What is a Local Planning Strategy?

    The purpose of the Local Planning Strategy (LPS) is to set out the long-term planning directions for the whole of the Shire by providing high level strategic direction to matters such as population growth, housing needs, strengthening the local economy and improving the connections and spaces where our community live, work and visit over a 10-15 year period.

    The LPS provides a high-level interpretation of State and regional strategies, enabling application of these at a local level, and providing the planning context for land use zones, reserves and provisions in a Local Planning Scheme.  The LPS will inform the Shire’s upcoming new Local Planning Scheme (previously called a Town Planning Scheme) including providing a basis for any changes to zoning and development standards.

    For the Shire, the LPS and the Local Planning Scheme will act as the key planning tools to proactively manage land use and development and respond to forecast growth and demand in the district over the next decade and beyond. 

    Why is the Shire reviewing its Local Planning Strategy?

    Under State legislation, all local governments are required to review their Local Planning Strategy (LPS) and their Local Planning Scheme periodically to ensure they consider contemporary planning, environmental, economic and social issues. For the Shire of Denmark, the outcomes and recommendations of the LPS review will also inform the preparation of the new Local Planning Scheme.

    While considerable aspects of the Shire’s 2011 LPS are still of relevance, there have been key changes since 2011, which include changes to State and regional planning policies and the finalisation of the Council’s Community Strategic Plan (Denmark 2027).  The Strategic Community Plan better articulates the community’s vision for the Shire and a changing community, and therefore needs to be taken in to account within the Local Planning Strategy.

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

    The Local Planning Strategy (LPS) 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 issues such as density, diversity, affordability, availability, built form, and residential character; 
    • Supporting local employment and the economy and considering the land use requirements associated with opportunities for economic growth and additional employment; and
    • The protection of the district’s environment including biodiversity, landscape, responding to climate change and heritage. 

    The LPS focusses on ‘higher order’ planning matters, rather than getting into matters better addressed through other planning tools.  Given the LPS is a strategic land use document, further details on planning requirements are set out in other planning tools.  This includes the Local Planning Scheme, local planning policies, structure plans, local development plans and design guidelines.

    There are several matters that are beyond the scope of the LPS and land use planning. Some of these include:

    • Matters already addressed and controlled by State Government agencies, service providers or other stakeholders;
    • Strategic non-land use planning matters addressed by different sections of the Shire; 
    • Decisions relating to the funding of community infrastructure and levels of service; and
    • Land management.

    Given the State and regional planning legislation, policies and guidelines, there are implications for what can and cannot occur at a local level for some matters.  Some of these key implications include:

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

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

    The Local Planning Strategy (LPS) does not specify changes to individual properties but rather serves as a strategic policy document focusing on big picture land use topics and spatial matters. 

    A Local Planning Scheme (previously called a Town Planning Scheme) on the other hand, 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 Shire day to day decision making. The Local Planning Scheme is essentially the ‘rulebook’ in which to provide development control provisions to implement the intentions of a LPS.  

    While the LPS review is being progressed, the Shire intends to commence the review of the current Denmark Town Planning Scheme No.3 with the intention of replacing it with new Denmark 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.  The draft Local Planning Scheme will be subject to separate consultation, with the formal comment period to be a minimum of 90 days.

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

    A Strategic Community Plan establishes the community's long term (10+ years) vision, values, aspirations and priorities for the local government's future, including service expectations, assets, and financial plans. It drives the development of other local government plans, resourcing and informing strategies which includes the Local Planning Strategy (LPS). The LPS therefore is a key document that assists in implementing the community vision set in the Council’s Strategic Community Plan (Denmark 2027).  

    The Strategic Community Plan is the primary document that guides Council’s strategic priorities and direction to 2027, and is supported by several objectives that refine, focus and channel the Shire’s energy and resources.  The vision established in Denmark 2027 will guide the LPS review as it articulates the collective ambition for our community.  The LPS will therefore build on existing community input via the Strategic Community Plan, to create a further understanding of community needs and aspirations, specifically around land use planning.

    What is the Local Planning Strategy review process?

    Involving the community and raising awareness of the Local Planning Strategy (LPS) process is critical in developing a plan that reflects a shared community vision and set of aspirations for the future.  The Shire is seeking community feedback on the range of topics and issues affecting the future growth of the district.

    At the moment, the Shire of Denmark is seeking to build on the feedback received during the preparation of the Strategic Community Plan (Denmark 2027) and is conducting preliminary consultation to help inform a review of the LPS.