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New planning reform initiatives have been introduced for Western Australia.

The phase two blueprint for planning reform will see faster housing approvals and significant savings in the cost and time taken to develop land.

Significant changes include:

  • Consistent processing of Development Applications across local governments
  • The concurrent amendment of the Metropolitan Region Scheme (MRS) and local planning schemes
  • Introduction of an online application system to make it easier and faster to lodge and track planning applications 
  • A focus on quality design in urban infill and high density developments 
  • Changes to the value of the thresholds for Development Assessment Panels (DAPs).

Planning reform phase one and two provide for the most significant change to the State’s planning system since 1963.

Background on WA’s planning reform

In 2009 the Department and Western Australian Planning Commission began a comprehensive reform process to improve the land use planning and development approvals system in Western Australia.

Planning Makes It Happen - a blueprint for planning reform set out 11 key strategic priorities and a two year forward work program that included 22 actions for the State.

In September 2013 the Minister for Planning released Planning makes it happen: phase two to further streamline approval processes to improve housing affordability, ensure continuity of land supply and co-ordinate essential services.

Planning Reform Phase Two Discussion Paper summary of submissions was released in May 2014. It included detailed summary of more than 250 responses which were considered before Planning makes it happen: phase two blueprint for planning reform was released in July 2014.