Integrating with local, regional and State level strategies and policies

Public open space strategy guide for local governments.

It is essential that a local government public open space strategy fits into the strategic planning framework of local government.

The State Government has legislated a new Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework for Local Government. This framework requires all local governments to consult with their communities to develop a vision for the future in a number of integrated plans as shown in figure 4. It expects all local governments to examine the demographic, social, environmental and economic trends shaping the future of their area and align their activities and resources to the community’s needs and aspirations.

The framework also requires local governments to manage their financial, infrastructure and human resources effectively and efficiently so that all local governments can deliver high quality services sustainably into the future.

In addition to this high level planning which establishes the vision, values and priorities for the next 10 years, there will be a range of informing strategies that will need to be considered. The Planning and Development Act (2005) requires local governments have local planning strategy, and a local planning scheme and planning policies that support the implementation of the scheme. 

Beyond this, local governments have a range of other strategies that support their activities. The nature of these will vary from local government to local government and may include a:

  • environmental/biodiversity strategy
  • housing strategy
  • community facilities strategy
  • economic development strategy
  • local government’s asset management strategy
  • financial management plan
  • area specific strategies such as precinct plans or development control areas.

Planning process

The main processes involved within the WA planning system include: local planning scheme development/review/scheme amendments; subdivision; and development approval. Local government has varying degrees of control within these processes which is explained in general terms as follows:

Local planning scheme development/review and amendments

Local government role/responsibility

  • initiates; prepares and endorses
  • grants preliminary approval/recommends approval or refusal.

Ultimate decision maker

  • WAPC/Minister for Planning.

Useful links to WAPC flow charts:

Introduction to the Western Australian Planning System


Local government role/responsibility

  • assessment
  • recommends approval (with or without conditions) or refusal.

Ultimate decision maker

  • WAPC

Useful links to WAPC flow charts:


Local government role/responsibility

  • assessment
  • grants approval (with or without conditions) or refusal — for DAs under a LPS that are not subject to the DAP Regulations, or where granted delegated authority from the WAPC for DAs under a region scheme; OR
  • recommends approval (with or without conditions) or refusal — for DAs under a LPS subject to the DAP Regulations, or for DAs under a region scheme, redevelopment act or improvement plan.

Ultimate decision maker

  • local government — for DAs under a LPS that are not subject to the DAP Regulations, or where granted delegated authority from the WAPC for DAs under a region scheme
  • DAP for DAs under a LPS and a region scheme subject to the DAP Regulations
  • WAPC for DAs under a region scheme not subject to the DAP Regulations, or where granted the power under a redevelopment act or improvement plan
  • SAT for DAs subject to review of approval/refusal decision (initiated by the applicant)

In assessing, recommending an outcome, and making a decision in regard to the above planning processes, a Local Government must comply with its local planning scheme and have due regard to its local planning policies and strategies.

Significantly, the same also applies to the ultimate decision maker even when it is not the local government1. This highlights the importance of ensuring that an individual local government’s planning framework (which includes its local planning tools) is appropriately designed and developed to support the vision of that local government, including its vision for public open space.

For more information on the planning process refer to the Guide to the WA Planning System for the sport and recreation professional – Department of Sport and Recreation (2010).

State planning instruments

Key State Government documents that local government should be mindful of when developing a public open space strategy (Appendix 2 gives more information on the key state planning instruments relevant to planning for public open space.).


  • Planning and Development Act (S. 152 and Schedule 7)
  • Planning and Development Regulations 2009
  • Draft Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2014 (S. 40, Part 7, S. 34, S. 54, S. 63)
  • Land Administration Act 1997

Region schemes

State Planning Policy and Guidelines

  • WAPC Development Control Policy 2.3 – Public Open Space in Residential Areas (DC 2.3)
  • WAPC Development Control Policy 3.4 – Subdivision of Rural Land (DC 3.4)
  • WAPC Operational Policy - Liveable Neighbourhoods 2009(LN)
  • WAPC Operational policy Liveable Neighbourhoods Review 2015 (LN 2015)
  • WAPC Development Control Policy 4.1 – Industrial Land Subdivision (DC 4.1)
  • State Planning Policy 3.6 – Developer Contributions for Infrastructure (SPP 3.6)
  • State Planning Policy 2.8 Bushland Policy for the Perth Metropolitan Region
  • WAPC Development Control Policy 5.3 – Use of Land Reserved for Parks and Recreation and Open Space (DC 5.3)
  • WAPC Better Urban Water Management 2008
  • State Planning Policy 2 – Environment and Natural Resources and supplementary policies.
  • WAPC Designing Out Crime Planning Guidelines 2006
  • WAPC’s State Planning Policy and Planning Bulletin State Planning Policy 3.6 Development Contributions for Infrastructure (SPP 3.6)

Other resources

  • Local planning strategies, schemes and policies refer to the Western Australian Planning Commission’s Local Planning Manual (2010)
  • Structure plans refer to Western Australian Planning Commission’s Structure Plan Preparation Guidelines 2012
  • State Planning Strategy 2050
  • Directions 2031 and Beyond
  • Perth and Peel @ 3.5 Million

[1] Except for development within redevelopment act areas and improvement plan areas where Local Government local planning schemes become null and void.

Page reviewed 11 September 2023