How to Apply for Planning Approval

Preparing a development application

The documents needed for a development application may vary depending on the development proposed. As a general guide, the following items will need to be prepared:

  • A completed Application for Development Approval form signed by all landowners
  • Copy of the Certificate of Title
  • The appropriate development application fee
  • Supporting cover letter/report detailing the proposed works and/or land use
  • Scale plans detailing the following information as appropriate:
    • Site Survey — detailing the site and adjoining verge, including lot boundaries, existing development, ground and floor levels, vehicle access and parking, vegetation, infrastructure, easements and service connection points
    • Site Plan — detailing the site and adjoining verge, including address, north point, lot boundaries and setbacks, development (proposed and to be retained), existing and proposed ground and floor levels, vehicle access and parking, vegetation, infrastructure, and overshadowing diagram
    • Floor Plans — detailing all floors, including lot boundaries and setbacks, uses, finished floor levels, opening types and location
    • Elevations — detailing all elevations, including existing and proposed ground levels at the lot boundary, floor levels, ceiling heights, and proposed external finishes.

Exemptions may be permitted for small scale developments, including patios and minor alterations or additions.

Applications on property affected by specific circumstances or relating to complex developments will require additional documentation to be prepared prior to lodgement, some examples include:

  • Bushfire Attack Level assessment (if the development is located within a Bushfire Prone Area)
  • Traffic Impact Statement or Traffic Impact Assessment (in accordance with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage Transport Impact Assessment Guidelines)
  • Geotechnical Report (sites with poor soil conditions or drainage issues)
  • Heritage Assessment (where demolition or significant alterations are proposed to a heritage listed place)
  • Referral to the Design Review Panel (refer to Design Review Panel page for more information).

If you aren't sure what documentation is needed, please contact the City's Development Approvals via mail@bayswater.wa.gov.au or on (08) 9272 0622.

Lodging a development application

The City requires all development applications to be lodged in soft copy (electronically). Files may not be archived and need to be in a portable document format (.pdf) with security settings including passwords and editing restrictions disabled. Files need to be named in accordance with the following examples:

  • Application Type - File Name - Property Address
  • DA - Application Form - 61 Broun Avenue, Morley
  • DA - Certificate of Title - 61 Broun Avenue, Morley
  • DA - Cover Letter - 61 Broun Avenue, Morley
  • DA - Development Plans - 61 Broun Avenue, Morley

Development applications can be lodged by any of the following methods:

  • Civic Centre — 61 Broun Avenue, Morley (CD or USB flash drive). Payment with cash, cheque or credit card (MasterCard and VISA only)
  • Mail — PO Box 467, Morley WA 6943 (CD or USB flash drive). Payment with cheque or credit card
  • Email — mail@bayswater.wa.gov.au (Single email only, maximum size 10MB). Payment with credit card

The City will not accept applications submitted via Dropbox, OneDrive or similar services. If the file size exceeds the limit of a single email the application is required to be submitted as a CD or USB flash drive through the mail or in person at the Civic Centre.

Creation of an online lodgement portal for development applications is underway, and once completed will replace the above methods for lodging development applications.

An information sheet detailing electronic lodgement of development applications is available for download. If you have any difficulties in lodging an application, please contact the City's Development Approvals via mail@bayswater.wa.gov.au or on (08) 9272 0622 for further information.

Development application process

The statutory timeframe for development applications is 60 to 90 days, depending on whether an application requires advertising or consultation with other authorities.

Once an application has been accepted by the City it will be allocated to an officer to assess and an acknowledgement letter will be provided to the you to confirm the reference number and name of the allocated officer. Officers will endeavor to review applications in a timely manner, however timeframes will vary depending on the complexity of the application and current workload.

Following the review of an application, the assessing officer will contact the applicant if they need to request additional information or revised plans. If necessary the officer will also refer the proposal to an external authority (such as Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and Main Roads WA) and commence advertising if required.

If a development application is advertised, it is typically for a period of 14 days and involves notification letters being mailed to owners and occupiers of properties considered most likely to be affected by the proposal. During this period, submissions may be made on the proposal and the plans will be available for viewing at the City's Civic Centre and on the City's website.

On resolution of the above processes the assessing officer will establish if the proposal can be dealt with under delegated authority. If it can, a recommendation will be prepared, and if approved a determination will be issued to the applicant by email or the Objective Connect service.

If an application cannot be determined under delegated authority it will be referred to a meeting of Council for a decision (unless a decision is required through an external authority such as the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage). Council meetings occur on a monthly basis, so if a Council decision is required, there will also be an increased processing time associated with report preparation and timing of the meeting.

In the event an application is not supported, the City will contact the applicant to advise of the issues and reasons the proposal cannot be supported, and the applicant has the opportunity to amend the proposal to address the concerns. If the City's concerns cannot be satisfactorily addressed, the application will be refused. If a refusal is issued, the applicant has a right of appeal to the State Administrative Tribunal to review the decision.

Considerations following the development application process

Once development approval has been obtained, it is important to review all the conditions of development approval. Conditions of approval can include requirements including amendments to the approved plans, preparation of management plans, and/or operational requirements or restrictions.

Prior to starting construction and/or operation associated with a development approval, other approvals may be required. These may include a building permit, occupancy permit, food business approval and/or public building approval.

If you are unsure whether you need further approvals, please contact the City's Development Approvals on 9272 0622 .

Planning advice

If you are looking for planning advice, basic information can be obtained by contacting the City's Development Approvals on (08) 9272 0622 or in person at the Civic Centre.

If advice is needed on complex planning matters or involving a review into the history of a property, the request is required to be made in writing to mail@bayswater.wa.gov.au and will incur a fee in accordance with the City's Schedule of Fees.

If advice is needed in relation to a current development application, it is recommended to directly contact the assessing officer listed on the acknowledgement or approval letter associated with the application.

Frequently asked questions

Q.  Can I remove a tree within the verge at the front of my property?

A.  Street trees may not be removed, relocated or pruned without prior approval from the City. The City will try and keep existing street trees where possible, however may consider requests to relocate or remove a tree if there are extenuating circumstances.

Q.  Can I have a sea container on my property?

A.  Sea containers may be temporarily located on a property for up to 48 hours before requiring approval. However, if the sea container is positioned in a manner that results in a hazard (such as obstructing vehicle sightlines) in the opinion of the City, the City will require the sea container be removed immediately.

For periods greater than 48 hours development approval is required. The City will not typically support sea containers unless they are screened from the street and finished to a satisfactory standard to minimise visual impact to adjoining properties (cladding, etc.). Sea containers within residential zones are generally discouraged.

Q.  Can I install a second crossover to my property?

A.  Crossovers may not be installed without prior approval from the City. The City will typically permit a maximum of one crossover to a single house. Where a grouped dwelling adjoins a common property access way, the City will require all properties within the development to use the common access way for car access. A separate crossover to the front house will not be supported unless extenuating circumstances can be demonstrated.

Q.  Do I need approval to erect a cubby house?

A.  Cubby houses do not need development approval, but may need a building permit depending on their scale and nature. The City recommends any such structures must be at the rear of the house and be no greater than 1.8m above ground level in order to maintain privacy and minimise visual impact to the streetscape and adjoining properties. If in any doubt please contact the City's Development Approvals on (08) 9272 0622.

Q.  Do I need approval to install shade sails?

A.  Shade sails within a residential property do not require development approval as long as the shade sail material is water permeable, the structure is in accordance with the requirements outlined in the City's Temporary Uses and Minor Works Policy, and the property is not a heritage listed place.

Q.  Do I need approval to install solar panels?

A.  Solar panels do not need development approval unless the property is heritage listed. A building permit may be required.

Q. Do I need to apply for development approval to operate an Airbnb / short term accommodation from my house?

A.  Development approval is required to operate an Airbnb / short term accommodation from a dwelling, unless both of the following criteria are met:

  1. The number of guests on a freehold lot, is no greater than 10 (or 6 in addition to the keeper and keeper's family) at any one time
  2. All associated vehicle parking is contained within the site or adjoining verge area.

Operation of an Airbnb / short term accommodation from a house located on a strata or survey-strata lot will always require development approval.

Q.  What type of fencing can I install around my residential property?

A.  Fencing within the street setback area (the space between the dwelling and the primary street) is a street fence and required to be visually permeable above 1.2m. The Residential Design Codes define visually permeable as:

  • Continuous vertical or horizontal gaps of 50mm or greater width occupying not less than one third of the total surface area
  • Continuous vertical or horizontal gaps less than 50mm in width, occupying at least one half of the total surface area in aggregate
  • A surface offering equal or lesser obstruction to view; as viewed directly from the street.

Street fences cannot exceed 0.75 metres above ground level within 1.5 metres of where a vehicle access points meets a road reserve (this includes the verge area) in order to maintain adequate sight lines. The City does not consider colorbond to be a suitable material for fencing located on the front/street boundary of a property. For more information relating to street fences please refer to the City's Fence Information Sheet.

Any fencing located behind the street setback area (side and rear boundaries) is a dividing fence and may have a solid height up to 1.8 metres. Any modification to a dividing fence should only be done with consent from all adjoining property owners. Increased heights may be considered for dividing fences subject to approval from the City. For more information relating to dividing fences please refer to the Building Commission's 'Dividing Fences: A Guide' document.

Go to Top of the page