Freo's View


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, Uncategorized by freoview on July 6, 2018


The WA state government has released a green paper of changes to the planning process. It is 81 pages long, so too long to blog it all, but below the most important aspects of it.

Fremantle architect Tobias Bush already remarked on social media that the word architect has not once been used on all the 81 pages, and that is a rather remarkable oversight, and a slap in the face of those professionals who create the future of our cities.


  • Local governments to have up-to-date local planning strategies, including one for housing, through which the community has a say in how their neighbourhood will be developed.
  • Make strategic planning for sustainable development the purpose of planning in Western Australia.

Make the planning system easy to access and understand

  • A single concise State Planning Policy framework with common elements for State, regional and local plans and policies.
  • A comprehensive local planning scheme will be available online for each local government including a local planning strategy, the statutory scheme and local planning policies.
  • Reduce red tape by standardising commonly used zones.

Open up the planning system and increase community engagement in planning

  • A Community Engagement Charter with a focus on up-front community involvement in strategic planning.
  • Re-balance Development Assessment Panel processes including recording meetings, providing reasons for decisions, and undertaking more comprehensive investigation and consideration of complex proposals.
  • Local governments to report annually on their planning responsibilities.

Make the planning system well-organised and more efficient

Refocus the planning system to deliver quality urban infill

  • Revise the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) to include 5-7 specialist members and increase their focus on strategic planning and policy development.
  • WAPC to delegate more statutory matters to the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and accredited local governments.
  • Rethink administrative processes that add unnecessary time and cost to approvals processes.
  • The State Government, WAPC and local government to collaborate on the planning and delivery of key centres and infill locations and forward planning of infrastructure.
  • Develop a state planning policy focused on delivering consolidated and connected smart growth.
  • Provide for coordinated land use and transport planning of key urban corridors.


Roel Loopers

4 Responses

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  1. freoview said, on July 6, 2018 at 11:27 am

    It would be a serious worry if local communities would no longer be represented by local councillors on JDAP and other bodies. Pro developers committees could do great harm to character heritage precincts and allow inappropriate buildings.



  2. Ian Ker said, on July 6, 2018 at 10:59 am

    The Green Paper actually says ‘revise WAPC membership DOWN to 5-7 specialist members’ (current membership is 15, mainly from state and local government agencies). The term ‘specialist members’ is not defined – but for the DAPs they are town planners and architects, who have severe conflicts of interest as their main clients are developers and property owners.
    The Green Paper appears, therefore, to say the WAPC should consist of 5-7 specialist members – and no-one else.
    Added to that, it suggests that the WAPC should have the ability to form its own committees – with membership undefined and presumably to be determined by those 5-7 specialist members.
    This is a recipe for total domination of the planning process by ‘specialist members’ with all their inherent conflicts of interest.


  3. freoishome said, on July 6, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Interesting use of the word ‘Sustainable’ development. What on earth does that mean in this context? Is it just way of evading saying ‘Sustained’?

    The State made the process longer by taking away control from LA, with its reviewing processes.

    What is needed is the State to ratify the strategic plans of each LA. In that Strategy, each LA must make it clear, what the character and qualities they want, based on creating development that is in line with the unique characteristics of each LA. This should certainly include height, scale, density, affordability, parking, green space, social space, also some aesthetics, and importantly ‘amenity’ to the locale. Also include the limited grounds for appeal to the State. Once ratified, LA planning Dept should manage the process without further reference to the State.

    This means that LA will actually have to determine what they want, not just the rules within which developers must operate. In precincts, I think LA should have some influence on what they want at a more careful zoning level. Density of classes of both business type and building type, eg, hospitality, bargain shops, 4bed vs single bed homes, etc. The latter create the feel of a locale, and I don’t think developers should be the determinants of that.



  4. Ian Ker said, on July 6, 2018 at 10:13 am

    The Green Paper says nothing about reducing the extent to which development decisions are wildly inconsistent with planning – much of which results from ‘specialist members’ of DAPs, who rely on developers for much of their income. Adding 5-7 ‘specialist members to the WAPC would only increase the industry influence at the expense of the community.


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