A Structure Plan is a planning document which provides for the coordination of the future subdivision and development of a defined area. A Structure Plan usually identifies the zoning (including residential density) and the layout of roads and open space for the area. Structure Plans also establish an overarching drainage strategy and identify any site constraints and management requirements, including those relating to the environment and bushfire risk.

A Structure Plan ordinarily consists of a plan supported by a report and technical appendices, and generally accord with a format pre-determined by the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC). 

Where is a Structure Plan required?

Structure Plans are required where it is necessary to have a framework to guide the subdivision, development and land use coordination of an area. Structure Plans are often required in areas identified for land use transition and intensification, and may be characterised by large lots, fragmented land ownership, illogical subdivision patterns and site constraints.

In the City of Gosnells, the requirement for a Structure Plan is identified through the following:

The requirement for a Structure Plan is also identified through Intramaps.

Who is responsible for preparing a Structure Plan? 

A Structure Plan may be prepared by the City or by a private planning consultant on behalf of a private landowner. In terms of the latter, a landowner may wish to liaise with other landowners in the local area with a view of engaging a private consultant to prepare a Structure Plan on their behalf. If a landowner decides to do this, it is recommended that they first contact City staff for advice and guidance on the process.

Irrespective of who prepares the Structure Plan, the process is essentially the same. The process involves compiling background information, preparing mapping and technical documentation, seeking comment from the public and other government agencies, consideration by Council and final determination by the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC). This process can take anywhere between 10 months to several years, depending on the complexity of the proposal and the satisfaction of any technical requirements.

When can I subdivide and/or develop my land?

Applications for subdivision and development approval in areas requiring a Structure Plan can be submitted at any time, regardless of whether a Structure Plan has been approved. Notwithstanding, the City encourages landowners to submit applications after a Structure Plan has been approved by the WAPC. This ensures that planning occurs in an orderly and proper manner, and does not prejudice the overall development of the area.

In considering applications for subdivision or development approval in areas requiring a Structure Plan, but where no Structure Plan has been approved, the City will consider (in addition to normal considerations) whether its location, scale and extent could impede the urbanisation of the area, particularly in relation to the provision of a future road network, services and parks. Considering such applications in the absence of a Structure Plan can be complex and therefore the likelihood of obtaining approval may vary.

Am I obliged to subdivide and/or develop my land? 

There is no obligation upon landowners to subdivide and/or develop their land. Property values and development trends may make it attractive for land to be developed, but there is no obligation to do so.

What are cost contributions?

An important part of the planning process involves ensuring that an area will be properly serviced with various facilities, such as drainage, parks and footpaths. Land developers are usually required to provide these and other facilities and services when undertaking urban development. In areas where multiple landowners exist, the timing of development varies thereby making the delivery of new infrastructure and services in an effective and equitable manner difficult.

A development contribution plan is a means for ensuring a shared approach to the provision of certain common infrastructure works and public open space that are required to implement a Structure Plan. They require each landowner to pay a certain contribution towards the delivery of common infrastructure and services at the time of undertaking subdivision and/or development.

What does the City do with the cost contributions collected? 

Funds collected from cost contributions cannot be utilised by the City as General Revenue/Municipal Funds. All funds collected are placed in trust accounts which can only be used for the specific purpose collected. Such arrangements ensure complete transparency and accountability in the collection of expenditure of such funds.

Who do I talk to about getting more information?

Please contact the City’s Development Services team.