In 2009, the Hon John Day MLA, Minister for Planning launched “Planning Makes it happen – a blueprint for planning reform”, which identified a number of key areas of the planning system in need of improvement. The impact of this 2009 report has been the delivery of key developments in the Western Australian planning system, including the implementation of, among other things:
Directions 2031 and Beyond;
the Multi-unit Housing Code;
Development Assessment Panels;
Structure Plan Guidelines; and
Model Subdivision Conditions.
On 19 September 2013, the Department of Planning (DoP) released three key documents which build on these prior reforms under the heading “Planning makes it happen: phase two”, for public comment (closing 13 December 2013), these include:
a Planning Reform Discussion Paper (click here for a copy);
a Review of the Planning and Development Act 2005 (WA) (PD Act) (click here for a copy); and
a Review of the Development Assessment Panels (click here for a copy).
Some of the potential reforms flagged include:
a review of the Metropolitan Region Schemes (MRS) text to include the introduction of an Industrial Deferred Zone, as well as bring wording in line with Peel Region Schemes (PRS) and Greater Bunbury Region Scheme (GBRS);
streamlining the scheme amendment processes, by improving the use concurrent amendments, standardising formats, and working with the Department of Environment to improve links between environmental and planning approvals;
improving all areas of planning through the use of electronic applications, track-based assessments, private certification, standardised delegation schedules and improvements to the DAP process; and
significant changes to the PD Act.
Lavan Legal comment
Lavan Legal welcomes any reforms that seek to improve the transparency, efficiency and certainty of the planning approvals process.