City of Perth planning scheme takes shape

THE City of Perth planning scheme has been a long time coming, but recent news that Planning Minister Alannah MacTiernan has ticked off on ‘planning scheme 2’ means the current out-of-date scheme may soon be shelved.

As it stands, all land use and development in the city is controlled by the 1985 City Planning Scheme, which was introduced when the city’s boundaries stretched through the suburbs as far as City Beach.

The nearly-20-years-old City of Perth planning scheme has long been a bugbear of developers, with many inner-city developers complaining that the current system is not consistent and is ambiguous.

The City Planning Scheme 2 is to be adopted subject to a number of amendments, which address interpretation and calculation of plot ratio and seek to clarify the relationship of the scheme to residential or R-codes.

In a process that is expected to take up to two months, the City of Perth is now required to submit the amended scheme to the minister by October 21. The scheme will then be forwarded to the WA Planning Commission for gazetting.

Lord Mayor Dr Peter Nattrass said implementation of the scheme would bring greater clarity and certainty to planning processes in the City of Perth area.

“That plan is out of date and not suited to a progressive, capital city situation,” he said.

Dr Natrass said the new scheme would resolve a number of ongoing problems that the city experienced under the old scheme. 

He said the new scheme would offer a substantial benefit to the council, city developers, business and property owners by providing certainty about matters such as plot ratio and the application of State planning requirements for residential development and the residential design codes.

Property Council of WA executive director Joe Lenzo said that, although there remained a number of issues with scheme 2 – including plot ratio and height restrictions in the Northbridge precinct – these concerns could be worked through after the scheme had been gazzetted.

“At least it gives some certainty to developers and in that sense it has been a long time coming,” he said.

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