THE West Australian Government last week announced that regulations to make Development Assessment Panels (DAPs) more flexible will come into effect on May 1.
Under the changes, applicants can choose to have development applications valued between $2 million and $10 million determined by a DAP (previously $3 million to $7 million), and $2 million to $20 million in the City of Perth (previously $10 million to $15 million).
The mandatory threshold will be $10 million and above, increased from $7 million, and the City of Perth threshold will be $20 million and above, up from $15 million.
Planning Minister John Day said the new thresholds would create a more flexible and transparent planning system.
"By adjusting these thresholds, the planning system is providing applicants with more flexibility to choose whether their application is determined by a DAP or the relevant local government," Mr Day said.
"At a community level, the reduction of the opt-in threshold recognises that some smaller priced developments may benefit from being reviewed by an independent panel.
"Similarly, increasing the mandatory thresholds will allow applications which would have previously been required to be determined by a DAP to be determined by the local government."
The regulations will also allow local governments to refer an otherwise excluded multiple or grouped dwelling proposal to a DAP for determination, if it falls within the optional thresholds.
The Minister said the government was undertaking comprehensive reforms to ensure the State's planning system was one of the most streamlined and efficient in the country.
The changes follow broad public and stakeholder consultation undertaken through the Planning Makes it Happen: Phase Two discussion paper and associated DAP review.