Planning Advice

Planning Approvals

What is a Planning Approval?

A Planning Approval is required before developing in the City of Cockburn (some exemptions do apply). This can include construction of a house, shed, undertaking a home occupation or business and includes the use of an existing building. A Planning Approval is separate from a Building Permit and that in many instances, both planning approval and a building permit are required prior to the commencement of development.

Planning approval is required to ensure that any development undertaken within the City of Cockburn complies with the relevant planning requirements and legislation. This includes the City’s Town Planning Scheme No. 3 (TPS 3), Residential Design Codes (R-Codes), Local Planning Policies and other statutory documents.

When do I need Planning Approval?

You will need to lodge an application for planning approval prior to undertaking development or use of land within the City unless the type of development or use is exempt from requiring planning approval. A list of exemptions can be obtained at the Town Planning Scheme web page.

If you’re unsure as to whether your proposal requires planning approval, please contact the City’s Statutory Planning Service.

When are Retrospective Planning Approval's required?
Retrospective planning approval is required when development or use of land starts without prior planning approval. Whoever undertook the development without obtaining planning approval must lodge an application for the works that have occurred.

If the party who undertook the works without planning approval no longer owns or has an association with the land, it is the responsibility of the current landowner to seek and obtain retrospective planning approval.

To lodge an application with the City for a retrospective planning application, the development application forms must be completed, the retrospective fee paid and relevant plans and details relating to the proposal provided.

Who do I need to contact for what?

Planning related advice

If you need advice on any planning related issues, please visit the City’s Administration Building and a Planning Officer will be available. You do not need to book an appointment prior. Planning issues you may want to discuss include:

  • The legislative requirements of the Town Planning Scheme No. 3 and Planning and Development (Local Planning Scheme) Regulations 2015
  • ​The planning approval process:
    • Types of Development Applications
    • What is required to lodge a Development Application/ Local Development Plan/ Development Assessment Panel Application/ Clearance Application/ Written Planning Advice/ Liquor Licences/ Built Strata Applications
    • Lodging an application
    • Fees and payment methods
    • Exemptions under the Development (Local Planning Scheme) Regulations 2015
  • Bushfire regulations including whether a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Assessment Report is required with a Development Application
  • Unauthorised structures/land uses.
Compliance advice

If you need advice on anything compliance related, please book an appointment in advance with one of the City’s Development Compliance Officers.

  • Investigating alleged non-compliance with Development Approval conditions
  • Investigating alleged non-compliance under Town Planning Scheme No. 3 and Planning and Development (Local Planning Scheme) Regulations 2015
  • Site inspections by the City’s Development Compliance Officers to determine whether retrospective approval can be granted by the City
  • What is required to lodge a Retrospective Development Application to obtain retrospective approval from the City.
Development Assessment Panel (DAP) application advice

If you are lodging a Development Assessment Panel (DAP) application, you MUST schedule a preliminary meeting with a Senior Planning Officer at the City.

Find out more about the approval process for new developments in Cockburn.

View video transcript

How do I submit a Planning Application?

  • Online via eProperty (if you have previously lodged for a Planning Application use your login email and password)
  • By post
  • In person at the City's Administration Building.

Information sheets 

If you are considering development in the City of Cockburn, you may wish to read the City’s information sheets to find out what type of development can be considered and what is expected to be provided to the City when applying for that land use or development.

More information and contact

Please contact Statutory Planning services for more information on development applications, approvals and advice on 08 9411 3444 or at [email protected]



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Spearwood 6163

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Western Australia, 6965

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Cockburn Nyungar moort Beeliar boodja-k kaadadjiny. Koora, yeyi, benang baalap nidja boodja-k kaaradjiny.
Ngalak kaadatj dayin boodja, kep wer malayin. Ngalak kaadatj koora koora wer yeyi ngalang birdiya.

City of Cockburn acknowledges the Nyungar people of Beeliar boodja. Long ago, now and in the future they care for Country.
We acknowledge a continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to the Elders, past and present.