Quick Start Guide to Town Planning in the City of South Perth


This quick start guide provides assistance to any person with an interest in town planning or development within the City of South Perth.

Important notes:
  • This guide is intended to be used as a ‘quick start’ guide.  It does not purport to, and does not provide comprehensive ‘Town Planning’ advice.  In most circumstances an appropriate consultant (eg. Architect, Draftsperson, Town Planner or Licenced Land Surveyor) should be engaged to fully investigate the matter.
  • Be aware that Town Planning Schemes, Policies etc change from time to time.  Further, there may be implications for your project that extend beyond town planning concerns.  Therefore you are advised to make further enquiries and not rely solely on this guide as a basis for decision-making.
  • To some extent, Town Planning requirements at the local government level are different for each local Council.


Abbreviations    A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Abbreviations

AHD:
Australian Height Datum
BCA: Building Code of Australia
DLI: Department of Land Information
DPI:
Department for Planning and Infrastructure
MHI: Municipal Heritage Inventory
P&D Act: Planning and Development Act 2005
R-Codes: Residential Design Codes of Western Australia 2002
SAT:
State Administrative Tribunal
Scheme: Town Planning Scheme
TPS6: City of South Perth Town Planning Scheme No. 6
TPS: Town Planning Scheme
WAPC: Western Australian Planning Commission

A

Aged or Dependent Persons’ Dwellings:  refer to Dwelling types.

Amalgamation and/or Subdivision: refer to Subdivision and/or Amalgamation.

Amending the Town Planning Scheme: refer to Town Planning Scheme Amendment.

Ancillary Accommodation:  (commonly referred to as a ‘Granny Flat’) refer to Dwelling types.

Appealing against a decision on an Application for Planning Approval: If applicants are aggrieved by a decision on an application for Planning Approval, they have a right of appeal.  Refer to the Appeals section in the City's information sheet "Application for Planning Approval".  Note: a 'third party' cannot lodge an appeal.

Application Checklists: to ensure sufficient information is provided with your Application for Planning Approval, refer to the follow checklists for information specific to some common types of applications.
* New Dwellings AND Additions and Alterations to Existing Dwellings
* Patio Addition to Existing Dwelling(s)
* Home Occupation
* Change of Use
* Sign(s)

Application for Planning Approval: An Application for Planning Approval is required for most structures including all new dwellings, extensions to dwellings, sheds, patios, and pools more than 500 mm above the ground level, plus changing the land use or operating a business from home. [More info.]

Application forms: Application for Planning Approval form.  Also refer to application checklists, fee schedule and Council Meeting deadlines.

Approval of Existing Development: 
(sometimes referred to as ‘Retrospective Planning Approval.’)  The Council may grant planning approval to a development already commenced or completed regardless of when it was commenced or completed, provided that the development complies with Scheme provisions at the time the application is made.  Refer to TPS 6 clause 7.12.  Please note that although the Council has the power to issue retrospective planning approval, the Council does not have power to issue building licences retrospectively.  Please contact a Building Surveyor for further information regarding existing structures.

Archive Search: Owners of a property may view and obtain copies of Building Licence and Planning Approval plans held by the City. [More info.]

Australian Height Datum (AHD): "means a level of datum, derived from mean sea level observations along the Australian coastline, used uniformly throughout Australia as a base reference for 'derived' datum levels." (quoted from TPS6 Schedule 1)

B

Bed and Breakfast Accommodation:  “means a dwelling, used by a resident of the dwelling, to provide accommodation for persons away from their normal place of residence on a short-term commercial basis and includes the provision of breakfast” (quoted from TPS6 Schedule 1).

Planning Approval must be sought from the Council prior to commencement of “B&B Accommodation”.  An application must demonstrate that it meets: * TPS6 Clause 1.6 “Scheme Objectives”, * TPS6, Clause 7.5 “Matters to be  Considered by Council” and * if building construction is also proposed, that it meets the normal requirements of TPS6, the R-Codes and any relevant policies.  Neighbour consultation will be undertaken during the assessment of the development application in accordance with the provisions of Policy P104 " Neighbour and Community Consultation in Town Planning Processes."

Note: there may be implications for the structure of the building with respect to the classification of the building under the Building Code of Australia.  Please speak with your architect or builder, or a Building Surveyor at the City.

Bicycle Parking - Non-residential uses:
  For non-residential development, bicycle parking requirements are prescribed in TPS 6 clause 6.4 and Table 6.

Boundary Fence: refer to Fence.

Building Height Limit:  “the maximum permissible height of a building as depicted on the Building Height Limit Maps, and measured pursuant to TPS 6 clause 6.2” (quoted from TPS6 Schedule 1).  All land in the district has a Building Height Limit which is generally measured from the highest point of natural ground level below the building up to the eave. It is important to refer to TPS 6 clause 6.2 for the details.  Please note that the Building Height Limit requirements in the R-Codes are not applicable.

Building Licence: In addition to an Application for Planning Approval, a Building Licence may also be required [more info]. Note: Additional forms/information: Building Licence Application form, Fee Schedule, Demolition information, Demolition Application form,  Application to Deposit Materials on a Verge.

Building Plans - obtaining copies: refer to Archive Search.

Building Plans - viewing
: refer to Plans - viewing.

Building Shadow:
refer to Overshadowing.

C

Car Parking - Non-residential uses: Refer to TPS 6 clause 6.3, Table 6 and Schedule 5.

Car Parking - Residential uses:  Refer to R-Codes Element 3.5 and TPS 6 clause 4.3(1)(i), and relevant portions of TPS 6 clause 6.3 and Schedule 5.

Caveat (Buyer beware):  “A warning to a person searching the original Certificate of Title that there is a claim lodged on the Title to the land, which may prohibit the Registrar of Titles from registering a dealing upon that Title”  (quoted from DLI's online Glossary).  If there are any covenants, caveats or easements on a property, they will be recorded on the Certificate of Title.  Please contact the DLI for information on conducting a Title Search.

Change of Use:  A ‘change of use’ occurs when the ‘use’ of land changes from one to another, eg. from shop to office.  All changes of use require Planning Approval from the Council. [More info]

Child Day Care Centre: “means any land or building used for the daily or occasional care of children in accordance with the Community Services (Child Care) Regulations 1988 but does not include a Family Day Care.” (quoted from Schedule 1 of TPS 6).  Any person proposing to commence a Child Day Care Centre must first lodge an Application for Planning Approval with the City.  Such an application must address the requirements of Policy P380 “Family Day Care and Child Day Care Centres” and the objectives of TPS 6 (Clause 1.6).  Note: applicants must also meet the requirements of the Department for Community Services.

Covenants, Positive or Restrictive:  “Covenants requiring that the land be used or not used in specified ways. Such covenants may be imposed under the Land Administration Act 1997 on Crown land being disposed of in fee simple”  (quoted from DLI’s online Glossary).  If there are any covenants, caveats or easements on a property, they will be recorded on the Certificate of Title.  Please contact the DLI for information on conducting a Title Search.  The WAPC has information on Restrictive Covenants plus other information.  Please note that the City of South Perth Town Planning Scheme No. 6 does not have the necessary clauses to enable covenants and caveats to be removed by the local Council.

Conditions:  Planning approval is usually granted subject to conditions.  That is, approval is conditional upon certain changes being implemented that are not shown on the applicant’s plans.  Conditions are generally selected from a standard list, although non-standard conditions are regularly applied as well.

Consultation: refer to Neighbour  Consultation.

Consulting Rooms: “Premises used by a health consultant for the investigation or treatment of human injuries or ailments and for general outpatient care ....” (quoted from Schedule 1 of TPS 6).  Consulting rooms in the residential zone need to comply with the requirements for this land use in Table 4 of TPS 6.  Consulting rooms in non-residential zones need to comply with the requirements for this land use Table 3 of TPS 6.  Any person wishing to build Consulting Rooms or convert an existing building to the his use must lodge an Application for Planning Approval with the City.  Note: a Consulting Room is different to a 'Hospital' or 'Twenty-three Hour Recovery Care Unit".

Council Meeting deadlines: Most Planning Approval applications are determined by a Planning Officer or the Manager, Development Services under Delegated Authority and do not require referral to a Council meeting.  Applicants should consult with Planning Services staff to confirm whether or not referral to a Council meeting is required.  If referral to a Council meeting is necessary, then the application must be received by the submission deadline.

Cubby House:Planning approval is not required for a cubby house.  However, property owners are requested to respect their neighbours’ visual privacy when building elevated cubby houses.  Note: please consult a Building Surveyor at the City to confirm whether the proposed construction method will require a building licence.



D

Day Care:
refer to Child Day Care Centre and Family Day Care Centre.

Design for Climate:
To maximise energy efficiency and climate comfort, dwellings need to be designed to fit the local climate.  For residential development, refer to R-Codes Element 9 and Clause 3.9.  Note: the Building Code of Australia also has requirements relating to "Designing for Climate" for both residential and commercial buildings.

Density coding: This is used to regulate the number of dwellings on a lot of any given area, determined according to the assigned density coding number.  eg. On land coded R15, one dwelling is permitted for every 666 sq.metres of land area.  Density codings are shown on the Scheme Maps, and the prescribed minimum and average site areas per dwelling is shown in Table 1 of the R-Codes.

Discretion: 
In considering an Application for Planning Approval, the Council or delegated officer may exercise discretion to the extent permitted by TPS6 Clause 7.8 for TPS6 requirements, and R-Codes Clause 2.3.4 for R-Code requirements.

Doctors surgery: refer to Consulting Rooms.

Dual coding or Dual density coding:  "means two Residential Planning Code density coding numbers (eg. R15/20) shown on the Scheme Maps for the same land, identifying the range of densities to which that land may be developed.  The applicable density coding is determined by the satisfaction of the required number of performance criteria relevant to the particular dual density coding, as set out in clause 4.2 and Schedule 3 [3.1 and 3.2]." (quoted from TPS 6 Schedule 1)

Dwelling types:  There are so many different names used to describe a building where people live.  All dwellings can be simplified into one of three types of dwellings.  [More info.]

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E

Easement: 
"Gives a person or a company "rights of use or engagement" over land owned by another" (quoted from DLI's online Glossary).  If there are any covenants, caveats or easements on a property, they will be recorded on the Certificate of Title.  Please contact the DLI for information on conducting a Title Search.

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F

Family Day Care:  “means a child care service provided to children in a private dwelling in a family or domestic environment but does not include a Child Day Care Centre.” (quoted from Schedule 1 of TPS 6).  Any person proposing to commence Family Day Care must first lodge an Application for Planning Approval with the City.  Such an application must address the requirements of Policy P380 “Family Day Care and Child Day Care Centres” and the objectives of TPS 6 (Clause 1.6).  Note: applicants must also meet the requirements of the Department for Community Services .

Fees:  The Fee Schedule lists the fees charged for Application for Planning Approval and Town Planning Scheme Amendments.

Fence:  All fences, whether at the front, side or back of a property, or within 3 metres of a lot boundary, must conform to the Council's requirements.  The Council's approval is only required in certain circumstances.  [More info.]

Freehold title:  refer to types of Title.

Front Fence:
refer to Fence.

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G

'Granny Flat': refer to Dwelling types.

Green Title: refer to types of Title.

Grouped Dwelling:
  for a definition and explanation, refer to Dwelling types. To construct a Grouped Dwelling refer to Application for Planning Approval.

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H

Height Limit:
refer to Building Height Limit.

Heritage: 
TPS 6 clause 6.11 relates to the conservation of buildings and sites within the City which have cultural heritage significance.  The City maintains a Municipal Heritage Inventory (MHI) prepared in accordance with the Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990.  Refer to Part C of the MHI to see if a property is listed.

Home Business, Home Occupation, Home Office: a small scale business, which is operated from home.  Planning Approval is required for some types of businesses operated from home.  [More info.]

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I

Impact Assessment Report
:  a report prepared by an applicant seeking Planning Approval, when required by the City, in accordance with TPS 6 Clause 7.6.

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J

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K

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L

Landuse:  All properties have a ‘land use’ or ‘use’.  Examples include shop, office, single house, cafe/restaurant and showroom.  [More info]

Local Commercial Strategy:  “means the Planning Policy entitled ‘Local Commercial Strategy’ made pursuant to clause 9.6.”  (quoted from Schedule 1 of TPS 6.)  The Local Commercial Strategy guides the Council in making decisions on Applications for Planning Approval and TPS amendments where the subject site is proposed to be developed for commercial purposes.  The Local Commercial Strategy was adopted by the Council at its March 2004 meeting (refer to item 9.3.4 and relevant Attachments).  The Strategy is currently awaiting endorsement by the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure.

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M

Medical Rooms/Centre: refer to Consulting Rooms.

Mobile Phone Tower:
refer to Telecommunications Infrastructure.

Motel:
refer to Tourist Accommodation.

Multiple Dwelling: 
for a definition and explanation, refer to Dwelling types. To construct a Multiple Dwelling refer to Application for Planning Approval.

Municipal Heritage Inventory
: refer to Heritage.

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N

Neighbour Consultation:  The City welcomes comments from those residents who are invited to comment on proposals relating to a range of town planning matters.  The City's Policy P104 "Neighbour and Community Consultation in Town Planning Processes" provides guidance on the method, geographic extent and duration of the consultation.  The policy also provides advice to submitters on the extent to which their comments may influence Council decisions (Provision 2).  Please refer to the Out for Comment section of the City's website for proposals available to the general public for comment.

No. 6 Scheme: refer to Town Planning Scheme No. 6.


Non-Conforming Use:  You may find that a property is currently being used for a landuse that is, according to Table 1 of TPS 6, no longer allowed on that site.  [More info]

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O

Open Space
: All proposed new dwellings and additions to existing dwellings are required to have a minimum amount of ‘open space’ on the lot in accordance with Clause 3.4 of the R-Codes. Refer also to the R-Codes definition of open space.  Note: The term ‘open space’ should not be confused with ‘plot ratio’.

Overshadowing:  For proposed residential developments, the R-Codes limit the extent to which an adjoining property may be overshadowed at noon on the winter solstice.  Refer to R-Codes Clause 3.9.1, A1.



P

Parking:  
refer to Car Parking - Non-residential uses, Car Parking - Residential and/or Bicycle Parking - Non-residential uses.

Patio/Pergola addition:  Planning Approval and a Building Licence may be required.  [More info.]

Pergola/Patio addition: refer to Patio/Pergola addition.

Phone Tower: refer to Telecommunications Infrastructure.

Planning Application: refer to Application for Planning Approval.

Plans - obtaining copies: refer to Archive Search. 

Plans - viewing: Only persons invited to comment on an Application for Planning Approval may view plans, by appointment.  Refer to provision 5(c) of Policy P104 “Neighbour and Community Consultation in Town Planning Processes”.

Plot ratio: This is a ratio of floor space to land area.  Plot ratio is one of the measures used to control the size of buildings.  For residential development, the term ‘plot ratio’ is defined in Clause 2.2 of the R-Codes, and the maximum permissible plot ratio is prescribed in Table 1 of the R-Codes.  Plot ratio for non-residential development is defined in Schedule 1 of TPS 6 and the maximum permissible plot ratio is prescribed in the relevant sections of TPS 6.  In calculating the plot ratio of a building, the total floor space on every level of the building is included.  Note: The term ‘plot ratio’ should not be confused with ‘open space’.

Policy: A policy guides the Council and staff on the usual way a decision will be made regarding a specified matter.  The Council has adopted a range of policies which relate to Town Planning and other matters.  Policies relating to Town Planning are mostly found under Goal 3 ‘Environmental Management’.

Pool - Swimming: A proposed pool or spa where the surface/edge is 500mm or more above the natural ground level at any point requires an Application for Planning Approval.  Planning Officers will assess any visual privacy and setback implications.  Note: All pools and spas require a Building Licence Application  [Swimming Pool/Spa Fence and Gate Information and Department of Housing and Works Swimming Pool Barrier Compliance Information]

Privacy - Visual: refer to Visual Privacy.

Public Consultation: refer to Neighbour  Consultation.



Q

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R

R20 (etc):Is a density coding.

R15/20 (etc):Is a dual density coding.

Reflective building materials:  The Council does not have a policy which controls or bans reflective building materials.

Residential Building:  refer to Dwelling types.

Residential Design Codes of Western Australia 2002 (R-Codes): prepared by the WAPC to control the siting and design of residential development throughout Western Australia.  The R-Codes have been adopted as part of TPS 6.  When the City receives Applications for Planning Approval relating to residential development, these are assessed against the R-Codes, along with TPS 6 and the City's Policies.  Note: The R-Codes 2002 are presently being reviewed by the WAPC.  Comments from the public are to be submitted by 23 June 2006.

Restrictive Covenant: refer to Covenants, Positive or Restrictive.

Retrospective Planning Approval:  refer to Approval of Existing Development.

Rezoning:refer to Town Planning Scheme Amendment.

Right of Way,  Requesting closure of a:  The City's information sheet "Requesting closure of a Right of Way" explains how to make a request to close a right of way, and provides some details that need to be considered by applicants before making such a request.



S

Satellite Dish: An Application for Planning Approval is required to be submitted to the City prior to erecting any satellite dish more than 1 metre in diameter.  Refer to Policy P390 “Satellite Dishes”.

Scheme 6: refer to Town Planning Scheme No. 6.

Scheme Amendment: refer to Town Planning Scheme Amendment.

Scheme area: The area governed by the City of South Perth Town Planning Scheme No. 6.  The Scheme Area covers all of the Council district of the City of South Perth as shown on the Scheme Maps.

Scheme Maps: The two sets of maps which, together with the Scheme Text comprise Town Planning Scheme No. 6.  The Zoning Maps show the reservation of certain land for public purposes and the zoning and density coding of the remaining land with the Scheme area.  The Building Height Limit Maps show the maximum permissible height of buildings.

Scheme Text: One of the documents which, together with the Scheme Maps comprises the Town Planning Scheme  No. 6.

Serviced Apartment: refer to Tourist Accommodation.

Setback: the distance between the site boundary and the building.  Generally, the higher and/or longer the wall, the greater the required setback.  Requests for setback variations are assessed as part of the consideration of Applications for Planing Approval.  Where setback variations require neighbour consultation, this is carried out in accordance with the City's Policy P104 ’Neighbour and Community Consultation in Town Planning Processes’.
For residential developments/sites, also refer to:
* R-Codes clause 3.2 and 3.3,
* R-Codes Table 1, Figures 2A-2E & 3
* relevant parts of TPS 6 clause 4.3(1) & 4.7, and
* TPS 6 Table 2
For all other developments also refer to:
* TPS 6 Table 3, 4 & 5, and
* TPS 6 Clause 5.3.

Shadow: refer to Overshadowing.

Shed: An Application for Planning Approval is required for a shed.  For requirements relating to residential properties, refer to Clause 3.10.1, A1 (Outbuildings) of the R-Codes.  Note: A Building Licence is also required.

Signs:  Refer to Clause 6.12 of TPS 6 and Policy P382 “Signs” to determine when a sign on a lot is required to have Planning Approval prior to construction and what the specific requirements are for certain signs.  Note: a Building Licence may also be required.

Single Bedroom Dwelling:  refer to Dwellings types.

Single House:  for a definition and explanation, refer to Dwelling types. To construct a Grouped Dwelling refer to Application for Planning Approval.

Spa: refer to Pool - Swimming.

Strata Title: refer to types of Title.

Subdivision and/or Amalgamation: An application must be submitted to the Western Australian Planning Commission for the subdivision or amalgamation of a lot. [More info.]

Survey-strata title:  refer to types of Title.

Swimming Pool: refer to Pool - Swimming.

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T

Telecommunications Infrastructure: Telecommunications facilities which are determined not to be ‘Low Impact facilities’ require submission of an Application for Planning Approval prior to the construction of the facility.  TPS 6 Clause 6.15 and Policy P390 “Telecommunications Infrastructure”  sets out guidelines for the development of telecommunications infrastructure within the district.

Title, types of:  A title is evidence of ownership of land.  [More info.]  [Useful links to other websites: Titles and Strata Title Information.]

Town Planning Scheme Amendment: Any person can request an amendment to the City's operative Town Planning Scheme.  A Scheme Amendment may relate to rezoning or a change of the density coding allocated to certain land or an amendment to the Scheme Text.  Please contact a Planning Officer to discuss your proposed amendment prior to lodging your amendment request.  Amendment requests attract a fee.  The City's website has information on amendments being advertised and a list of gazetted amendments.

Town Planning Scheme No. 6, City of South Perth (TPS 6, No. 6 Scheme):  Since April 2003, TPS6 has been, and is the operative Town Planning Scheme for the whole area comprising the City of South Perth.  In conjunction with the R-Codes and Council policies, TPS 6 guides all land use and development of land within the City of South Perth.  Section 4 of the WAPC’s Planning Scheme manual is a User's Guide to Town Planning Schemes.

Tourist Accommodation:  “means any land or building used for human habitation on a temporary basis, with ancillary amenities such as cafe/restaurant, laundry and cleaning services.  The term includes motel and serviced apartment and the like, but does not include Hotel, Residential Building or Bed and Breakfast Accommodation.”  (quoted from Schedule 1 of TPS6)  Proposals for Tourist Accommodation may only be located within certain zones (refer to the TPS6 Zoning Maps and Table 1).

  • In the case of non-residential zones, refer to TPS Table 1 to determine the permissibility of the use, and refer to Part 5 & 6, and Tables 4, 5 & 6 of TPS6 for development requirements
  • In the case of the ‘Residential’ zone, Tourist Accommodation is not permitted (‘X’ use) on land with a density code of R40 or less.  In the ‘Residential’ zone with a density code of R50 or higher, the use is Discretionary and requires public consultation.  In these cases, development requirements are as per the normal TPS6 and R-Code requirements for the type of dwellings concerned.
An Application for Planning Approval must be lodged with and approved by the City prior to commencement of any Tourist Accommodation.  Note: converting a building to this type of use may have implications for the structure of the building with respect to the classification of the building under the Building Code of Australia.  Please speak with your architect or builder, or a Building Surveyor at the City.

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U

Use of land: refer to Landuse.
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V
Variation:
refer to Discretion.

Views:  Many owners wish to maintain the views from their property.  However, when an adjoining owner lodges an Application for Planning Approval, the retention of views through an adjoining property is only considered in limited circumstances.  Policy P373_T “Views” guides the Council and staff on when and to what extent to consider the retention of the views.

Visual Privacy:
  In the case of Planning Applications for residences, the City assesses the visual privacy needs of neighbours against the Residential Design Codes of WA; refer to Element 8 and Clause 3.8.1.  It is very important that residents note that absolute visual privacy is not necessarily obtainable.  Note: there are no visual privacy requirements for commercial buildings.


W

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Y

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Z

Zone
:  All land within the district is situated within a zone or reserve (refer to TPS 6 Zoning Maps, which also show the density code allocated to each lot.)  Each zone or reserve accommodates a particular range of land uses.  Eg.  the ‘Residential’ zone allows land uses which are compatible with residential, but generally does not allow ‘industrial’ type of uses.  The land uses permitted within the zones are listed in Table 1 of TPS 6 Text.  Note: ‘zoning’ is different to ‘density coding’.