This page gives you information on the development approval process, including what requires a DA and how applications are processed by the Shire. If all you need is access to the form and fees, click on the links below:
What is a Development Approval?
Development Approval or DA (also known as Planning Approval) is
required for a range of development works and land uses in the Shire of
East Pilbara. The purpose of a DA is to ensure the development or use
of land and buildings complies with the Shire’s Town Planning Scheme
No.4 and any relevant State or Local Planning Policies.
Development approval does not replace the need for approvals or licences from other Shire sections, such as (but not limited to) a building permit, lodging house licence or food business registration.
What needs a DA?
The following are the frequent categories of development and use that require a DA. Note this is not an exhaustive list and developers and owners are :
• Construction of a single house, ancillary dwelling or outbuilding (or additions to these buildings) where a
deemed-to-comply requirement of the Residential Design Codes is not met and a ‘judgement of merit’ is
required). Note, a single house, ancillary accommodation or outbuilding that meets all relevant deemed-to-
comply requirements of the R-Codes is exempt from development approval.
• Construction of or additions to grouped and multiple dwellings (e.g. units, townhouses, apartments, etc.).
• Modification or demolition of a place that is listed on the State Register of Heritage Places, or Shire Heritage
List, or where it is subject to an order under the Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990.
• Use of a residence for a home-based business (known as either Home Occupation or Home Business,
depending on the size and nature) with the exception of a ‘home office’ (i.e. where there are no client visits
or goods delivered or stored).
Commercial and Industrial Development and Use
• Any construction works that affects the external appearance of a
building or land. Note no DA is required for internal building works
unless the building is heritage listed.
• Any change of use of land or buildings from one use to another
the new use is permitted in the zone (i.e. a P use).
• Commercial or industrial development on land declared bush fire
• The display of any sign that is not classed as an ‘exempt
• The display of any sign located on land owned or managed by the
Shire, such as road verges and public
areas (an exception is in place for sporting sponsorship signage at
• The extraction of basic raw materials, such as gravel and sand.
• Mineral extraction, such as gold, iron ore and other extraction that requires a Mining Permit does not require
How do I get development approval?
To obtain development approval, you need to complete and lodge an application form
together with plans and details of the development and payment of the application fee .
For info and forms for other application types, click on the links below:
How long does it take to get a decision?
Where a proposed use or development is either permitted (P) or discretionary (D), a statutory time period of 60 days applies. If the application requires formal advertising (A), a 90-day time limit applies.
Whilst the above statutory time limits apply, the Shire works hard on minimising the processing time as much as possible, taking into account the number of applications being considered at the same time and the complexity of the proposal.
Who determines my application?
In most cases, DA’s are determined by the Shire’s town planning staff under delegated authority. Where a proposal is more complex or requires greater transparency, it may be determined by full Council at a public Council Meeting.
If the development value is greater than $10 million, the determination is made by the Kimberley / Pilbara / Gascoyne Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP). Where a proposal is valued at over $3 million, an applicant can also elect to have the application determined by the JDAP.
What if I disagree with the decision?
Any decision made by the Shire or the JDAP is reviewable by application to the State Administrative Tribunal.
What happens if I commence development / use without a DA in place?
The Planning and Development Act 2005 makes it an offence to commence development or a use without having development approval. The Shire has a number of options available, including prosecution. However, it is the Shire’s preference to provide an opportunity for the development or use to be formalised via a retrospective approval process. Note that should your proposal fall into this category, the fee payable on application is triple the normal fee.