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Town Planning

The broad objective for town planning in the Town of East Fremantle is to provide for the current and future needs of the community in a sustainable manner. This is achieved through the application of strategic planning and development control functions by the Council.

Strategic planning involves the analysis of issues and the development of policy and statutory documents which influence the activities of residents, the business community and government agencies now and in the future. 

When Do I Need Development Approval?

In most cases, planning approval is required for all development.

If a development complies with the deemed-to-comply provisions of the Residential Design Codes of WA (R-Codes) and the Town's Residential Design Guidelines or is of a minor nature, it may be exempt from the requirement to obtain development approval. 

The following information provides an overview of the most common types of development and whether development approval is required.

When in doubt as to whether development approval is required, it is advised to contact the Town and discuss the proposal with a Town Planner. 

Development Requiring Approval
  • Any development where variations to the Town's Local Planning Policies or deemed-to-comply requirements of the R-Codes are sought including new dwellings or extensions to dwellings (either single, grouped or multiple dwellings).

  • Development and/or Demolition of a building included on the Heritage List under Council’s Town Planning Scheme.

  • Any development located within the street setback area (except for resurfacing an existing hard surfaced area or landscaping works provided there are no wall features or structures as part of the proposal).

  • Any non-residential development (for example; commercial use, consulting rooms, shops) - whether it is a new development, additions or any alteration to commercial site.

  • A Change of Use (for example; from shop to office or from a residential use to commercial use and vice versa). Please contact the Town to discuss the change of use with a Town Planner. 

  • Signage except where excluded under the Town's Signage Design Guidelines Local Planning Policy.

  • Strata Properties 

The R-Codes and Guidelines can be viewed below: 

Residential Design Codes

Residential Design Guidelines

Development is subject to the following provisions of the Town of East Fremantle:

Local Planning Policies

Prior to undertaking development owners and applicants should first discuss their proposal with the Town’s planning department.

Please note

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage has introduced the Medium Density Codes (R30 to R60) into Volume 1 of the Residential Design Codes with a deferred introduction from 1 September 2023.

Note that medium density development (with density codes of R30 to R60) has a separate section within the Codes from low density development (with density codes of R25 and lower). 

Further information can be obtained from the below link: 

Medium Density Housing Code

Update: 9 August 2023

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage has deferred gazettal of the medium density code to an unspecified date. Please refer to the Department Planning, Lands and Heritage website below for further information. 

Medium Density Housing Code Gazettal Deferred

 When is Development Approval not required?

  • Ancillary dwelling (granny flat) - Planning/development approval is usually not required if your property is in a residential zone and your granny flat/ancillary dwelling meets the following requirements:

    • The ancillary dwelling is associated with a single house and on the same lot
    • The lot is not less than 350 m2
    • There is a maximum plot ratio area of 70m2
    • Parking is provided in accordance with clause 5.3.3 C3.1 of the Residential Design Codes
    • The ancillary dwelling is designed and sited to comply with all relevant provisions of the R-Codes and the Town's Residential Design Guidelines. 

    A Building Permit is always required for ancillary accommodation.

  • A patio, pergola or a shed provided no variations to the deemed-to-comply requirements of the R-Codes & the Town's Residential Design Guidelines are sought and not located in a heritage-protected place. 
  • Shade sails provided the works are not located in a heritage-protected place.

  • Side boundary fencing provided the height including retaining from natural ground level is no greater than 2.3m (Note: For further regulations relating to side boundary fencing please refer the Department of Mines Industry Regulations and Safety website Dividing Fence Overview 
  • A boundary wall or fence provided no variations to the deemed-to-comply requirements of the R-Codes & the Town's Residential Design Guidelines are sought and not located in a heritage-protected place (provided the height including retaining from natural ground level is no greater than 1.8m.and it is 60% permeable above 1.2m)
  • Site Works behind the street setback area where changes to levels are no greater than 0.5m from the natural or existing ground level.

  • Demolition of residential or commercial buildings that are not included on the Heritage List of Town Planning Scheme No. 3.

  • Replacement of a Structure if proposed design is like for like except in the case of any solid fencing or solid structure in the front setback area, or any structure on the Heritage List of Town Planning Scheme No. 3.

  • Reroofing to the same specifications and materials as the existing roof.

  • Internal building works.

  • Solar Panels provided the solar panels are parallel to the angle of the roof and works are not located in a heritage-protected place. 

  • Swimming Pools provided not located in a heritage-protected place. 

  • Standard Television Antennae and Air-conditioning Units provided these are not visible from the primary street, the structure integrates with the building and is not visually obtrusive or impacts a neighbouring property.

  • Home Offices or Home Occupations (i.e. working from home in a study/office) with no customers or deliveries to the site and no impact upon the amenity of adjoining properties.

Request appointment with a Planner

Planning officers can advise applicants on the proposed development and provide an understanding of the planning process. 

If you would like to meet with a planner in person, applicants must make an appointment. 

If you are not feeling well, or if you have had contact with a Covid positive case, please stay at home. 

To discuss your proposal with a Town Planner, please contact the Town on 9339 9339 to book an appointment. 

How to Submit a Development Application

The following is required to submit a development application:

  •  Application for Development Approval  
  • Checklist relevant to proposal:
    • Checklist New Dwellings and Additions
    • Checklist Commercial and Mixed Use
    • Checklist Change of Use
    • Checklist Signage
  • Covering letter/report outlining the proposal and addressing any specific issues (eg. justification for variations to relevant planning standards).
  • Current copy of the Certificate of Title (no more than 6 months old)
  • Payment of the relevant fees 
  • Accurately scaled plans including Site Plans, Floor Plans, Elevations if relevant
  • Additional supporting documents if required 
  • Strata approval - note the Town requires strata approval from the body corporate or all property owners in the strata to sign a copy of the proposed plans providing their full name, address and a statement in support of the proposal endorsed on the plans 

Please note: For a Development Application to be accepted, a completed checklist must accompany the application. 

Please email the documentation to

Application for Development Approval 

Checklist - New Dwellings and Additions

Checklist - Commercial and Mixed Use

Checklist - Change of Use

Checklist - Signage 

Development Application Assessment Process

Once a development application is submitted, the proposed development will be assessed. Most applications will follow these steps during its assessment:

1. Development Control Unit (DCU) Meeting

Your application will be tabled at an internal meeting compromised of  members from the Town’s Planning Team. A preliminary assessment at the meeting will identify if any technical advise may be needed.

2. Referrals

Many applications will be sent to an affected department for technical comments. Applications may also be referred to the Community Design Advisory Committee (non-statutory committee) to provide independent expert advice. Further, an application may also be referred externally to a state authority (e.g. Main Roads, Fremantle Port Authority, Water Corporation, Department of Fire and Emergency Services, State Heritage Office). 

3. Advertisements

If an application is deemed to have an impact on surrounding landowners or the wider community, it will be advertised in accordance with the Local Planning Scheme No. 3.

4. Assessment and Determination

Once the previous stages have been finalised, the planning officer will review any comments and referrals made. The officer will assess the application in accordance with relevant statutory requirements and may request further information if necessary or advise of any issues to the applicant. Depending on the nature of the application, a decision will be made under the delegated authority of the Executive Manager of Regulatory Services or referred to Town Planning Committee for a final decision. 

Applications to be considered at  a Town Planning Committee meeting will be included on the agenda for the meeting. The agendas can be viewed via the below button. 

Council Meetings

Current Proposals Open for Comment 

Current developments applications for comment are available to view below:


The Town of East Fremantle’s Town Planning Department carries out consultation of Development Applications, Scheme Amendments and other proposals that may affect owners, residents and the community in general and therefore advertises the proposals received as per the requirements of our Local Planning Scheme No. 3. 

A new initiative introduced by the Town also allows for current development applications to be available and advertised on the website, in conjunction with notification via a newspaper advertisement, sign on site or via a letter.

If you would like to make a submission on an advertised application, please do so in writing and submit prior to the advertising closing date which is stated in the details of each development application listed.

If you have any concerns regarding making a submission, viewing of plans please contact the Town's Planning Services on (08) 9339 9339.

Deemed-to-Comply Check 

What is a Deemed to Comply Check?

In accordance with Clause 61A of the Deemed Provisions in Schedule 2 of the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015, certain types of development are exempt from requiring development approval. 

These exemptions include the construction of a new single house, or extensions and/or renovations to an existing single house that meet the 'deemed-to-comply' criteria of Volume 1 of the Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) or any local planning policy that amends or replaces these criteria. More information on the R-Codes can be found at

Clause 61A allows those who are intending to either build a new single house or extend and/or renovate an existing single house to seek advice from their local government as to whether development approval is required for what they are proposing. This is referred to as a 'deemed-to-comply' check. The intent of this check is to provide applicants with confidence that their proposal can proceed straight to a building permit. This is a voluntary process that only applies to single houses and extensions or renovations to existing single houses. It does not apply to the other types of exemptions that are available under clause 61.

How do I apply for a Deemed-to-Comply Check? 

Please provide the following documents in the application of deemed-to-comply (Clause 61A) check:

  • Deemed to Comply (clause 61A) Application for Advice (please note that all property owner's signatures are required).
  • Site plan (to a scale of no less than 1:200) showing lot dimensions, all existing and proposed structures, existing and proposed ground levels, any structures proposed to be removed, existing and proposed pedestrian and vehicle access, car parking spaces including layout and dimensions, any proposed open space and landscaping;
  • Floor plan ( to a scale of 1:100 or 1:200) of building/s proposed to be erected or altered, any any buildings proposed to be retained, complete with setbacks to all lot boundaries; and
  • Elevations (to a scale of 1:100 or 1:200) of building/s proposed to be erected or altered, and any buildings proposed to be retained, complete with existing and proposed ground levels and wall and roof height dimensions taken from natural ground level.

Payment of the $295 application fee is required upon lodgement. 

Applications can be emailed to and reception will contact you for payment. 

How long will my application take to be assessed?

Once the application is accepted and lodged, the Town will review your application and information provided to check whether what is being proposed meets all the relevant deemed-to-comply criteria of the R-Codes Volume 1 and, where relevant, any local planning policy. 

Advice of the outcome will be emailed to you within 14 days of the application being accepted and lodged. 

What happens next? 

If the advice states that your proposal is deemed-to-comply, you may lodge an application for a building permit.

If your proposal does not comply, you may:

  • Apply for development approval; or
  • Amend your plans to address the areas of non-compliance and submit another application for a deemed-comply-check; or
  • Amend your plans to address the areas of non-compliance and apply for a building permit. Please note that if you choose this option, an area of non-compliance that was not addressed fully may be identified through the building permit process and you may be requested to apply for development approval. 

Request for Copies of Plans 

Should you require a copy of plans for your property, you can arrange for the Town to retrieve the plans by submitting a Request for Copies of Plans

A fee of $170.50 is applicable. 


Plan searches will only be undertaken if the request form is signed by the property owner. Only the property owner is entitled to view or request copies of the Town's Plans.

The Owner includes:

  • The person shown of the Town’s records as being the owner.
  • A person who is authorised in writing by the owner.

A Real Estate Agent CANNOT authorise copies of plans without additional written approval from the current property owner. The Town will require proof of identity, and/or written authority from the current property owner. 

Owners requesting copies of Strata Plans will be given plans for their own unit ONLY. Should a copy of entire complex be required, written authorisation from the Strata Manager is required.  


Local Heritage Survey

The Town of East Fremantle's list of heritage places has been established for many years and has periodically undergone review.  This list is referred to as the Local Heritage Survey or LHS (previously known as the Municipal Heritage Inventory (MHI). The LHS assists the Town in managing new developments as well as preserving and adapting significant heritage places for the benefit of East Fremantle as a whole.  The LHS does not prevent progress from occurring but rather gives the Town a heritage context in which new Development Applications are considered.

During the course of 2014/15, the Town of East Fremantle's LHS was reviewed.  The purpose of this review was to ensure that all places of heritage significance have been identified within the Town and that places with demolition approval are removed from the LHS.  Following consultation with landowners and occupiers, a revised LHS was adopted by the Council.  The revised LHS has provided the basis for updates and additions to the Local Planning Scheme - Heritage List.

Local Planning Scheme - Heritage List

The Town recognises the importance of protecting places of cultural heritage significance as a way to enhance the Town’s sense of identity and preserve its history for future generations.

The Town’s Heritage List forms part of the Town of East Fremantle Local Planning Scheme No. 3 and identifies properties that are of cultural heritage significance and considered worthy of protection.  In 2014 Council resolved that properties categorised as ‘A’ and ‘B’ be included on the Scheme’s Heritage List and in 2015 the Council determined to formally list these properties in the Planning Scheme.  The finalised Heritage List can be viewed in the attachment below.

Development approval is required for demolition, additions and alterations to properties on the Heritage List. The Town’s Planning Officers can assist with any enquiries regarding the heritage listing of a property and whether a heritage impact statement will be required to accompany a development approval application.

George Street Designated Heritage Area

The Town of East Fremantle has adopted a Local Planning Policy 3.1.6 - George Street Designated Heritage Area, which will apply to the properties identified in the Heritage Area as identified on the Heritage Area Map. This is to ensure the heritage value and status of George Street as a distinct group is protected and any future development in the area will now be managed as a cohesive whole under the provisions of the Policy. 

Detailed provisions address the development requirements of the area for existing and new buildings (such as the Royal George Hotel site) with the aim of protecting this highly valued heritage area. 

Adoption of the George Street Designated Heritage Area is viewed as the beginning of the Town’s intention to progressively investigate the introduction of heritage areas within the Town for future consideration by Council.  

View the map and Local Planning Policy 3.1.3 George Street Designated Heritage Area here

State Heritage Register (Heritage Council of WA)

The State Register includes properties that have cultural heritage significance at a state level.  Development approval is also required when developing these properties and any development application received is required to be referred to the State Heritage Office for comment.

The documents below also explains the requirements for the management categories for properties on the Heritage List posted below.

Heritage List - LPS No. 3 and Public Places

Heritage FAQ

Local Heritage Survey - Category Management Schedule ABCDE

Home Business, Home Occupation and Home Office

A Home Business, Home Occupation or Home Office is a small-scale business or activity operated within a residential property. The Home Business, Home Occupation or Home Office must be operated by the occupier of the residence and is not transferable to other owners, occupiers or properties. 

Fact Sheet

To apply for a Home Business please submit the following:

  • The Certificate of Title
  • Site plan with parking clearly indicated and location of home business
  • Floor plan with location of home business

With the below:

Application for Development Approval 

Home Business - Accompanying Information 

Home Business - Checklist 

Home Business approvals are subject to an annual review and each year applicants are required to seek a renewal of approval prior to expiry, should they wish to continue to operate.

To apply to renew a home business, all documentation is required to be resubmitted to the Town with planning renewal fee of $73. 

Short Term Accommodation

Short-term accommodation can be defined as holiday homes, unit or apartments usually built for residential purposes in residential areas. Planning approval is required before commencing operation of short-term accommodation.


  • Application for Development Approval
  • $295 application fee
  • Covering letter describing proposed short term accommodation
  • Copy of Certificate of Title 
  • Floor plan of the short term dwelling
  • Plans showing any proposed changes to the built form of the short term accommodation (if applicable)
  • Management plan outlining the following:
    • code of conduct detailing the expected behaviour and obligations of guests (to be displayed in a prominent position within the premises and guests shall be made aware of the code of conduct)
    • management of complaints in the form of a complaints management procedure (must include short-term accommodation owners/managing agents contact telephone numbers for Council and adjoining neighbours)
    • control of anti-social behaviour and the potential conflict between guests and permanent residents of the area, detailing the expected behaviour of guests and control of noise, privacy, security and correct parking locations
    • details regarding guest check-in and check-out times and procedures
    • Management of car parking
    • Details regarding cleaning and waste management which must include specifying the expectations on guests with regard to rubbish and bin collection
    • Compliance with strata by-laws (if applicable) in the form of a statement of compliance
    • Management and accommodation of servicing vehicles (where applicable) within the context of the overall car parking for the development
    • A fire and emergency response plan is required to be clearly displayed in a conspicuous location within the dwelling
    • Fire extinguishers are to be located in prominent positions on site and maintained in proper working order
    • Outside barbeques are to be gas or electric
  • Aquatic facilities are required to be fully compliant with all requirements established by both the Western Australian Department of Health and local government. Further information is available here  Guidance Note: Aquatic Facilities at Temporary, Short Stay or Holiday Accommodations

Short term accommodation approvals are subject to an annual review and each year applicants are required to seek a renewal of approval prior to expiry, should they wish to continue to operate.

To apply to renew short term accommodation, please complete the Renewal Short Term Accommodation Request  

A planning renewal fee of $73 applies. 

Stormwater Runoff 

Property owners have a statutory obligation under common law precedents and the Local Government Act 1995 to confine water runoff within their property boundaries.

The most effective way to achieve this objective is to provide catchment areas such as soakwells, spoon drains or similar methods to disperse the rainwater collected from gutters and downpipes from roof and paved areas.

It is necessary to design and install a system so that when overflowing occurs any water is directed away in a manner which ensures it does not pond against or enter the building or adjacent properties.

 Requirements for Onsite Stormwater Drainage

Strata Titles Subdivision

Under the Strata Titles Act 1985 there are two forms of strata subdivision schemes:

  • Survey-Strata Schemes; and,
  • Strata Schemes

The way in which the boundaries are defined on the scheme plan determines which of the two schemes are applicable:

A survey-strata scheme is defined by surveyed land boundaries. Buildings are not shown on a survey-strata plan, even though there may in fact be buildings on the survey-strata lots. A survey-strata may, or may not, have common property (i.e. a common driveway), and like other forms of strata may also have by-laws and a strata company.

If your plan falls into this category, applications for subdivision of the lot is applied for by submitting a subdivision application to the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC). The application is assessed for approval or refusal by the WAPC and not the Town. Further information on the subdivision process can be found on the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage website or by contacting WAPC on 6551 8002.

A strata scheme or 'built strata' refers to the subdivision of a building (by cubic space) and on occasion the land around it into lots. This is the type of subdivision referred to for the remainder of this web page.


Under delegation from the WAPC, the Town is responsible for determining 'built strata' proposals that involve the following:

  • The creation of 6 or more residential strata lots;
  • The creation of any number of residential lots on a parcel of land that exceeds 2,500sqm; and,
  • The creation of strata lots within a commercial, industrial or mixed use zoning.

An application for approval of a built strata subdivision is made to the Town using a two-stage application process referred to as 'Form 15A' & 'Form 15C'.

A Form 15A (formerly a Form 24) is an application for the Town's preliminary approval/endorsement of the Strata Plan. The Town will review the application and issue a decision, which may or may not include conditions of approval.  A Form 15A can be submitted immediately after development and building approvals have been granted and prior to construction commencing. It should be submitted at the earliest possible opportunity (i.e when the building permit has been granted) to allow the proponent sufficient time to address any conditions imposed on the 15A and prior to submitting the 15C.

A Form 15C (formerly Forms 1C and 26) is an application to the Town for its approval/endorsement of the strata plan and must be submitted within 2 years of the Form 15A being determined. The Form 15C is effectively the final approval from the Town and enables the strata plan to be submitted to Landgate for titles to be created. A Form 15C should not be submitted to the Town unless all works associated with the development, building and Form 15A approvals have been undertaken, including compliance with respective conditions. 

An fact sheet has been prepared by the WAPC to explain the complete Form 15 process in further detail. 

Strata - Form 15 Applications fact sheet

PLEASE NOTE: Form 15 approval is not required where 1-5 residential lots are proposed, the parcel is not greater than 2,500sqm and each lot will contain a dwelling. In these instances, a Building Approval Certificate for the built strata is required.


Form 15A and Form 15C applications can be lodged with the Town by email to  

Applicants are welcome to apply for Form 15A and 15C approval at the same time if they wish.

Forms are available here 

If Form 15 approval is not required (as per the above criteria), please apply for a Building Approval Certificate. The following will need to be submitted:

  • A completed BA13 - Application for Building Approval Certificate
  • 1x copy of the strata plan
  • Completed Certificate of Building Compliance
  • 1x copy of the supporting documents as listed under Section 4 of the Certificate of Building Compliance
  • Relevant fees


Form 15 applications have a legislated timeframe of 40 days. 

Building Approval Certificate applications have a legislated timeframe of 10 business days.