What is a Rezoning/Scheme Amendment?Region planning schemes address strategic regional and state-wide planning issues. They contain objectives, set out broad land use zones, and designate areas required for regional purposes such as open space and infrastructure. Read moreFrequently Asked Questions
There are currently three region planning schemes active in Western Australia. These are the Perth Metropolitan Region Scheme, the Peel Region Scheme and the Greater Bunbury Region Scheme.
From time to time, it is necessary to alter the zoning of land or alter specific development controls under a local planning scheme or a region planning scheme to enable certain types of development. This process is referred to as a “rezoning” or “scheme amendment” process.
The steps to be followed and the requirements to be met when considering a scheme amendment are set out in the Planning and Development Act 2005 and the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015.
Amendments to a region planning scheme
An amendment to a region scheme is treated as either a “major” or a “minor” amendment. The type of amendment is determined by the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) upon receiving a formal amendment request.
As indicated by its name, a major amendment generally involves a substantial change(s) to a region planning scheme. Major amendments are also referred to as “substantial” amendments. In contrast, minor region scheme amendments are considered relatively straight forward in their nature.
The steps involved for a minor amendment differ to those for a major amendment. Whilst both processes involve referral to the Environmental Protection Authority and a period of public advertising, major amendments require the consent of the Minister for Planning before advertising can commence and involve a longer advertising period (3 months). Major amendments must also be laid before both Houses of Parliament for 12 sitting days, during which time they could be subject to dis-allowance. Major amendments ultimately require final approval from the Governor following a recommendation from the Minister for Planning.
In contrast, minor amendments do not require the consent of the Minister for Planning before advertising can commence and the advertising period is shorter (60 days). Unlike major amendments, minor amendments do not need to be presented to Parliament and are ultimately determined by the Minister for Planning not the Governor.
Download the flowcharts explaining the steps involved in each type of region scheme amendment process.
Amendments to a local planning scheme
A local government may resolve to amend its local planning scheme under its own initiative or at the request of a landowner or group of landowners. A local government may also be directed to amend its local planning scheme by the Minister for Planning. This may occur in situations where a local planning scheme is inconsistent with a region planning scheme or where a local government has resolved not to initiate an amendment to its local planning scheme but the Minster has determined, following a request for intervention from an applicant, that the amendment should proceed.
Download the flowcharts explaining the steps involved in each type of local scheme amendment process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a scheme amendment?
Scheme amendment proposals often require input from specialist consultants such as engineers or environmental scientists. Rowe Group can assist in engaging and coordinating these consultants on your behalf.
How do I apply for a scheme amendment?
What happens if my scheme amendment request is not supported?
A scheme amendment request may also be rejected or modified later in the process once initiation has occurred. In some instances, scheme amendment requests have been rejected or modified by the Minister for Planning in the final stages of the process.
Who determines whether a local scheme amendment is a basic, standard or complex amendment?
If a landowner has requested the local scheme amendment and does not agree with the decision of the local government as to the nature of the amendment, the landowner may seek an opinion from the WAPC. If the WAPC has a different view to the local government, the local government must comply with the opinion of the WAPC.
Who determines whether a region scheme amendment is a minor or a major amendment?
How long does the scheme amendment process take?
Whilst each of the different amendment processes involves specific steps and stages, not all of the stages are time limited. For example, there is often no time limit on the Minister for Planning determining whether or not to approve an amendment. Timeframes can also be affected depending on the complexity of the amendment and the specific issues involves. Amendments that involve sensitive issues may require additional consideration before a determination is made.
Rowe Group’s experience means that we can provide advice on likely timeframes and assist in determining what stages of an amendment process may require additional input to ensure delays are avoided or minimised.
How much does a scheme amendment cost?
Region scheme amendments do not currently attract a lodgement or other administrative fee from the WAPC.
Rowe Group’s professional fees for tasks such as initial planning investigations, report preparation and monitoring vary depending on the nature of the scheme amendment. We provide obligation free quotations for a range of amendment related tasks and would be happy to provide you with an indication of fees for your next project.
Who can I contact for more advice?
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