State Planning Policy 7.3 - Residential Design Codes

Residential design provisions for low and medium density with supporting documents.

The R-Codes control the design of most residential development throughout Western Australia. The R-Codes aim to address emerging design trends, promote sustainability, improve clarity and highlight assessment pathways to facilitate better outcomes for residents. They are also used for the assessment of residential subdivision proposals and should be read with Development Control Policy 2.2 Residential Subdivision for this purpose.

The R-Codes Explanatory Guidelines and Practice Notes provide assistance on operation and interpretation of provisions. The R-Codes Assessment Checklist streamlines residential development application compliance assessment to support a consistent, accurate and faster determination process. Previous versions of the R-Codes are available on the State Law Publisher website.

The R-Codes are administered and applied by local government, so all enquiries relating to specific development proposals (including the application and interpretation of provisions of the R-Codes to specific development proposals) must be directed to the relevant local government where the development proposal is located.

Which R-Codes volume should I be using?

 Single housesGrouped dwellingsApartments/
multiple dwellings
R-Codes Volume 1All single house developmentAll grouped dwelling developmentR35 and below
R-Codes Volume 2 - ApartmentsN/AN/AR40 and above
Residential component of
mixed-use development

Interim R-Codes review

The Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) is reviewing State Planning Policy 7.3: Residential Design Codes - Volume 1 (R-Codes) as part of the State Government’s package of planning reforms to assist with economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The changes aim to support the residential building industry, local governments, and homeowners by streamlining approval processes, reducing unnecessary red-tape for low to medium density housing projects, and improving design and liveability.

Proposals include revised Part 5 deemed-to-comply standards and simplified clauses and related assessment methods. This is an interim review and a further comprehensive review of the R-Codes is occurring as part of the Design WA Medium Density Code.

Consultation on the interim changes to the R-Codes concluded on 10 September 2020.

Read the media statement

Medium density

The draft Medium Density Code is proposed as an amendment to the R-Codes Volume 1.

It is anticipated that upon finalisation of the Medium Density Code, the development provisions of the R-Codes Volume 1 will be divided into:

  • Part A: Operation of Codes
  • Part B: Low Density Code
  • Part C: Medium Density Code

For more information visit the Medium density page.

Related polices

Page last reviewed 30 November 2020
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