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Referrals and Advice

One of our main responsibilities is to assist in reducing adverse impact on heritage places. Our advice on planning matters is generally based on identified Heritage Council or State policies, such as State Planning Policy 3.5, Historic Heritage Conservation.

Any scheme amendment or new local planning scheme should be referred to us for advice. Local planning policies, design guidelines, area plans and other planning documents can also be sent in for comment and assistance, particularly if they relate to heritage places or issues.

When undertaking works for places on the State Register, a development referral is required. For further information, please see Development Referrals.

If you are unsure about whether or not to refer a planning matter, please contact us, or email:

State Planning Policy 3.5

Local Government has a pivitol role to play in heritage conservation management, as the majority of Western Australia's cultural heritage places are significant at a local level. That role is fulfilled largely, although not solely, through local governments' town planning function.

State Planning Policy 3.5, Historic Heritage Conservation (SPP3.5), sets out the principles of sound and responsible planning for heritage protection.  It can act as a default policy for local governments in relation to heritage, and is usually given significant weight in any determination by SAT.

We have developed guidelines and practice notes to assist local governments to implement SPP3.5. These relate to heritage inventories, assessment of local heritage places and local planning policies.

Heritage in the Planning Regulations

The Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 (the Regulations) came into effect on 19 October 2015, replacing the Town Planning Regulations 1967. The Regulations set out how local planning strategies and schemes are prepared and amended.  Schedule 1 contains the model provisions for local planning schemes and operates in the same way as the previous Model Scheme Text, and Schedule 2 contains the deemed provisions which automatically apply.
Part 3 of the model provisions is the section most commonly thought of as the ‘heritage’ part, as it covers the creation of heritage lists and areas, and is titled 'Heritage Protection'.  It does contain some additional requirements and enables Scheme provisions to be varied for heritage places, but Part 3 does not include the key development controls that protect heritage places.  Caution should therefore be taken when amending local planning schemes that are not consistent with the model provisions.

Local Planning Policies

A Local Planning Policy (LPP) is one of the tools available for implementing the Local Planning Scheme.  An LPP is a tool for day-to-day decision-making, giving guidance as to how discretion under a scheme may be exercised.

In an LPP, a local government can state its intentions for implementation of the local scheme, particularly in relation to a heritage area or heritage areas designated through the scheme.  However, if a local government is satisfied that State Planning Policy 3.5, Historic Heritage Conservation, gives sufficient direction for decision-making, there may be no need to establish an LPP for local heritage.  The following document is a guide to good practice: Local Planning Policies – Practice Notes and Examples

 The following are a sample of LPPs for heritage protection. 

 Local Government Area Policy
Bridgetown-Greenbushes, Shire of Bridgetown Special Design Heritage Precinct
Bunbury, City of  Development Application Process for Heritage Places
Bunbury, City of  Heritage Conservation and Development
Bunbury, City of Stirling Street Heritage Area
Claremont, Town of Retention of Residential Character
Claremont, Town of Retention of Residential Heritage
Fremantle, City of Procedure for Amending the MHI & HL 
Greater Geraldton, City of Heritage Conservation and Development
Kalgoorlie, City of Development Guidelines for Heritage Precincts and Places
Perth, City of King St Heritage Precinct Design Guidelines
Perth, City of William St Conservation Area Design Guidelines 
Perth, City of Heritage Policy
Toodyay, Shire of Central Toodyay Heritage Area
Stirling, City of Character Retention Guidelines Mt Lawley, Menora & Inglewood
Subiaco, City of Additions & Amendments to the LGI & Scheme Register
Subiaco, City of Chesters' Subdivision Conservation Area
Subiaco, City of Heritage Impact Referrals
Subiaco, City of Development Guidelines for Residential Conservation Areas
Swan, City of Guildford Conservation Precinct 
Vincent, City of Development Guidelines for Heritage & Adjacent Properties
Wanneroo, City of Heritage Places Local Planning Policy

Design Guidelines

Design is often the main subject of an LPP for heritage, particularly where the document focuses on new development within a heritage area.  Design guidelines can be useful in providing detailed advice to property owners for development within an area, and should detail the procedures for making applications for development approval within the area.

Below are some interstate examples of design guidelines:


 Local government area design guidelines
Ashfield Council, NSW Haberfield Conservation Area, Development Control Plan
Brimbank City Council, VIC Brimbank Heritage Design Guidelines
Heritage Victoria Heritage Overlay Guidelines - Demolition
Heritage Victoria Heritage Overlay Guidelines - New Buildings in Heritage Areas
Heritage Victoria Heritage Overlay Guidelines - External Alterations
Hobsons Bay Council, VIC Guidelines for Infill Development in Heritage Areas in Hobsons Bay
NSW Heritage Office and AIA Design in Context
Randwick City Council, NSW Development Control Plan, West Kensington Heritage Conservation Area 
Willoughby Council, NSW Controls for Heritage Items and Heritage Conservation Areas


Lessons from SAT

Reviewing the outcome of appeals to the WA State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) can provide valuable information on how current planning legislation and processes are viewed.  This can help you to decide what course of action to take in relation to particular development applications or proposals.

Many heritage-related planning decisions made by State Government and local government have been reviewed by the SAT, and prior to this, the Town Planning Appeals Tribunal (TPAT).  

Please click here to view a summary of heritage-related planning appeals to date.

inHerit - an online portal for heritage listings

Contact Us

Our Office hours are from Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

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Heritage is integral to the vibrant life and prosperity of Western Australia.
General Enquiries

Level 2, 491 Wellington Street, Perth WA 6000

PO Box 7479
Cloisters Square PO WA 6850

T: (08) 6552 4000
Freecall (regional): 1800 52 4000
F: (08) 6552 4001

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