What is a Local Planning Strategy?

    A Local Planning Strategy outlines the community’s vision, aspirations, and objectives for land use and development across the Shire over a 15-year period.

    The Strategy has also been informed by the Strategic Community Plan as well as community feedback received during preliminary consultation for the Strategy during 2020 and 2021, which included online surveys and in-person events across the Shire.

    The purpose of a Local Planning Strategy, as required by the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015, is to:

    a) Set out long-term town and regional planning directions;

    b) Apply relevant state and regional planning policies; and

    c) Provide the rationale for changes to the Local Planning Scheme.

    Page 9 of the draft Local Planning Strategy contains a more detailed overview of the WA planning framework, including the roles of the Shire’s Local Planning Strategy and Scheme.

    Why is the Shire reviewing its Local Planning Strategy?

    Under State legislation, all local governments are required to review their Local Planning Strategy and their Local Planning Scheme periodically to ensure that it is consistent with the community’s aspirations and considers contemporary responses to planning, environmental, economic and social issues. The outcomes and recommendations of an updated Local Planning Strategy will inform the preparation of the Shire’s new Local Planning Scheme and review of Shire planning policies.

    While considerable aspects of the Shire’s 2011 Local Planning Strategy are still of relevance, there have been key changes since 2011. This includes- the preparation of a Strategic Community Plan and Sustainability Strategy for Denmark, significant shifts in State and regional planning policies, and a period of substantial community growth.  

    What can a Local Planning Strategy influence and what is beyond its scope?

    The Draft Local Planning Strategy influences and addresses land use (spatial) matters including:

    • Responding to the changing residential and lifestyle needs of the community and population growth, by addressing housing policy issues such as density, diversity, affordability, availability, built form, and residential character;
    • The protection of the district’s environment including biodiversity, landscape, responding to climate change and heritage; and
    • Supporting local employment and the local economy and considering the land use requirements associated with opportunities for economic development and additional employment.

    Given State planning legislation, policies and guidelines, there are implications for what can and cannot occur at a local level for some matters, including the following:

    • Planning in bushfire prone areas;
    • Rural subdivision;
    • Supply of residential and rural living land (rural residential and rural smallholding); and
    • Where connection to reticulated sewerage, underground power and scheme water is required.

    Other matters outside of the scope of the Strategy including non-land use planning matters (such as youth services), the development of community infrastructure (such as road construction), and land and reserves management.

    What’s the difference between a Local Planning Strategy and a Local Planning Scheme?

    The Local Planning Strategy serves as a strategic policy document focusing on big picture land use topics and spatial matters. The Strategy takes a broad and high-level view of land use and development, outlining a vision, aspirations, and objectives for the future.

    A Local Planning Scheme (previously called a Town Planning Scheme) is a statutory document that sets out the way land is to be used and developed on a more individual property scale and provides the framework for the Shire’s day to day decision making. The Local Planning Scheme is the ‘rulebook’ containing development requirements to implement the intentions of the Local Planning Strategy.  

    The Draft Local Planning Strategy (2022) provides direction for the review of Town Planning Scheme No.3 (TPS3) and the preparation and implementation of a new Local Planning Scheme.

    While the Draft Local Planning Strategy (2022) is being progressed, the Shire has begun the review of Denmark’s Town Planning Scheme No.3 with the intention of replacing it with a new Local Planning Scheme No.4.  The current Town Planning Scheme No. 3 is outdated and needs to be updated to reflect contemporary requirements, statutory obligations and support responsible development.

    What’s the difference between a Local Planning Strategy and the Strategic Community Plan?

    A Strategic Community Plan establishes the community's vision, values, aspirations and priorities for the local government's future, including service expectations, assets, and financial plans. Its scope covers all local government services and drives the development of other local government plans, resourcing and informing strategies, including the Local Planning Strategy.

    This Draft Local Planning Strategy is a key document that assists in implementing its part of the community’s vision, as directed more broadly by the Shire’s Strategic Community Plan.  The Draft Local Planning Strategy builds upon the community input captured during the development of the Strategic Community Plan, to create a deeper understanding of community needs and aspirations, specifically as they relate to land use planning.

    How has the community been involved in preparing the Draft Local Planning Strategy?

    During 2020 and 2021, we asked the community and local stakeholders to tell us about their hopes and expectations for Denmark’s future, specifically in relation to planning for future land use and development. This preliminary consultation phase built upon previous feedback received years prior in the preparation of both the Shire’s Strategic Community Plan and Sustainability Strategy & Action Plan.

    The preliminary consultation consisted of:

    • ‘Conversation Cafe’ events in 2020 (Denmark, Nornalup, and Peaceful Bay)
    • Update and Key Issues Community Consultation event in 2021 (Denmark)
    • Online and hard copy surveys (x2) in 2020 & 2021
    • Written submissions

    This community feedback directly informed the Draft Local Planning Strategy. A report summarising the process and findings of the initial phase of preliminary consultation was made available to the public in November 2020 on the Shire’s Your Denmark Local Planning Strategy website.

    We are now seeking the community’s feedback on the Draft Strategy as part of the formal advertising process. This consultation process aligns with the requirements of the Planning and Development (Local Planning Scheme) Regulations 2015.

    How do I provide my feedback on the Draft Local Planning Strategy?

    The Draft Strategy is now being advertised to provide our community with an opportunity to review and provide feedback on the directions proposed.  The Draft Strategy and supporting documents can  be found on the Strategy’s YourDenmark page, or hard copies are available to be viewed in person at the Shire’s administration office.

    We are seeking your feedback and encourage you to provide a submission. 

    You can provide feedback on the Draft Local Planning Strategy (2022) by:

    1. Completing the online feedback form on the YourDenmark page; or
    2. Writing a submission and sending it to us by:
    • Email to enquiries@denmark.wa.gov.au; or
    • Mail to Shire of Denmark, PO Box 183, Denmark, WA 6333; or
    • In person to the Shire administration office at 953 South Coast Highway, Denmark.

    All feedback received will be considered in refining the Draft Strategy for final endorsement by Council and the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC).

    The consultation period ends on 22 December 2023.

    How will the Local Planning Strategy affect my property?

    The Local Planning Strategy will not change the current zoning or development potential of your property, but it does recommend changes to the local planning framework for some areas, which may result in changes to zones and development requirements when the new Local Planning Scheme is prepared and the Shire’s planning policies reviewed.

    The Strategy maps spatially represent recommended changes in the land use planning throughout the Shire. The Strategy maps can be viewed on page 138 of the Draft Local Planning Strategy (2022).

    What are the main differences between the 2011 Strategy and the current Draft Strategy?

    The new Draft Strategy differs from the 2011 version of the Local Planning Strategy in its approach to several areas, including:

    • Prioritising consolidated urban growth and placing a greater emphasis on infill development to accommodate a proportion of additional housing.
    • Reducing the extent of land identified for urban growth and increasing the expected yield from zoned land acknowledging our community’s desire to contain unnecessary sprawl and preserve environmental values.
    • Emphasising the need for housing diversity, and enabling smaller format housing, and making efficient use of community infrastructure to promote affordability and sustainability.
    • Emphasising the need to plan for sustainable transport modes and minimising infrastructure costs.
    • Reducing the expectation that expansion of the Shire’s rural villages is required to accommodate growth, acknowledging that they are isolated from community services and further development is highly constrained.
    • Acknowledging that large lifestyle lot subdivisions are inherently unsustainable because they increase public infrastructure costs, depend on cars for transport, consume more land, and compete with other productive land uses.
    • Acknowledging the potential need for an additional bridge over the Denmark River to provide alternative access in an emergency is not required in the 15 year lifespan of this Draft Strategy, as the current access is considered sufficient for the foreseeable future.

    What are the next steps?

    The following points summarise the key milestones in finalising the Strategy:

    • Public advertising – Draft Strategy advertised to the community and stakeholders for consideration and feedback over a 60 day period ending 22 December 2023.
    • Review of submissions – public submissions reviewed and considered. Modifications to the Draft Strategy are proposed where required.
    • Council endorsement – report to Council presenting the schedule of submissions, requesting final support of the Strategy with or without modifications. The schedule of submissions and recommendations regarding any modifications then go to the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) for consideration.
    • Planning Commission endorsement – The WAPC can either endorse the final version of the Strategy or request changes, followed by ministerial approval and formal publication on the Commission’s website.