Promising Future for WA’s Big Home Build: A streamlined approvals system for small, medium and large projects

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Wednesday 17 October 2023


Promising Future for WA’s Big Home Build: A streamlined approvals system for small, medium and large projects

Western Australia’s journey toward meeting its housing needs for future growth took a significant step forward today as Planning Reform Phase 2 was unveiled.

Sandra Brewer, Executive Director of the Property Council WA, hailed the announced reforms as a welcome boost for residential construction confidence.

“The demand for housing in WA is evident, but the pathways to deliver these homes are often hindered by unnecessary layers of approvals. The reforms unveiled today as part of Planning Reform Phase 2 will play a vital role in accelerating the delivery of much-needed, high-quality housing projects across the state,” said Ms Brewer.

Key improvements announced included the expansion of development assessment panel eligibility, the creation of a permanent significant development pathway, and improvements to assessment requirements for single residences, home improvements and ancillary dwellings.

“These reforms not only enhance the efficiency and professionalism of our planning systems but also present a multitude of opportunities for investors, a crucial factor in ensuring a robust rental supply,” Ms Brewer explained.

“Every home builder will benefit from these reforms – whether they be small, medium or large. Families hoping to build a single home will now have access to a streamlined assessment process with their plans being assessed by professional planning practitioners at Council, rather than elected members. Medium density projects will be assessed by Development Assessment Panels, which have proven to enhance planning decision-making efficiency, especially in regions facing limited planning resources.

“Critically, large and complex developments will be assessed through a special development pathway. The instatement of a special development pathway is a crucial step to ensure the planning system can be agile in responding to development opportunities.

“Streamlining the approval process and optimising the allocation of planning resources will lead to quicker decisions and improved transparency.”

With the demand for new housing in WA at unprecedented levels due to various factors, there is a strong and enduring need for housing, offering significant investment opportunities in the years ahead.

“The surge in demand for housing is a testament to the appeal of Western Australia and industry stands ready to provide homes,” Ms Brewer continued.

“As demand continues to rise, we are already seeing new builders entering the market, bringing fresh capabilities and innovative solutions. Encouraging this surge of talent will improve the availability of high-quality residential construction projects, meeting the evolving demands and expectations of homebuyers.

“While recent years have seen fierce competition for labour amidst a robust state government infrastructure pipeline, many of these initiatives are nearing completion.

“The change in forward work demand is freeing up the workforce to pivot towards housing projects, representing a more concentrated effort to address the escalating demand for residential construction in WA,” Ms Brewer concluded.


Media contact: Emily Young | 0475 161 328 | [email protected]