On 20 May 2020, the WA Government introduced into Parliament the Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2020 in response to the COVID19 pandemic. This will be the first of two tranches of amendments to the Planning and Development Act 2005.
Some of the key changes are;
- All subdivision applications which had been made before the State Emergency Declaration was made on 16 March 2020 (but approved after) will be automatically extended for 2 years.
- All subdivision applications which had been approved (and had not lapsed) before the State Emergency Declaration was made on 16 March 2020 will be automatically extended for 2 years.
- During the Recovery Period, the prospective applicant for any project which is seeking planning approval where the worth of project is $30 million or more or involves residential development of 100 or more dwellings or commercial development with the total net lettable area of 20 000 m2 or more space, can apply to the Minister to have the application determined by a new approval pathway run by the WAPC.
- The "Recovery period" is 18 months from the date that section 4 (which inserts a new part 17 "Special provisions for COVID-19 pandemic relating to development applications" of the Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2020 commences operations.
- The Minister can also recommend to the Premier that a direction be made moving an application which is in the process of being determined by the normal decision maker (usually a local government) to be determined by the WAPC. However this direction cannot be made if the determination has already been made or has been deemed to have been made.
- Although the Bill states that the determination by the WAPC under the proposed section 274 has the legal effect as if it was a decision of the normal decision maker, there are new provisions relating to the review to SAT of any decision may under section 274 by the WAPC.
The link to the Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2020 can be found here:
The link to the Explanatory Memorandum for the Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2020 can be found here:
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
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