rural zone. This would result in most land east of the railway being Swan Valley Rural and most land west of the railway being Priority Agriculture. The provisions for succession subdivision may then be applied specifically to vineyards anywhere in the Swan Valley rather than being tied to a particular zone.

For the protection of the Swan Valley as a rural and productive area, subdivision is generally discouraged across both zones unless for specified purposes (pages 55, 56 and 59 of the draft scheme).

What was raised in the first round of submissions on the draft scheme about tourism and hospitality?

Several submissions suggest that tourism and hospitality are not welcome in the Priority Agriculture zone. This is not the intention as the draft scheme allows for low scale tourism and hospitality to be considered and approved in the Priority Agriculture and Swan Valley Rural zones via a development application.

However, larger scale tourism and/or hospitality may be considered through a scheme amendment relating to the specific use of a site as an Additional Use. This ensures retaining rural character, protecting the landscape and vistas, and minimising impacts on other rural land is confirmed through the scheme amendment prior to a development application being considered. If the scheme amendment is approved, the larger scale tourism and/or hospitality proposal may then proceed to a development application.

What other matters were raised in the first round of submissions on the draft Swan Valley Planning Scheme?

Suggestions and comments on land uses, definitions and permissibility in the Swan Valley vary widely across the 83 submissions received in the first round of consultation on the draft scheme.

Suggestions and comments include:

  • Making Winery an incidental use in Priority Agriculture and Swan Valley Rural zones
  • Exempting horse shelters and other low scale, rural structures from development approval
  • Allowing more floor area for outbuildings and rural structures for commercial uses based on justification, than domestic use
  • Acknowledging the four existing Swan Valley poultry farms as legitimate Restricted Uses
  • Making building height limits consistent with R Code provisions
  • Renaming the proposed new Rural Ancillary Accommodation land use as Ancillary Accommodation – Rural to avoid confusion by placing the land use and definition below Ancillary Dwelling
  • Allowing Rural Ancillary Dwellings in front of an existing dwelling if the ancillary dwelling is setback at least 200 metres from any street frontage and appropriately screened
  • In the Priority Agriculture zone:
    • Allowing Family Day Care as a permitted use
    • Community Purpose becoming a prohibited use
    • Industry – Light becoming a prohibited use
  • Making Bed and Breakfast a permitted use in all zones
  • Providing greater variety in small scale short stay accommodation (e.g. Guest House)
  • Allowing a small bar (less than 120m2) as an incidental use in Priority Agriculture and Swan Valley Rural zones
  • Revise some proposed zonings based on information provided by landowners
  • Modifying the definition of Rural Home Business to require the use be rural in nature
  • Review the final scheme against latest planning innovations to ensure consistency with local planning schemes
Page last reviewed 7 May 2021
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