C1 Local planning schemes are more consistent C2(i) Approvals are quicker and easier for small business in commercial and mixed-use centres
Round 1 legislative amendments include changes to Schedule 1 – Model provisions for local planning schemes of the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015. These changes amend some of the existing land use definitions and model zones, and introduce new definitions and zones. Consultation on the proposed changes is anticipated to occur later in 2020.
This initiative more broadly is undergoing project planning.
C2(ii) Car parking requirements in commercial and mixed-use centres are consistent
A trial is underway involving State and local government partnering to develop, test and pilot a framework that simplifies the change-of-use development application process for small business.
Happening in selected inner-city locations, the pilot project aims to identify a more streamlined change-of-use development approval framework for commercial and mixed-use areas.
C3 Pre-lodgement advice facilitates better outcomes
Details around this project – which aims to deliver a more consistent approach to carparking requirements in certain areas – are being finalised, with the intention to partner with local government for a trial in late 2020.
C4 Targeted reduction in timeframes for lower risk proposals
The Department is preparing new procedures for trial by planning officers and teams to provide greater consistency of pre-lodgement advice to proponents, local government and users of the planning system.
A Development Assessment and Consultation working group – involving industry, local government and private sector representatives – has been established to consider more streamlined and consistent pre-lodgement practices for development applications. Refinement of these processes and opportunities to trial new arrangements will be considered by this group throughout 2020.
C5 Referral processes are well defined and coordinated
The Department is identifying opportunities to trial and formalise streamlined processing of minor amendments to structure plans and activity centre plans (soon to become precinct plans under draft State Planning Policy 7.2 – Precinct Design).
Options for ‘risk-based’ assessment and decision-making streams for basic amendments and limited scope reviews of State Planning Policies are also being developed (see Action Plan initiative B1).
Round 1 legislative amendments also include some changes to the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 that address some of the existing issues associated with the basic/standard/complex streams for local planning scheme amendments. Consultation on these amendments is anticipated to occur later in 2020.
More detailed project planning on this initiative is also underway.
C6 Structure and precinct planning tools are fit-for-purpose
This initiative is undergoing project planning.
C7 Development assessment processes are streamlined and outcomes-focussed
Draft State Planning Policy 7.2 – Precinct Design and associated design guidelines and proposed changes to the planning framework were released for public comment August 2019.
The consultation included a discussion paper which presented options for how the draft Precinct Design policy suite should be positioned in the planning system, and the potential changes required to support effective implementation of the new policy framework.
A good response was received with general support for the concept of precinct design. All feedback is currently being reviewed and updates to the draft documents and supporting regulatory changes are being prepared.
The draft Precinct Design documents can be accessed online.
Some improvements to the procedures associated with the processing of structure plans are also proposed as part of the Round 1 legislative amendments. Work on these changes is underway with consultation anticipated to occur later in 2020.
C8 DAP processes are more consistent and transparent
A Development Assessment and Consultation working group – involving industry, local government and the private sector – has been established to consider and help shape improvements to the development application process, including pre-lodgement practices, arrangements for additional information requests and voluntary deemed-to-comply checks for single houses. The working group will continue to consider and make recommendations on these improvements, including opportunities to trial new arrangements.
C9 The WAPC is more efficient and strategically-focussed
Changes to reduce the number of Development Assessment Panels from nine to five, State-wide, came into effect on Monday 27 April 2020.
This key structural change is an interim step toward the goal of moving to a system with no more than three panels. It provides an opportunity maintain a level of panel member continuity while implementing this significant change, and other DAP improvements.
A range of other initiatives that have been undertaken or are being rolled out include:
- improved processes and document templates to enhance consistency of decision-making
- better, clearer guidance for assessment reports – supporting local governments in their assessment process and improving report consistency and quality
- more information being made publicly available, including presentation details and advice provided to panels
- a focus on providing enhanced community information, including improved website layout
- release of all DAP applications on the PlanWA online map.
C10 Planning activity data drive system improvements
WAPC meeting agendas and minutes, and selected complete officer reports, are now published online. New arrangements are also being prepared to ensure proponents and key stakeholders are notified in advance of the details of the WAPC or SPC meeting at which the matters of interest to them will be considered.
A Key Matters Coversheet has also been introduced to provide high-level information on confidential statutory planning proposals.
A working group was convened in October 2019 to develop the framework for collection, analysis and publication of planning activity data. This Planning Activity Data Initiative Working Group has made progress on both data indictors and collection methods.