Heritage in state planning

An overview of heritage in the State planning framework, including State Planning Policy 3.5 - Historic Heritage Conservation.


Heritage relies on the planning framework to capture proposed changes that may affect an identified heritage place. Proposals are then referred to the Heritage Council of Western Australia for advice, which responds to the impact of change on the heritage values of a place.

The Planning and Development Act 2005 provides for heritage in a number of key functions:

  • Development of a Registered place will always require a development application (s.163)
  • Proposals to adopt or amend a local planning scheme that covers any place listed in a local heritage inventory or State register require referral to the Heritage Council (s.79).

Statewide planning reflects the contribution of heritage through the State Planning Strategy 2050, stating an objective that “In 2050, the diversity of Western Australia’s natural assets and unique landscapes, ecosystems, peoples, enterprises, cultural landscapes and historic heritage places will be celebrated, protected and recognised as an important contributor to sustained prosperity”.

State Planning Policy 3.5

State Planning Policy 3.5 - Historic heritage conservation (SPP 3.5) sets out the principles of sound and responsible planning for heritage protection. It can act as a default policy for local governments in relation to heritage and is usually given significant weight in any determination by the State Administrative Tribunal.

SPP 3.5 articulates the key principles of heritage conservation as described in the Burra Charter, and provides a broad framework for decision-making. 

Useful publications

Page last reviewed 1 August 2019
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