To be considered as a significant development under the new legislation, proposals must have an estimated value of $20 million or more in Perth’s metropolitan area or $5 million or more in regional areas. These thresholds exclude warehouses.
Any development proposal can also be deemed to be of State or regional significance by the Premier, on recommendation of the Minister for Planning, and referred to the Western Australian Planning Commission for determination.
The Western Australian Planning Commission is the new decision-making authority for all development proposals of State significance. Applicants may choose to use this new assessment pathway or continue with the existing process of assessment by local government and a Development Assessment Panel.
The new Planning and Development Amendment Act 2020, enables the WAPC to accept and determine applications for significant development proposals for a period of 18-months.
The State Development Assessment Unit is a dedicated team within the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage that will support the Western Australian Planning Commission with the lodgement and assessment of development applications.
An applicant would be required to write to the Minister for Planning requesting consideration as a significant development by referral.
The Minister (with assistance from the Department) would receive and undertake an early assessment of the application to determine whether the proposed development would likely be of State or regional significance.
The Minister for Planning would then write to the Premier seeking approval for referral.
If the Premier agrees, the Premier formally notifies the Western Australian Planning Commission in writing.
The State Development Assessment Unit would then contact the applicant to arrange for a pre-lodgement appointment, or formal lodgement of the application.
Applications that meet with eligibility criteria and have been previously refused, may be lodged as a new application.