Planning FAQ | City of Fremantle

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Planning FAQ


What is required to make a planning application?

A planning application is made by submitting the following documents to the City of Fremantle:

Information required for planning applications provides further details of the information required for making a planning application including the forms and fee required. For development assessment panel applications please see development assessment panel application requirements.

Please note for developments valued over $2m please contact customer service staff prior to lodging an application as application fees requiring payment over $10 000 will require an EFT transfer for payment.

Application forms:

How are planning applications assessed?

The City assesses a proposed development application and/or land use planning application against certain criteria to approve or refuse an application. Applications are either determined by delegated authority or by council. The criteria used for assessment includes:

Where a development has the potential to affect surrounding properties, the City will undergo a consultation process. Comments received through that process are taken into account when making a decision on the development.

How do I track a planning application?

Track a planning or building application through the City's online application tracking. Searches can be made by application number or through other fields including dates (from and to), suburb and plan number.

What are development assessment panels?

Please click here for information on development assessment panels (DAP) and any current applications.

What other agencies or organisations require approval?

Development applications may also require approval from other government agencies, such as but not limited to:

  • Western Australian Planning Commission
  • Heritage Council of Western Australia
  • Swan River Trust
  • Department of Planning.

Where possible the City will help applicants identify any relevant agencies. However, it is the responsibility of the applicant to ascertain which approvals are required before lodging an application. Applicants will need to contact the relevant agencies to find out what their obligations are.

Is planning approval the same as a building permit?

No. Planning approval is a different process to a building permit. In most cases an approved development application would also need a building permit before the development can commence. The building permit relates only to the detailed construction and engineering of buildings and other structures.  

A development which receives planning approval should match the application for a building permit. For more information on building permits please click here.

What happens once a development application is lodged?

Once an application is lodged, the City's planning services team will advise the applicant within 10 days, by mail, of the officer dealing with the application. This officer is the contact for that application and will contact the applicant if further information is required.

The application may be referred to other government agencies and/or other relevant third parties for comments and advice. Conditions resulting from the referral process may be included in a planning approval.

In some cases, it will also be necessary to advertise an application in accordance with the requirements of the local planning scheme prior to a determination. Advertising can take the form of written notice being served on surrounding owners and occupiers of land, newspaper advertising and/or a sign being placed on site. A submission period of not less than 14 days is required, during which time written submissions on the proposal will be accepted by the City. Any written submissions received will be considered as part of the assessment process along with the application.

How long does the planning process take?

The exact time taken to determine applications will depend on the type of application, whether it requires advertising and what level of delegation is required to determine it. Some applications cannot or may not be determined by the City's staff and will be referred to the Planning Services Committee (PSC) for determination. Appeal rights exist 60 days after lodgement if no advertising is required or 90 days if an application requires advertising. Council may approve (with or without conditions), or refuse an application. To track a planning application please see the City's online application tracking page.

The following types of applications will be referred to PSC:

  • Applications where objections have been received on relevant planning grounds and cannot be addressed by conditions of approval giving consideration to the objections raised.
  • Applications involving the demolition of a building on the Municipal Heritage Inventory (MHI).
  • Determining an application for variation of planning approval where the original decision has been determined by the council or PSC unless exempted by the chief executive officer (CEO).
  • Determining an application for planning approval in relation to a non-conforming use.
  • Other applications as determined by the CEO.

How do I book an appointment with a planning officer?

If you wish to discuss your proposal in person with a Duty Planner between 10am and 3pm, Monday to Friday, please contact the customer service centre on 1300 693 736 to make an appointment. Appointments are available Monday to Friday 9.00am to 4.00pm and must be booked in advance, no same day appointments are available. Alternatively you can discuss your proposal or query with a Duty Planner over the phone on 1300 693 736 or via email at

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