Find out planning approval requirements for holidays homes and short stay accommodation in the Shire.


Holiday house

A holiday house is defined in Local Planning Scheme No.1 as a dwelling, grouped dwelling, or multiple dwelling used for short-term accommodation for no more than six (6) people but does not include a bed and breakfast. 

Where accommodation is provided for six to twelve people the use is classified as a “Holiday House (Large)”.

Short stay accommodation

Short stay accommodation means where people stay in a premises for less than three months in any 12-month period and includes the following land uses: Then include definitions of uses. 

Bed and Breakfast

Bed and Breakfast means part of a dwelling, used for short-term accommodation providing not more than two single bedrooms and one bathroom and run by the owner/occupier of the dwelling on a commercial basis. 

Guest house 

Guest house means integrated premises providing for short term accommodation including bedrooms for guests and on site tourism facilities such as reception, centralised dining and management. 


Chalet means a self-contained accommodation unit (i.e. containing cooking, bathroom, sleeping and living area facilities) used for short term accommodation. 

Camping ground

Camping ground has the same meaning as in the Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Act 1995

Caravan park  

Caravan park has the same meaning as in the Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Act 1995

The Shire’s view on holiday houses

It is the Shire’s view that holiday houses are more appropriate to and expected within the coastal communities of the Shire, or within close proximity to major tourist attractions. Therefore, applications for planning approval are more likely to be approved in those locations. 

Holiday houses are not considered to be appropriate within the residential districts of inland settlements, where approvals for such uses are not likely to be supported. 

In relation to the use of grouped dwelling for short stay purposes, it is important to note that it is the Shire’s policy not to support the accommodation of more than six short stay guests. It is also the Shire’s policy to only support the use of a grouped dwelling for short stay purposes on a site with a density coding of R30 and lower.

Planning approval requirements

Planning approval is required if you intend to provide short stay accommodation to anyone for payment or reward. 

You don’t need planning approval if you own the property but have a primary residence elsewhere and wish to use the dwelling for holiday accommodation for you and your family. You may also allow friends to stay there provided there is no fee charged.

Planning approval applications for a holiday house will be assessed under the provision of Clause 5.26 of Local Panning Scheme No.1 and the Shire’s Holiday Houses Local Planning Policy.

Unless the Shire determines otherwise, any approval granted will be for a limited period of one year, renewable by way of further application towards the expiration of that period. If the Shire has received complaints regarding the short stay use, a further approval may not be granted.

The following outlines additional requirements when applying for Planning Approval:

A holiday house is classified as a ‘vulnerable land use’. 

When in a ‘Bushfire Prone Area’, a vulnerable land use requires additional documentation to be provided in support of an Planning Approval application, and may require a referral to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES). 

The level of information varies, depending on whether the development is located in a ‘built up area’ or not:

  • For properties in a built-up area: A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Assessment or BAL contour Map and Emergency Evacuation Plan is required. 
  • For properties outside a built up area: a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment, Bushfire Management Plan and Emergency Evacuation Plan is required. 

It should be noted that if a development is rated at a BAL-40 or FZ then approval is unlikely to be granted unless measures can be put in place to lower this rating.

Find out about Building in Bushfire Prone Areas.

An assessment against the Guidelines for Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas - Element 5: Vulnerable Tourism Land Uses is required as part of the Bushfire Management Plan submitted with your application. The inability to meet the acceptable solutions of element 5 will likely result in your application not being supported by the Shire. 

For more information refer to Guidelines for Planning in a Bushfire Prone Area

If your property is not on reticulated sewer (deep sewer) you will be required to provide information with the application to demonstrate that the existing on-site wastewater management system can cope with the proposed number of guests. 

This information is particularly important for a proposed holiday houses (large) on residential lots in locations such as Prevelly and Gracetown, where wastewater is managed onsite. 

Find out more about effluent disposal.

You will be required to demonstrate the availability of safe drinking water on properties that are not connected to reticulated water.

How to apply

To apply for planning approval, complete the application form and checklist below:

Application for Holiday Houses, Bed and Breakfast, Guesthouses and Renewals (PDF)

The checklist outlines the documentation that must be submitted with your application.

The application will be formerly lodged when all required documents are submitted to the satisfaction of the Shire and payment is received.

A fee is payable when applying for planning approval. This fee must be paid at the time of application.

A fee is payable for planning applications. This fee must be paid in order for the application to be formerly lodged and assessed.

Refer to Planning and Development Fees and Charges and Development Application Fee Calculator.

Ensure you submit your application with all the required documentation, as outlined in the checklist at the end of the application form.

You can submit your application via email to [email protected]

Digital copies are preferred however hard copy applications may be submitted via post or in person.

Once your application documents have been checked you will be emailed with payment options. Once payment is received the application is formerly lodged.

The statutory timeframe for development applications to be determined is 90 days if advertising is required, and 60 days if advertising is not required.

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