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Red tape to be slashed for property developments

Wednesday, 7th Jan 2015

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Red tape on residential and commercial developments will be slashed under the largest planning reforms in Western Australia in 50 years.

As part of the proposed changes more property developers will be able to bypass Local Government Authorities (LGAs) and apply directly to the state’s Development Assessment Panel (DAP) for construction approvals.

The shake-up of WA planning laws is expected to cut costs for developers and save time in the pre-development process.

Under the reforms developers with projects costing between $2 million and $10 million can choose to submit planning applications to either their respective LGA or the DAP.

The threshold is a change from the previous range of between $3 million and $7 million.

The reforms apply to developments in all metropolitan and regional areas of WA, excluding the City of Perth, where the threshold would be between $2 million and $20 million.

Developments costing less than $2 million will be required to apply for planning approval with the relevant LGA, while those costing more than $10 million, or $20 million for projects within the City of Perth, will be required to be processed by the DAP.

The changes are expected to be passed within the next 12 months and were recommended as part of a review of the DAP.

The planning reforms are part of a wider review, which started in 2009 by the Department of Planning and the Western Australian Planning Commission, to improve the state’s land use, planning and development approvals process.

The reforms have been tipped as the most significant since WA’s metropolitan region scheme in 1963.