State Development Assessment Unit

Western Australian Planning Commission ‘Significant Development’ Application Planning Approval

In 2020, the State Government introduced a new development application process for significant projects as part of the COVID-19 economic recovery plans.

Part 17 of the Planning and Development Act 2005 has been established identifying the Western Australian Planning Commission (the WAPC) as the new decision making authority for applications for significant development.

A ‘significant development’ means any proposal (except for a warehouse) with an estimated cost of $20 million or more.

Under these changes, significant development proposals can be submitted to the WAPC via the State Development Assessment Unit (SDAU) for approval, instead of being lodged with the Town of East Fremantle for assessment and consideration by a Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP).

The SDAU is an appointed team of planners at the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage who will receive and assess all proposals on behalf of the WAPC. The SDAU then refers the application to the Town for its comments and a public advertising procedure undertaken by the SDAU also commences prior to the application being determined by the WAPC.

There is no prescribed timeframe for public consultation however it is expected applications will be advertised for a minimum of 28 days. Applicants are also required to install a sign on the site, with an illustration of the proposed development, which will remain in place for the duration of the consultation period and a newspaper notice is usually placed in a local newspaper.

The Town is not permitted to undertake community consultation other than to advise the public (through its various communication channels) that an application has been submitted and consultation is being undertaken by the SDAU. Responses and submissions by community members and other stakeholders are submitted directly to the SDAU and are not considered by the Town as the Town is not the decision maker.

The Town of East Fremantle has been referred three significant development applications, being: 

  • Royal George Hotel site – 34 Duke Street
  • The Entrance site (SW cnr of Canning and Stirling Hwy) – 91 93 Canning Highway
  • Former Woodside Hospital site – 18 and 26 Dalgety Street and 29 Fortescue Street

These applications have all been advertised for community comment and two have been determined by the WAPC. The former Woodside Hospital site and an amended application for the Royal George Hotel site are yet to be determined by the WAPC.

Details of the above application proposals and their progress through the Significant Development approval pathway can be found on the Town’s website under ‘Major Projects’, or the Town can be contacted for more specific enquiries regarding these sites.

It is intended that the SDAU will remain in place until the end of 2023. The State Government will then determine whether the approval pathway will continue or not.

To understand the SDAU application process in full and see the complete list of applications, please visit State Development Assessment Unit