Planning Overview

Planning Overview

Planning Services

All healthy communities require areas for living, working and recreation. The Shire of Irwin Planning Services aim to maintain a high quality of life.

The Planning Services team deal with a variety of tasks including:

  • Controlling where, and what type, of development takes place;
  • Regulating the land use throughout the Shire of Irwin;
  • Undertaking strategic planning to manage and coordinate future development within the Shire of Irwin;
  • Continuously reviewing the Shire’s planning documents, to ensure the best development and land use outcomes; and
  • Ensures that all new subdivisions are designed to incorporate all relevant amenities 

Planning Framework


All land in the Shire of Irwin falls under the control of the Shire of Irwin Local Planning Scheme No. 5. If you are intending to develop or use a property, you may need to lodge a Development Application to the Shire of Irwin before taking any further action.

Ready to submit a development application? 

Application forms & Information 

Local Planning Strategy

The Shire of Irwin’s Local Planning Strategy acts as a guide for the progressive development of the Shire over the next 10 to 15 years by:

  • 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 Local Planning Strategy was endorsed by the Western Australian Planning Commission on 3 August 2017 and can be viewed on the Department of Planning website.

Local Planning Strategy 

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 can be found on the WA Planning Commission’s website.

Local Planning Scheme No.5

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. 

Scheme amendment decisions are made by the Western Australian Planning Commission. For more information on the Scheme Amendment process contact the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage.

forms & information page Dept of Planning, lands and Heritage

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.


Development Assessment Panel (DAP) 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 with an estimated cost of $10 million or more. The "opt-in" threshold is for development that has an estimated cost between $2 million and $10 million.

The DAPs will consist of an independent chairman, two local council representatives, and three members with expertise in fields to be prescribed.

More Information Development Assessment Panel applications can be viewed on the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage webpage  

Dept Planning, Lands and Heritage

Subdivision Applications

Subdivision is controlled by the Western Australian Planning Commission. 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 the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage webpage.

Subdivison fees and forms


The Shire of Irwin refers to the Local Government Guidelines for Subdivisional Development for subdivisional engineering approval and clearance of relevant subdivisional conditions.

Guidelines for subdivisional development

Residential Design Codes

For all development located within the Residential zone, the Shire uses the State Planning Policy 7.3 Residential Design Codes Volume 1 (renamed May 2019) for guidance when assessing development applications.

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

SPP 7.3 Residential design codes - Volume 1


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.

Green Infrastructure Strategy

Shire of Irwin Industrial Land 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. 

 Industrial Land Strategy



Dongara-Port Denison District Structure Plan

The Dongara-Port Denison District Structure Plan and the District Water Management Strategy will guide land use and development over the next 10 to 20 years. 

District Structure Plan

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.

town Centre Precinct Plan

Coastal Mgt Project

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 is below:

Coastal Adaptation Forum - Summary Report

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


Coastal Management Plan

Council recently endorsed the Coastal Management Plan.

The purpose of the Coastal Management Plan is to inform the Shire of appropriate future development and land use of coastal land under the ownership or management of the Shire. The Plan investigates and takes into account coastal hazards/risks and coastal processes so that we have a better understanding of how the areas of coastal land will form or be impacted over time. The Plan covers the coast of the district but focuses on more prominent “hotspots” and continues on from the Shire’s Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan (CHRMAP) in 2016.

The Plan is comprehensive but is broken down into sections for the 3 sectors of the coast that form the recommended actions:

  • Sector 1 Northern Beaches 
  • Sector 2 Dongara/Port Denison
  • Sector 3 Southern Nodes

These sections may assist with refining to your area of interest on the topic.

Coastal Management Plan

This project is funded by the Western Australian Planning Commission through the Coastal Management Plan Assistance Program. 

Irwin River Planning

Irwin River Estuary Management Plan

The Irwin River Estuary Management Plan was adopted by Council in 2014.


Irwin Flood Study

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

Part 1 - Map Part 2 - Map

Contact Information

Contact Info

For development (planning) enquiries, please contact Regulatory Services  on  9927 0000