Planning FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Common questions and answers relating to urban planning within the Town can be viewed below.

What is this property zoned?

  • The zoning of a property can be checked via the Town’s Local Planning Scheme No.3 map here 

  • To view other planning information relating to a property, the Town's interactive mapping service "Intramaps" can be accessed here

What's an "R-Code" / what is the R-Code for this property?

  • The “R-Codes” is short for the “Residential Design Codes of Western Australia”. These R-Codes provide for different density codings ranging from R20 to R100 in the Town of Cottesloe.

  • The number roughly translates to the number of dwellings per hectare.  Hence a lower number means low density and a high number means higher density.

  • Each R-Code has its own housing design requirements under the Residential Design Codes which determine the scale and quantity of dwellings in a neighbourhood.

  • The R-Code of a property can be checked via the Town’s Local Planning Scheme No.3 map here

Can I subdivide this property?

  • Applications to subdivide land are submitted to the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and determined by the Western Australian Planning Commission. The Town is invited to comment on such applications, but ultimately the decision rests with the State Government. More information can be obtained here

  • Residential-zoned land is subject to minimum lot sizes under State Planning Policy 7.3 – Residential Design Codes of Western Australia. To see what the minimum size for a property is (based on its “R-Code”), view Table 1 of the policy here

Do I need development approval for my works or land use?

Development approval is required unless the development is exempt under any of the following:

  • Schedule 2, Part 7, clause 61 of the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015
  • Local Planning Policy LPP 4 – Advertising signage

What is the development application process? 

Completed development applications can be lodged via email to, post or hand delivery to the Town’s Administration Centre.

Once received, the application will be checked to ensure all information has been accepted to undertake an assessment, as listed on the Town’s checklist  If not, further information will be requested.

The Town’s statutory timeframes for processing development applications are as per the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015:

  • 60 days to determine applications where no public consultation is required

  • 90 days if public consultation is required

Applicants will be contacted should further clarification or information be required.

Is my property heritage-listed?

To find out more, please refer to the ‘Heritage’ information link here

Can I/my neighbour run Short Term Rental Accommodation from my/their property?

Please refer to the ‘Short-term rental accommodation’ information here

Do I need development approval to run my business from home?

  • There are three forms of home businesses under the Local Planning Scheme:

    • Home business
    • Home occupation
    • Home office

A home office is exempt from requiring development approval, but a home occupation or a home business in a Residential zone requires development approval.

To ascertain what type of home business best describes your proposal, please refer to their definitions in the Town’s Local Planning Scheme No. 3

Information on applying for development approval is available  here

Do I need development approval to replace / modify my fence?

Dividing (side boundary [behind the front setback] and rear boundary) fences are generally exempt from requiring development approval as they are governed under the Dividing Fences Act 1961

More information about dividing fences can be obtained online from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website here

Development approval is required for fence proposals affecting a heritage-listed site, and for discretion against the deemed-to-comply provisions of the , where:

  • the solid portion height of a fence within the front setback area exceeds 1.2m; and/or
  • where a fence exceeds 0.75m in height within 1.5m of where the fence adjoins:
    • a driveway that intersects a street or right-of-way, a right-of-way
    • a right-of-way intersects a street; and
    • two streets intersect.

These discretions must be supported against the design principles in a cover letter with the development application.

You may require permission from your neighbour prior to erecting or modifying a dividing fence. More information can be obtained here

How do I make a complaint or report a breach of development compliance?

Please contact the Town in writing (via email to or by post/hand delivery) with clear details regarding the location of the offence, photographs, evidence (if applicable) and contact details so that we can get back to you. Please note that the Town cannot act upon anonymous complaints.

Prior to contacting the Town, customers are encouraged to liaise with their neighbour / the potential offender to see if the issue can be resolved amicably.

Can I rezone this property? How do you rezone land? 

The Town generally does not support “spot-rezoning” or individual amendments to its Local Planning Scheme.  Changes in zoning should be considered in a wider context that takes into account the future planning for the area.

The Town is preparing a Local Planning Strategy, which will examine the current demographics and economic, environmental and transport conditions of the Town and respond accordingly to ensure that the Town meets its density targets set by the State Government whilst protecting the character, amenity and heritage of the Town.  More information is available here