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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 the Heritage Council for advice. Local planning policies, design guidelines, area plans and other planning documents can also be sent to Heritage Services for comment and assistance in relation 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 Heritage Services, 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' urban 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 the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).

Heritage Services has 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 to all local planning schemes.
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 also contains provisions allowing the scheme to be varied for heritage places, the ability to put in place a heritage agreement, and a new 'heritage conservation notice'.  Heritage Services can provide further advice on application of these provisions.

The deemed provisions maintain a requirement for all places in the State Register, a heritage list or within a heritage area, to seek approval for proposed works.  This allows development proposals to be reviewed for their impact on heritage values and the appropriate response provided. 

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

Heritage Strategies

Heritage strategies are a recommended part of the local government management toolkit, and assist in identifying priority projects and work areas.  A heritage strategy can also support the integrated planning and reporting framework undertaken by each local government, particularly in relation to objectives and strategies identified in the Strategic Community Plan and Asset Management Plan.

WALGA has produced a Model Heritage Strategy for Local Governments.

Below are some examples of local government heritage strategies:


 Local government area STRATEGY
Cue Cue Heritage Strategy 2013 
Dardanup Dardanup Heritage Strategy 2013-2031 
Gosnells  Gosnells History and Heritage Strategy 
Stirling  Stirling Heritage Management Strategy 2016 
Swan  Swan Heritage Strategic Plan 2013 
Toodyay  Toodyay Heritage Strategy 2014 
Vincent  Vincent Heritage Strategic Plan 2013-2017 
Yalgoo  Yalgoo Heritage Strategy 2013 


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

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Our Office hours are from Monday to Friday 8:30 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

Locked Bag 2506

T: (08) 6551 8002
Freecall (regional): 1800 52 4000
F: (08) 6552 4001

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