Town Planning is about people and the community, and aims to maintain and improve our quality of life. Council takes a great deal of care in planning our community with the aim of creating a high quality urban and rural environment.

Role Of Planning

Planning aims to guide the proper and orderly use and development of land within the Shire; in a way that serves private needs without compromising the public good.  There are two key components of land use planning:

  • Strategic Planning focuses on the big picture or long-term planning. It integrates a wide range of economic, social, environmental and infrastructure issues.
  • Statutory Planning or Development Control is the legal and approval arm of planning. Legislation and regulations ensure appropriate land use and development controls exist to effectively manage the process of land use, land supply and development.

An overview of the Western Australian planning system can be found on the WAPC website to help people find their way around what can be a complex system. This overview is useful to people who are interested in how the Western Australian planning system works - it describes the various roles, responsibilities and functions of the key players actively involved in the planning system.

Strategic Planning

At a state-wide level, the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) is responsible for the State Planning Strategy, which aims to coordinate and promote regional land use planning and development in Western Australia. The State Planning Strategy was completed in 1997 and is currently being reviewed.

Amelup Planning Strategy

Council and the WAPC adopted the Amelup Planning Strategy in 2009.  This Strategy is a specific plan for the Amelup area that responds to the increasing demand for tourism uses in this area.  This strategy plans for and manages the potential growth of the tourism land uses whilst maintaining the current character and qualities unique to the area.

Development Control

All land in the Shire of Gnowangerup is subject to Local Planning Scheme controls; all development and change of land use requires Planning Approval.  So if you are considering constructing a building or intend using land for a purpose different to its current use, please contact the Shire’s Planning Officer first.  A planning approval may be needed before taking any further action.

Local Planning Scheme No 2

Development within the Shire of Gnowangerup is administered through the Local Planning Scheme (the Scheme) and Local Planning Strategy. The Shire of Gnowangerup’s Local Planning Scheme No 2 was gazetted on 30th April 2010.

The Scheme consists of the Scheme Text and Scheme Maps.  It divides the Shire into zones to identify areas for particular uses and identifies land reserved for public purpose. Most importantly, the Scheme controls the types of uses and development allowed in different zones. The Scheme also sets out the requirements for planning approval, enforcement of the Scheme provisions and non-conforming uses.

Residential Design Codes of WA

The Residential Design Codes of WA (the R-Codes) are a State Planning Policy adopted under the Scheme, and are used to guide and control residential development throughout the State.  The R-Codes set a consistent standard for density of development, streetscape, boundary setbacks, privacy, height, parking and open space across the Shire and State. 

For more information contact the Shire’s Planning officer.

Planning Applications

A person proposing any form of development is required to make an application to Council for planning approval before obtaining a building permit or commencing operation of a use.

What Information is required with the Planning Application?

Council requires the following information to be submitted with a planning application:

  1. A completed Planning Application Form signed by the owner of the land.
  2. The planning application fee.
  3. A written description of the proposal.

You are encouraged to contact the Planning Officer early in the development process to discuss Council’s requirements and ensure a smooth process.

The Application process

Upon receipt of a planning application, Council’s Planning Officer will undertake an assessment of the proposed development that may involve referral to neighbouring landowners for comment.  Further information will be sought where necessary.  The application is then presented to Council for a decision.

Council holds meetings on the fourth Wednesday of each month (except January), however for an application to be considered in this monthly meeting, it must meet the agenda deadline. Please contact the Shire’s Planner for further information on meeting and agenda dates.

In considering an application for planning approval, the Council may grant approval, with or without such conditions or refuse to grant its approval. The applicant has a right of appeal against any decision of refusal or any condition imposed on a planning approval.

Rights of Appeal

Should an applicant feel aggrieved by any decision made by Council (including any condition of approval that might be imposed) there is a 28-day period from the date of the actual planning decision in which an Appeal may be lodged with the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).


It is recommended that applicants contact a licensed land surveyor to help prepare a plan of subdivision.

Subdivision applications are made to the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) and administered by the Department of Planning in Albany (98927333).  The term ‘subdivision' includes subdivision, amalgamation and boundary adjustments.

Subdivision application forms and a Guide to Subdivision Applications & Fees can be found on the Department's website.

In brief, the following process is followed:

  1. A subdivision application is made to the WAPC.
  2. The WAPC refers the application to all relevant service agencies for comment, including the Shire of Gnowangerup.  The agencies have 42 days to provide comment to the WAPC on the proposal.
  3. The recommendations of the Shire and service agencies will be collated by the WAPC and a conditional Subdivision Approval will be granted (if the application is satisfactory) or refused (if the application is unsatisfactory).
  4. The applicant and the Shire are notified of the WAPC's decision and any conditions of approval or the reasons for refusal.  The applicant has the right to appeal a refusal or any of the conditions that may be imposed on an approval.
  5. Any subdivision approval is valid for three to four years, within which time all conditions of approval must have been satisfied.  Please ensure you contact the Shire early to discuss what is expected in order to clear each condition.
  6. When the subdivision conditions have been completed, the applicant should contact the Shire and relevant service agencies to clear the subdivision conditions. Subdivision clearance fees are payable to the Shire at this time.
    1. When all authorities have cleared the conditions of approval, the endorsed Diagram or Plan of Survey is submitted to the WAPC for final approval. The endorsed plans are then lodged with Landgate for creation of the new titles.

A Summary of the Subdivision Process provides a simplified flow chart view of each step in the subdivision process. Additional information and subdivision guides, forms and fees can be found on the WAPC website.


In order to permit certain land use or development on a particular property that property may first need to be rezoned. Changing a zone within the Local Planning Scheme can be a complex and lengthy process involving the Council, the Department of Planning, the Western Australian Planning Commission, the Environmental Protection Authority and other servicing and governmental authorities.

A Scheme Amendment (rezoning) must first be initiated by Council, approved by the EPA, publically advertised and finally endorsed and gazetted by the Minister for Planning.  Scheme Amendments normally require a minimum of 12 months to process through the local and state government systems, but more commonly take between 18 to 24 months to complete.

A Summary of the Scheme Amendment Process provides a simplified table of each step in the subdivision process with indicative timeframes.  The scheme amendment process can be further explained by contacting the Shire's Planning Officer.


The Shire of Gnowangerup Municipal Inventory of Heritage Places (MI) provides information relating to places of heritage value and is a record of the history of the Shire and the places that reflect the story of the district.  In particular this register identifies the places of local heritage value throughout the Shire. The Gnowangerup Shire MI is currenlty being reviewed. If you would like to see a copy of the MI, please contact the Shire office. 

Details of these places can be found on the State Heritage register at

Any development of, or adjacent to, an identified heritage place - of either State or Local significance - may require planning approval, and you are encouraged to contact the Shire Planning Officer to discuss your proposal.

Forms, Fees, Plans & Links

Many of the documents below have been linked in previous information. They are reproduced here for ease of reference.

Planning Application Process

Application for Planning Approval Form

2022/23 Fees and Charges


WAPC - Subdivision Guides, Forms & Fees
WAPC - Subdivision Application Guide
WAPC - Subdivision Application Form
Subdivisional Development Guidelines

Local Development Plans

Lots 1 & 30 Aylmore Street, Lots 8 & 103 Formby Street and Lot 31 House Street

State Planning

Residential Design Codes of WA 2008

WAPC document – “Introduction to the Western Australian Planning System”


Western Australian Planning Commission

State Administrative Tribunal 

State Heritage Office