Friday, July 26, 2024

Housing approval reform takes effect

Western Australia’s planning reforms have reached another milestone, with changes to local government decision making for single houses and simple residential projects taking effect from this week. 

The State Government says it will now be easier for Western Australians to build their new home, extend or alter their existing house or complete smaller residential projects such as a patio, carport or fence.

These development types can no longer be referred to or ‘called in’ for determination by a Council’s elected members, except where a property is on a local or State heritage list or in a designated heritage area.

“The Cook Government continues to deliver its nation-leading planning reforms that boost housing supply across Western Australia by cutting unnecessary red tape and streamlining planning processes,” said WA Planning Minister, John Carey.

“These changes to local government decision-making for single houses will make it easier and quicker for Western Australians building a new home, extending or altering their existing house, or completing smaller residential projects.

“They will provide consistency across all local governments and enable Councils to focus on ensuring their local planning frameworks are contemporary and fit for purpose.

“Our planning reforms align with the National Planning Reform Blueprint agreed to by National Cabinet and complement our Government’s unprecedented $3.2 billion investment in housing and homelessness measures.”

The WA Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage says the streamlined process will save Western Australians time and money, with referral to full Council often adding up to two-months onto the process and in some instances resulting in expensive appeals to the State Administrative Tribunal.

“While many local governments currently delegate the majority of decision making to their Chief Executive Officer or planning staff, this reform ensures consistency across the board.”

“It empowers the planning experts within local governments to make the final decision enabling Councils and elected members to focus on strategic planning for their communities,” the Department said in a statement.

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