Building & Planning

Applying for Development Approval

What is Development?

Development is defined in the Planning & Development Act 2005 as follows:

“development means the development or use of any land, including:
a) any demolition, erection, construction, alteration of or addition to any building or structure on the land
b) the carrying out on the land of any excavation or other works
c) in the case of a place to which a Conservation Order made under section 59 of the Heritage of Western   Australia Act 1990 applies, any act or thing that – 
 (i) is likely to change the character of that place or the external appearance of any building or
 (ii) would constitute an irreversible alteration of the fabric of any building”.

Planning legislation considers development to relate not only to physical works but to the actual use of any land or building. Development requires approval where a planning scheme specifically states that it does.  The Shire of Ashburton Town Planning Scheme No. 7 is the primary document that sets development standards within the Shire.

Unless the Town Planning Scheme or other legislation exemption applies, you must obtain Development Approval before you undertake any development or change of landuse (e.g. opening of printing works or constructing a duplex development).

The best way to find out whether you need Development Approval is to contact the Shire’s Principal Planner.

Development Approval must not be confused with a Building Licence.  A Building Licence generally relates to only the actual construction plans of a building or development. Council’s Building Surveyor can further advise you on this.

If Development Approval is required, it must be obtained before a Building Licence can be issued (however, both applications can be made at the same time).

For more information on Development and the legislative framework in WA visit the Department of Planning 

Submit a Development Application 

Development Application assessment process



Last updated: 9 January 2018