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

(downloads available above)

The WA Government has reviewed State Planning Policy 7.3: Residential Design Codes - Volume 1 (R-Codes) as part of its package of planning reforms to assist with economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The review resulted in a series of amendments to the R-Codes. The amendments aim to support the residential building industry, local governments, and homeowners by simplifying clauses and streamlining approval processes for low to medium density housing projects.

The amendments will be gazetted and become operational on Friday 2nd July 2021. This deferred timeframe is to allow stakeholders, including local government, the residential building industry, and homeowners a transitional period to adjust to the amended provisions.

To review the extent of the amendments that will become operational on the 2nd July 2021, refer to the Schedule of Amendments. Additional documents to assist with the introduction of the latest amendments will be uploaded as they become available.

A further, more comprehensive review of the R-Codes is underway as part of the Design WA Medium Density Code.

Information Sessions

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage are hosting information sessions to brief all interested stakeholders about the incoming changes associated with R-Codes Volume 1.

For dates, times and location, please register through our online form. 



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 15 April 2021
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