Development approval (also known as planning approval) and building permits are two separate processes. In most cases both planning approval and a building permit will be required, however, there are some instances when only one is required. When both are required, you must receive planning approval first before you can apply for a building permit.
Planning approval required for most building works and/or when changing the use of a lot (or portion of a lot). A partial list of developments that do not require planning approval can be found in Schedule A of the City’s Local Planning Scheme No. 4.
If you are looking at undertaking work on your property or changing the use of a site (e.g. shop, office, etc.) and you have questions about whether planning approval is required, please contact the City’s Planning and Development Services on 9432 9999 or email@example.com. When emailing, please include a draft copy of your plans or a rough sketch showing dimensions and where on the lot the proposal will be located (including distances from any boundaries) so that we may better assist you.
A building permit is required for any works of a structural nature. Please see the building permits page for more information.
Subdivision approval is granted by the Western Australian Planning Commission. Please see the subdivision page for more information.
Prior to proposing a development or change of use there are a few things you should know about your property that will help when making your planning application. These include:
- What is the zoning and density coding (R-coding) of your property?
- Are there any important planning policies that apply to the site?
- Is the property heritage listed?
You can check all of these things by locating your property on the City’s online mapping system. This information, and more, is included on the 'planning' and 'heritage' tabs of the mapping system. Once you know which policies apply to your property, you can find the City’s local planning policies on the policies page. Please note some local planning policies have more specific requirements for certain types of development. For example, the Hilton Garden Suburb Precinct has different requirements for front fences than the rest of Fremantle.
You can check all of these things by locating your property on the City . This information, and more, is included on the 'planning' and 'heritage' modules. The page is also helpful for copies of any of the City's local planning policies.
The following information is required to lodge a planning application:
- A completed Application for development approval
- 4 x copies of scaled site plans, floor plans and elevations of the proposal (see Information required for planning applications)
- Payment of the application fee (see Information required for planning applications)
- A letter or submission justifying the proposal. This should address any variations to legislation or policies.
Additional forms required for signage and liquor licence applications:
- Signage planning application: Additional information for signage
- Liquor Licence application: Application for Section 40 Liquor Licence
For development assessment panel applications see development assessment panel application requirements.
Please note: developments valued over $2 million require an EFT transfer for payment of planning application fees when such fees exceed $10 000. Please contact the City's customer service staff prior to lodging an application.
Planning applications can be lodged in person or by mail. To lodge a planning application by mail, post all required documentation above and payment to:
City of Fremantle
PO BOX 807
Fremantle WA 6959
There are a number of legislative and policy documents that provide criteria that are used to assess planning applications. Some of the most commonly used documents are:
- Residential Design Codes
- City of Fremantle planning policies
- Local planning scheme No 4 Text
- Local Planning Scheme No.4 Map (see planning and heritage modules)
- Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015
Planning applications are assessed against the requirements set out in the relevant legislation or policies. The City will either approve or refuse an application based on how it meets the legislative requirements. Planning applications may be approved or refused either through delegated authority (meaning certain City officers can make a decision) or by the City of Fremantle Council.
Where a proposal does not meet legislative or policy requirements and has the potential to affect surrounding properties, the City will contact nearby owners and residents to ask for comments on the proposal. Comments received through that process are taken into account when making a decision on the proposal.