Learn about planning approval requirements for variations to a building envelope.
A building envelope is an area within a lot that contains all buildings and effluent disposal facilities for the lot.
A building envelope is often applied to Rural Residential lots (and in some cases, to lots in other zones) for numerous reasons. These include protection of native vegetation, minimising the impact of development on waterways, retaining the natural contours of the site, managing bushfires, and protecting the rural amenity of the land.
Find your building envelope
Building envelopes are typically shown on an approved Structure Plan, Outline Development Plan or Subdivision Guide Plan. Alternatively, a building envelope may be shown on your property’s historical planning approvals or building permits held by the Shire. Visit the Western Australian Planning Commission to view the Shire of Augusta Margaret River Structure Plans or please contact the Planning Team on the details provided below to find out if there is a predetermined building envelope on your property.
Some Rural Residential subdivisions in the Shire do not have predetermined building envelopes. In this case you may nominate a building envelope that complies with clause 4.22.2 (e) of Local Planning Scheme No.1 requirements. The default building envelope is an area of 2000m² which is located in accordance with the specified setbacks that apply to your site.
Is planning approval required?
Yes, planning approval is required. Any new development proposed outside the approved or default building envelope requires planning approval for a building envelope variation.
Requirements for building envelope variations
When assessing an application, the following will be considered by the Shire:
- Whether the objectives of the zone are compromised
- Whether the visual amenity and rural character of the locality will be affected to any greater degree by the proposed new building envelope than the originally proposed building envelope
- Whether development within the proposed new building envelope would make the property more difficult to protect from bushfire than it would be with the approved building envelope
- Whether the proposed size and location of the envelope can accommodate future development, including on-site septic effluent disposal systems and water supply tanks, and whether it has a detrimental effect on the environment.
Apply for planning approval
To apply for planning approval, complete the application form below. This form includes a checklist of the required documentation.
You must demonstrate the following in your application form:
- The visual amenity and rural character of the locality is not affected
- The Bushfire Attack Level report (see more information below) shows that the Asset Protection Zone can be achieved within the boundaries of the property
- The proposed size and location of the envelope can accommodate future development, including on-site septic effluent disposal systems and water supply tanks
- The future building envelope will not have a detrimental effect on the environment.
Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) report
The majority of the Shire is within a proclaimed Bushfire Prone Area and falls under the provisions of the State Planning Policy 3.7 Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas (SPP3.7) and the Guidelines for Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas (see link below).
In bushfire prone areas, residential development proposals typically need to be accompanied by a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment. The assessment determines the standard of dwelling construction to ensure as appropriate Asset Protection Zone (APZ) can be provided within the boundaries of the lot.
The guidelines also cover issues that must be addressed at various stages of the planning process. These guidelines provide an appropriate level of protection to life and property from bush fires and avoid inappropriately located or designed land use and development on land where a bush fire risk has been identified.
When submitting an application for a building envelope variation:
- Provide a site plan showing the proposed and existing development and the proposed and existing building envelopes overlaid with the asset protection zone. This plan is prepared by an accredited BAL Assessor or Bushfire Planning Practitioner as part of the BAL report and must be submitted with the planning application.
- On sites which are densely vegetated or are within an extreme fire risk area, a BAL contour map may also be required to demonstrate that the proposed building envelope would not present a higher bushfire risk than the existing envelope. This plan must cover the proposed and existing envelopes and demonstrate that a risk rating of no greater than BAL-29 can be achieved within the entire area of the proposed envelope. Ideally, the proposed building envelope would be within the area of lowest fire risk on the site. A contour plan will assist in this regard.
Bushfire Management Plan (BMP)
A Bushfire Management Plan (BMP) is a document that sets out short, medium and long-term
fire risk management strategies for the life of a development. They identify bushfire hazard issues and provide an assessment against the ‘Acceptable Solutions’ detailed in the Guidelines.
BMPs are prepared by accredited Bushfire Planning Practitioners and are required to be provided with building envelope variation applications where a BAL rating of BAL-29 or above applies.
The BMP will be assessed by the Shire and subject to any required modifications may be referred to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services prior to determination of the development application.
Access the State Planning Policy 3.7 Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas and Guidelines for Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas here.
Please refer to the Shire’s Planning Fees and Charges to determine the applicable fee.
Ensure you submit your application with all of the required documentation, as outlined in the checklist at the end of the form.
You can submit your application in person, by post or email to [email protected]
Planning approval application process
Find out about the planning approval application process to learn about the steps required to assess an application and obtain a timing estimate.
Building permit and health approvals
Depending on the proposed development, you may require a building permit and/or approval from the Shire’s Environmental Health Team. Note that Planning Approval is required prior to applying for a Building Permit.