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What is public notification?

In general, public notification (i.e. consultation) takes place when a proposal seeks to vary a planning policy or development criteria that is likely to impact nearby properties. Consultation is also often undertaken when the City is seeking to make changes to the planning scheme (e.g. a re-zoning), for local planning policies, and for other kinds of large-scale planning proposals such as 'structure plans'.

Public notice of planning proposals can be undertaken in multiple ways, including: 

  • sending a written notice to surrounding property owners and occupiers (this is the most common method);
  • notifying local precinct groups;
  • providing notification on the City's My Say Freo website;
  • community information sessions;
  • placing notices in the local newspaper; and/or
  • signs being placed on site providing notice of the proposal.

What is the City’s policy?

The City has a local planning policy that details when and how public notification of different planning proposals is undertaken - Local Planning Policy 1.3.

Our policy aims to provide a balance between the need to actively engage with the local community, and the legal requirements imposed by the State Government to process planning proposals within prescribed timeframes.

Different types of development proposals have varying consultation requirements. For instance, standard development applications are advertised for a period of not less than 14 days, during which time plans are made available for public viewing and written submissions are accepted by the City.

Larger scale development proposals, and strategic planning projects such as scheme amendments and structure plans, have longer consultation periods which involve a range of different methods (see list above). Refer to the above-mentioned local planning policy for further information on how the City will consult on specific types of planning proposals.

What can I expect by lodging a submission on an application?

Any written submission received by the City will be considered as part of the assessment process. The submissions received do not bind the City when making a decision on a proposal. Anyone who makes a submissions on a proposal will be notified in writing of any council meeting dates, and will also be informed of the final decision made.

What is appropriate to include in a submission and how should it be made?

There are some important things to note when writing your submission on a planning proposal. In particular, all submissions must:

  • be made in writing, addressed to the City of Fremantle planning services team, and must be received by the advertised closing date
  • be clear, legible and include your name, residential address, contact details and indicate which property and/or proposal the submission relates to
  • relate directly to the advertised proposal, and should address planning matters associated with the proposal being considered. 

The following types of comments are not able to be considered as part of the City's assessment of a planning proposal:

  • a possible effect on land value
  • assumptions or 'hearsay'
  • judgements based on personal prejudices or bias. Examples include a dislike for the proponent/person, or a dislike of any change generally
  • issues that relate to religious beliefs, morals or ethics
  • competition – an example being where a person considers there is an oversupply of a particular service and any additional business should not be permitted. 

Will the applicant become aware of who made a submission?

No - copies of submissions received during a public notice period will not be provided to any person by the City, unless required by law. A written summary of the key issues raised in submissions may be provided to the applicant or proponent upon conclusion of the public advertising period, to assist in addressing the issues/concerns raised. The summary of submissions will not include identification of the author/s of any submission.

Why wasn’t I notified of a development?

If development is taking place near you and you have not received notification of a proposed development, the most likely reasons are:

  • The development met all the statutory (legal) and policy requirements. In some cases, consultation of planning proposals is not required for certain types of development. A common example of this is where a residential development proposal satisfies the 'deemed to comply' criteria of the Residential Design Codes of WA (Part 1) otherwise known as the R-Codes. Some types of minor development are also exempt from requiring a planning approval. Examples of these can be found in Local Planning Policy 1.7 - Development Exempt from Approval Under Local Planning Scheme No. 4.
  • Your property is outside of the notification area as shown in Local Planning Policy 1.3. Most of the time, notification is only sent to immediately adjacent properties and/or those across the street. Please see the above policy for further information.
  • Your contact information on file at the City is incorrect. Notification is based on the most up to date information in the City’s records. If your contact information has changed and you have not updated it with the City’s Rates Department, you may not receive notification of planning proposals.

To find out more about the consultation requirements for your planning proposal, please refer to the above-mentioned local planning policies or contact the City's Planning Services team.

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