Where to start
Development approval (sometimes called planning approval) and building permits are two separate development application processes that may be required before a development can commence.
Development includes: the erection, construction or demolition of any building or structure; erection, placement and display of advertisements or signs; building alterations or additions; excavation work; and establishing or changing the use of a site.
In some cases both development and building approvals will be required and in those cases, development approval is needed before a building permit can be issued.
Development approval is always needed for development within heritage listed areas or if affecting heritage listed buildings. Information to assist you is provided below.
On this page, see what is required to apply for development approval and also information about some common developments, including subdivision.
There may be times when these approvals are not needed as the development may be exempt from this requirement. Refer to FAQ & Information Sheets, Policies, Planning Services and Building Services for more information.
If you are considering undergoing work on your property or starting/changing a use (e.g. home business) please check if you require development approval by contacting the City of Albany by:
- phone 6820 3040
- or by visiting the Health, Building and Planning enquiry counter at the City of Albany North Road Administration building between the hours of 9am and 4:30pm Monday to Friday.
Click to apply for a Building Permit
To apply for development approval the following information is required:-
- A completed Application For Development Approval form;
- Two copies of accurate, scaled site plan, floor plan and elevations of the proposal;
- A letter explaining the nature of your application including type and colour of building materials to be used if it includes a new building or addition; or the type of business or use being proposed (include number of staff , parking arrangements, hours of operation, impact on surrounding neighbourhood etc); also include justification for any R-Codes variations you may be requesting and advise how it meets the Design Principles of each element varied;
- Adjoining neighbours comment form (if applicable); and
- Payment of the application fee.
If an Application for Development Approval is refused, the owner or applicant has the right to appeal the decision at the State Administrative Tribunal, in accordance with the Planning and Development Act 2005 (WA) Part 14. An appeal should be lodged within 28 days of determination.
For more information on development approval please see FAQ & Information Sheets. Planning Officers are available to discuss planning proposals and preliminary plans either in person at our North Road office Monday to Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm or by phone on 6820 3040. Alternatively our Planning Department can be contacted via email email@example.com.
- Application for Development Approval Form (297KB)These 'Application for Development' forms comply with the format specified in the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 and have been produced to allow completion electronically. Please NOTE*. Payment must be made before this application can be processed.
- Development Application Checklist (332KB)This form will help you prepare and provide the information needed to be lodged with your application form. Please provide as much information as possible to avoid delays in processing.
- Adjoining Owners Comment Form - Development Applications Requiring Assessment (42KB)Development application requiring assessment. Form to be completed by adjoining owner / neighbour. Please be aware that you are under no obligation to sign this form unless you want your comment to be considered.
Ancillary Accommodation means a self-contained dwelling on the same lot as a single house, which may be attached to, integrated with, or detached from the Single House (as per Residential Design Codes). Ancillary accommodation may not need planning consent if it complies with the R-Codes and is in a Residential zone, otherwise an Application for Development Approval is required.
Initial requirements to be met:
- The lot is to be greater than 450m2
- A maximum internal floor area of 70m2 (not inclusive of a garage, carport or verandahs)
- The unit shall be connected to the same effluent disposal system as the main house
For further requirements refer to our Ancillary Accommodation policy.
Non-habitable structures are not attached to a dwelling and commonly known as outbuildings, sheds, gazebos, carports, sea containers and shade houses. To check what size shed you are permitted to build on your property, please firstly check your zone here then refer to the Non-Habitable Structures policy listed below. You will be required to apply for both planning consent and a building permit in most cases. Refer to FAQ & Information Sheets or contact us for further information.
- Planning: Non-Habitable Structures (170KB)Non-Habitable Structures Policy
The City of Albany Fencing Local Law 2010 states;
"A person shall not, without the written consent of the Building Surveyor, erect a free standing fence greater than 1200mm in height, within the front setback area of a residential lot within the district".
A dividing fence is a fence that separates the land of different owners whether the fence is on the common boundary of adjoining lands or on a line other than the common boundary. A dividing fence does not include a retaining wall.
Dividing fences are regulated by the Dividing Fences Act 1961 (WA) and not controlled by Local Government other than what is contained in the Local Law.
Council will not arbitrate disputes between neighbours on dividing fences, legal advice should be sought for those experiencing problems with neighbours.
- Fencing Local Law 2010 (162KB)Published in the Government Gazette 24 September 2010.
- Planning: Fencing Information Sheet - Front and Dividing Information Sheet (1MB)Provides information about approved front fences in residential areas and dividing fences.
A retaining wall is a structure designed and constructed to support any material, usually soil, where the natural ground level has been altered by cutting (lowering) or filling (raising).
A fence should not be used to retain soil unless it has been specifically designed to do so.
Refer to FAQ & Information Sheets for more information on when an approval is needed.
- Building Services: Retaining Walls Information Sheet (190KB)Provides important information about retaining walls.
Planning consent may be required depending on your property zoning and the positioning of the tank. Refer to FAQ & Information Sheets for more information.
Please contact our Planning Department for further information, property zoning and setbacks. A building permit will be required if the tank is 5000 litres or larger.
The zoning and size of your property will affect its suitability for subdivision. Once it has been determined that you can subdivide, we recommend that you contact a land surveyor and/or a planning consultant for further discussion and advice. Please contact our Planning Department or visit us at the Planning Building and Health counter at our North Road office for further advice.
The City of Albany is a referral agency for the subdivision process, with final determination being issued by the Western Australian Planning Commission. The City of Albany also confirms that subdivision conditions have been completed to the appropriate standard prior to title being issued.
The Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) is responsible for approving all subdivision applications in Western Australia. The WAPC has introduced a standard plan process for strata, freehold and survey strata subdivisions.
All subdivision applications are referred to The City of Albany to provide comment and recommended conditions.
Subdivision, amalgamation and strata title application and process information can be obtained from the Western Australian Planning Commission.
The City of Albany has adopted the Local Government Guidelines for Subdivisional Development (IPWEA, November 2017) as the basis for the design and construction of all civil infrastructure associated with the subdivision and development of land.
The City of Albany's Subdivision & Development Guidelines 2018 has been developed as an addendum to the IPWEA Guidelines.
- Subdivision and Development Guidelines 2018 (2MB)Subdivision and Development Guidelines 2018. Addendum to Institution of Public Works Engineering Australia, Local Government Guidelines for Subdivision Development November 2017, Edition 2.3 These guidelines relate to the design and construction of all civil infrastructure associated with the subdivision and development of land within the City of Albany.
Before your subdivision can be endorsed by the Western Australian Planning Commission and titles issued, you will need to apply to the City of Albany for a subdivision clearance.
You will need to complete a Subdivision Clearance Request Form (available in the guidelines below) and submit the required fee to the City of Albany. The City will inspect the property and ensure the conditions set out by the Western Australian Planning Commission have been met.
Albany has a unique heritage as the first permanent European settlement in Western Australia. However, the heritage of the Albany area extends beyond early settlement and the much publicised military connections, resulting in a rich and diverse legacy documenting the evolution of the area we know today. Heritage is important for the community and has environmental, economic and social benefits as a resource for present and future generations.
The City of Albany recognises the importance of identifying, assessing and managing heritage places within its local government area. For further information, click on the links below.
The City of Albany's Local Planning Scheme No. 1 Heritage List comprises around 100 properties, which are of cultural heritage significance and worthy of conservation.
The Planning team is currently working to provide this information via our intramaps service, in the meantime, to find out if your property is on the heritage list please email firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on heritage listed properties is contained within the Heritage Survey (formerly Municipal Heritage Inventory) - see document links below.
The objectives of the Heritage List are to:
- Facilitate the conservation of places of heritage value,
- Ensure that development occurs with due regard to identified heritage values in the interest of the community,
- Development of a heritage listed property.
Most types of development and/or maintenance of places listed on the City's Local Planning Scheme 1 Heritage List require development approval. In addition, those places listed on the State Register of Heritage Places also require referral to and comment from the State Heritage Office
As part of the planning application process, and prior to the approval of any proposal for the development of a heritage listed place, the City may require the preparation of a Heritage Assessment or Heritage Impact Statement which identifies and considers the following:
- Heritage significance of the place,
- Impact of the proposed development on the heritage significance,
- Conservation needs and recommendations.
If you require additional information about heritage listings, contact Development Services on (08) 9841 9333 or email email@example.com.
- Municipal Heritage Inventory: Inner Albany Areas A-M (10MB)City of Albany Municipal Heritage Inventory, Management of places Inner Albany Areas A-M
- Municipal Heritage Inventory: Inner Albany Areas P-Z (11MB)City of Albany Municipal Heritage Inventory List of Places, Inner Albany Areas P-Z
- Municipal Heritage Inventory: Outer Albany Areas (5MB)city Of Albany Municipal Heritage Inventory , List of Places
The Heritage Survey or Municipal Heritage Inventory (MHI) as it was previously known, is a database that records and provides invaluable information on heritage listed places and places of cultural heritage significance. Local governments are required to prepare and maintain a heritage survey to recognise the heritage importance of places to the local community.
Information from the Heritage Survey database can be accessed online through the State Heritage Office's Inherit. You can also view the Heritage Protection Policy by clicking on the link below.
Conservation of properties categorised as having heritage importance require routine maintenance and repairs to ensure they retain their heritage value. Properties built prior to the 1940’s were generally constructed with traditional materials, for example, lime-based mortar products. Modern methods of maintenance and repair are therefore not suitable for heritage listed properties. For information on maintenance and repair click on this link and for a Guide to Conservation and Maintenance, click here.
The State Heritage Office has produced the following information brochures with regards to development of heritage properties: