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Development Applications – Exempt – COVID 19


Temporary planning changes in response to the COVID - 19 pandemic

Amendments to the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015, came into effect on 3 April 2020 providing the Minister for Planning with authority to temporarily override requirements and conditions set out in local planning schemes and existing conditions in planning approvals during a State of Emergency.

The City is now implementing the Minister for Planning’s Exemption Notice

On 8 April 2020 the Minister for Planning issued a Notice of Exemption in response to COVID-19 which outlines a range of temporary exemptions from certain approvals and requirements within the local planning framework.

These changes remove the need to obtain planning approval in order to support businesses, enable flexible responses in a changing environment and guarantee the provision of essential community services. They include:

  • medical or health-related facilities required in response to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • truck and logistic companies needing to deliver goods but currently with restricted loading and unloading times;
  • businesses seeking to adapt by changing their current approved use;
  • restaurants and cafes required to sell takeaway in contravention of current planning conditions;
  • people operating their businesses from residential zones;
  • the parking of commercial vehicles on residential properties;
  • businesses needing to change signage; 
  • provision of temporary workers' accommodation; and 
  • a blanket two-year extension for all current development approvals.

The new Emergency provisions (clause 78H of the Deemed Provisions) allow the Minister to amend the Notice of Exemption. Due to the evolving nature of the current State of Emergency, a review of the practical implementation of the Notice has been undertaken and it has subsequently been amended to:

  • clarify the intent of conditions relating to exemptions for:
  • certain uses and temporary works associated with these uses; and
  • timeframes relating to substantial commencement;
  • clarify the intent and effect of the interpretation and guidance conditions;;
  • specify who can use each exemption;
  • clarify requirements for local governments when utilising the exemptions relating to local planning policies; and
  • provide an additional exemption for agricultural workers accommodation in the Shires of Manjimup and Harvey.

The updated Notice of Exemption was signed by the Minister and came into effect on 30 April 2020.

These exemptions will remain in effect until 90 days after the end of the State of Emergency. 

The City is here to help you navigate these important changes to the planning framework.

Should you wish to take advantage of the exemptions please complete this form and forward to

Further information is provided on or if you have specific questions relating to the above matters please contact the City’s Development Approvals Unit on 9461 3333 between 8:30am to 5:00pm so we can provide assistance.