The Policy and Guidelines establish a flexible approach and take a practical position that is very beneficial for the community title developers that Lavan is currently advising.
DPLH and WAPC should be commended for listening to feedback from stakeholders and taking a practical interpretation of the Community Titles Act 2018 that will ensure community title is an attractive subdivision and development option for developers.
A community development statement (CDS) is a new type of planning instrument that outlines how a community scheme will be developed and subdivided.
The Policy and Guidelines:
Highlighted below are the key positions outlined in the Policy and Guidelines.
If a CDS refers to a development approval (DA) granted by the State Development Assessment Unit (SDAU) or a Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP), the provisions in the DA are considered to be consistent with the local planning scheme. In other words, an DA granted by the SDAU, when referred to in a CDS, overrides the local planning scheme: see item 5.1.7 in the Policy.
WAPC will consider waiving other planning instruments, such as a local structure plan, in some circumstances, including where the CDS provides sufficient detail to guide subdivision and development of the site: see item 4.4 in the Guidelines.
One of the major concerns developers previously had with community title is that the CDS needs to “not conflict with the local planning scheme”.
The Policy adopts a practical and flexible approach towards what will “not conflict with the local planning scheme” means.
A minor variation from the local planning scheme is permitted within a CDS in some circumstances: see item 5.1.4 in the Policy. Examples of such a variation as provided in the Policy include that the local planning scheme has setbacks of 10 metres but the CDS can have a 7 metre setback.
Lots and common property that are retained in private ownership but have a public access easement registered against them can be considered by the WAPC as part of the public open space contribution: see item 5.1.22 in the Policy.
This is a major concession by the WAPC and makes community title for development sites such as some of the development lots in Elizabeth Quay and adjacent to shopping centres more attractive.
A community development statement may refer to any current DA: item 6.4.2 in the Policy and item 4.1 in the Guidelines.
Key Technical information, such as a Traffic Report, can be attached to the CDS. In other words, the CDS could be a relatively short document that attaches copies of existing technical and planning documents.
Where reference is made to the application of the Residential Design Codes for a community scheme, an applicant may choose to apply a performance based approach: see item 5.1.9 in the Policy.
If you think community title may deliver the best outcomes for your development site, please contact Sean Macfarlane, Tim Morgan or Craig Wallace at Lavan.