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Planning Services

All healthy and vibrant communities require areas for living, working and recreation. This is what the Shire of Irwin’s Planning Services does. The Planning Services team:

  • Control where, and what type, of development takes place;
  • Regulates the land use throughout the Shire of Irwin;
  • Undertakes strategic planning to manage and coordinate future development within the Shire of Irwin;
  • Continuously reviews the Shire’s planning documents, to ensure the best development and land use outcomes;
  • Plans for future growth areas of the Shire; and
  • Ensures that all new subdivisions are designed to incorporate all relevant amenities

This ensures a pleasant living, working and recreational environment is maintained for the community. 

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Currently Advertised Planning Applications/Proposals

There are no current Planning Applications/Proposals advertised at this time.

Planning Guidance

Guidance Notes

The Residential Zone Guidance Note can be viewed here.

The Special Residential Zone Guidance Note can be viewed here.

The Rural Residential Zone Guidance Note can be viewed here.

The Rural Smallholdings Zone Guidance Note can be viewed here.

The General Farming Zone Guidance Note can be viewed here.

Bushfire Planning

New regulations have been implemented to provide controls on building and developing in Bushfire Prone Areas. To find out how these regulations impact on building or developing in the Bushfire Prone Area, view the Shire of Irwin’s Bushfire Guidance Notes by clicking here.

If you would like to know what plants can help protect houses from potential bushfires, this guide will assist you to choose plants and position them at the appropriate distances from buildings:

Plant Guide within the Building Protection Zone

Development Approval

All land within the Shire of Irwin falls under the control of the Shire’s Local Planning Scheme No 5. Therefore, if you are intending to use a property for a particular purpose or intend to build on a property you may need to obtain development approval from the Shire. This applies to both urban and rural land.

It is recommended that you first approach the Shire’s Planning Services in the early stages of your development to determine what approvals are required for your proposal.

Planning decisions are made by the Shire based on the Shire of Irwin’s Local Planning Scheme No. 5, often this can lead to consultation with the community and relevant State Government agencies. Should development approval be granted, it is usually subject to a range of conditions which must be met prior to occupation of the completed development or before the commencement of use.

For a development application form and the schedule of fees and charges, please click here.

Planning Framework

Local Planning Strategy

The Shire of Irwin’s Local Planning Strategy has been adopted by Council and is currently being considered for final approval by the Western Australian Planning Commission.  The Strategy acts as a guide for the progressive development of the Shire over the next 10 to 15 years by:

Local Planning Strategy
  • Setting out long term planning directions;
  • Applying State and regional planning policies; and
  • Providing rationale for land use zones and other provisions of the Local Planning Scheme.

The Shire’s Local Planning Strategy is soundly based on the identification of Policy Areas of which:

  • Policy Areas B and F – embracing the Dongara and Port Denison Urban Area; and
  • Policy Areas A, C, D, E and G – embracing the balance rural hinterland area of the Shire.

The Draft Local Planning Strategy Reports can be viewed by clicking the links below:

Local Planning Scheme

All land within the Shire of Irwin boundaries is covered by the Shire of Irwin Local Planning Scheme No. 5. This Scheme stipulates land use zoning and development controls within the Shire. The Scheme is to be read in conjunction with the Local Planning Strategy.

The Shire of Irwin Local Planning Scheme No. 5 (including Scheme text and maps) can be found on the WA Planning Commission’s website, which you can find at the following link:

Shire of Irwin Industrial Land Use Strategy

On 23 May 2017, Council adopted the Shire of Irwin Industrial Land Use Strategy. 

The purpose of this strategy is to guide future planning and economic development decisions. To view a copy of this strategy, click here

Local Planning Policies

The Shire of Irwin have adopted a number of Local Planning Policies under the Local Planning Scheme to guide decision making and determination of development applications made to the Shire.

The following Local Planning Policies have been adopted by Council:

Residential Design Codes

Residential Design Codes

For all development located within the Residential zone, the Shire uses the State Planning Policy 3.1
Residential Design Codes of Western Australia for guidance when assessing development applications.

The Residential Design Codes can be found on the WA Planning Commissions website:

Local Development Plans

The Shire has adopted a Local Development Plan for the Dongara Tourist Park, 8 George Street, Port Denison. The Local Development Plan will guide the future development of the Dongara Tourist Park. The Local Development Plan includes:

  • The Local Development Plan, which can be accessed by clicking here,
  • The Local Development Plan Map, which can be accessed by clicking here,
  • A Bushfire Management Plan, which can be accessed by clicking here,
  • A Drainage Plan, which can be accessed by clicking here, and
  • A Stormwater Management Plan, which can be accessed by clicking here.

District Structure Plan

The Dongara-Port Denison District Structure Plan (including the District Water Management Strategy) will guide land use and development over the next 10 to 20 years. To view this document click here.

Dongara Town Centre Precinct Plan

The Dongara Town Centre Precinct Plan provides guidance for land use and development of the various Precincts within the Dongara Town Centre. Click here to view the Dongara Town Centre Precinct Plan.Dongara Town Centre Precinct Plan

Subdivision Applications

Subdivision is controlled by the Western Australian Planning Commission rather than the Shire. However, local planning considerations still play a role and the Shire can provide advice in this regard.

Information and application forms for subdivision approvals can be accessed at

Scheme Amendments

If a use is not permitted under the Planning Scheme, Council may agree to amend it to allow for different uses. A number of factors need to be taken into account when an Amendment to a Planning Scheme is proposed. Generally, Council must be satisfied that:

  • an explanatory report clearly defining what is proposed is prepared; and
  • affects on the environment are considered and that social and economic effects have been addressed.

All Planning Scheme Amendments will have an accompanying fee that will need to be paid before the matter is determined. Please click here for an application form and details of related charges.

Scheme amendment decisions are made by the Western Australian Planning Commission. Information and application forms for scheme amendments can be accessed at

Development Assessment Panel Applications

Legislation requires that all development applications above a certain financial threshold be determined by a Development Assessment Panel (DAP), with the opportunity for proponents of developments below the threshold to opt in. Assessment by a DAP is compulsory for developments valued at over $7 million. The "opt-in" threshold is $3 million. The DAPs will consist of an independent chairman, two local council representatives, and three members with expertise in fields to be prescribed.

Information and application forms for Development Assessment Panel applications can be obtained from

Coastal Planning

Freshwater Point

Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan (CHRMAP)

The purpose of the Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan (CHRMAP) is to provide strategic guidance on coordinated, integrated and sustainable management and adaptation for land use and development in the coastal zone. Specifically this CHRMAP:

  • provides information on the effects of coastal hazards;
  • presents a decision-making framework to assess the associated risks;
  • highlights coastal hazard areas in terms of vulnerability and risk; and
  • suggests possible adaptation options.

Click here to view the CHRMAP

Click here to view the CHRMAP Literature Review

Coastal Planning Project

On 23 April 2015, the Shire of Irwin and the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC) hosted a Coastal Adaptation Information Forum in Port Denison. This forum brought together members of the community and representatives from the Department of Planning (DoP), Curtin University, NACC and the Shire to discuss the Shire’s new coastal planning project – the Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan (CHRMAP). The Shire is leading the project with partners from the DoP, Curtin and NACC. Around twenty community members and stakeholders attended the workshop and witnessed three presentations before taking part in a question and answer session and informal discussion. The workshop discussed topics such as coastal assets, hazards, processes, coastal data, planning, protection infrastructure, communication, and partnerships. Curtin’s Literature Review for the project and a summary report from the forum can be viewed by clicking on the link below;

Coastal Adaptation Forum - Summary Report

Coastal Development Strategy

Click here to view the Coastal Development Strategy.

Irwin River Planning

Irwin River

Floodplain Development Control Area Guidance Note

The Floodplain Developmment Control Area Guidance Note can be viewed here.

Irwin River Estuary Management Plan

The Irwin River Estuary Management Plan (2014) was recently adopted at the Ordinary Council Meeting on 25 November 2014. You can view the Irwin Rive Estuary Management Plan by clicking here.

Irwin Flood Study

Click on the links below to view the Irwin Flood Study (1987):

Draft Flooding Study 

The Shire is also still seeking additional photographs and stories to add to the attached Draft Flooding Study. We are particularly interested to know of any photo’s, stories or documents you may be able to share with us to help complete the study. 

For more information about this project please contact Suzette Van Aswegen, Director Planning and Infrastructure on 9927 0000.  

Green Infrastructure Strategy 

Green Infrastructure is the network of green spaces and water systems that deliver multiple environmental, economic and social values and benefits. Over the next five years the Green Infrastructure Strategy will lead to an improved integrated network of multifunctional green spaces and corridors underpinned by easily maintained, economically and environmentally sustainable engineering solutions. The strategy will ensure that the Shire leads by example by reducing water and energy consumption, and by implementing efficient and innovative systems, projects and initiatives. In doing so, we can encourage our community and businesses to reduce water and energy consumption.

Click here to view the Green Infrastructure Strategy.

For more information about this project please contact Doug Fotheringham, Manager Regulatory Services on 9927 0000 or email

Additional Documents

The following documents are other important documents that Planning Services use as guidance for development within the Shire of Irwin:

  • Wildlife Control Program - Corellas

    December 2017

    more >

  • Close of Enrolments - Extraordinary Election

    December 2017

    more >

  • Dongara Voices

    December 2017

    more >

Shire Office PMB 21, 11-13 Waldeck Street Dongara WA 6525 | t 9927 0000 | f 9927 1453 | e |

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