How to Apply for Planning Approval

Click on the headings below to reveal information on how to prepare a development application, the development application process, what the fast track statutory planning system is and much more. 

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 City of Bayswater Application for Development Approval form signed by all landowners
  • A completed Western Australian Planning Commission MRS Form 1 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.
    • Detailed Landscaping Plans prepared in accordance with the City's Landscaping Policy and Guidelines are required for all commercial, grouped and multiple dwelling developments.
    • Tree Species and Tree Growth Zones are required to be depicted on development plans in accordance with the City's Trees on Private Land and Street Verges Policy. 

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:

  • Acoustic assessment (if the development is subject to State Planning Policy 5.4 - Road and Rail Noise or as required by the City)
  • 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).

Failure to provide the required information when submitting a development application may result in the City rejecting the application as being unsuitable for lodgement until such time as all the required information has been provided to the satisfaction of the City. 

If you aren't sure what documentation is needed, please contact the City's Development Approvals via 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 are to be named in accordance with the following format:

  • Application Type - File Name - Property Address
  • DA - Application Form - 61 Broun Avenue, Morley
  • DA - MRS Form 1 - 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
  • DA - Landscaping Plan - 61 Broun Avenue, Morley

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

  • Civic Centre — 61 Broun Avenue, Morley (Hard copy). Payment with cash, eftpos or credit card (MasterCard and VISA only).
  • Mail — PO Box 467, Morley WA 6943 (Hard copy). Payment with cheque or credit card
  • Email — (Single email only, maximum size 20MB). Payment with credit card.

The City will also accept applications submitted via Dropbox. The City will not accept applications submitted as Zip Files or similar services. 

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 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.

Officers will endeavour 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.

Note: From 1 July 2024, the determination of development applications for single houses or any development associated with a single house, excluding development of or associated with a heritage protected place, cannot be determined by Council and must be determined under delegated authority.

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.

Fast track statutory planning system

The City of Bayswater implemented its internal fast-tracking statutory planning system in 2013, to simplify and streamline the assessment and determination of small-scale residential development applications.

Upon lodgement of your application, City officers will review the proposed development to see if it meets the fast track process criteria. The criteria for a fast track application includes applications for patios, carports, outbuildings, fences, retaining walls and the like.

For applications that meet the fast track criteria, the City will endeavour to assess and determine the application within 14 days, provided there are no significant variations identified or neighbour advertising required.

If there is a variation identified that warrants advertising, external agency referral or issue with the application that cannot be resolved quickly, the application will fall out of the fast track system and will be advertised and progressed in accordance with the standard development assessment process, within the statutory timeframe.

It is important that applicants submit plans with all necessary information at the time of lodgement to help officers undertake the most efficient assessment possible.

Planning advice

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

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.

Written Planning Advice

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

Only basic planning advice can be provided in response to a request for written planning advice and response will be limited to provision of technical advice and interpretation of applicable planning requirements under the City’s Town Planning Scheme 24, Local Planning Policies and the R-Codes.

The following queries cannot be responded to via a request for written planning advice:

  • Pre-lodgement assessment of proposed development plans.
  • Analysis of various options for the proposed development.
  • Detailed technical or specialist advice eg. arborist advice about a street tree. 

Pre-lodgement Assessment for Single Houses

Under Clause 61A of the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015, the City can carry out a pre-lodgement assessment of single houses and additions to single houses only against the deemed-to-comply requirements of the R-Codes to advise whether or not planning approval is required. The fee is $295 and the statutory timeframe to complete the assessment is 14 days.

If you wish to lodge a pre-lodgement assessment for a single house or additions to a single house, please complete the Clause 61A Deemed-to-Comply Check Application form and send your form along with the plans to for lodgement. You will then be contacted for payment of the fee.

Major Development Proposals

If the proposed development is considered to be a major development (such as a JDAP application) then you may wish to contact the City’s Development Approvals on (08) 9272 0622 to discuss the proposal prior to lodgement. It is recommended that major development proposals are presented to the City’s Design Review Panel prior to lodgement of a development application.

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 and Place on 9272 0622 .

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 are exempted from requiring development approval, provided they meet certain criteria identified in the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) regulations 2015, 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. A building permit may be required. 

Q.  Do I need approval to install solar panels?

A.  Solar panels that are parallel to the angle of the roof do not need development approval. A building permit may be required. Solar panels on heritage listed placed do require planning approval. 

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.

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.

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