The state government's granny flat exemptions will come into effect by mid-April.

Council caveats on state’s granny flat amendments

Urban residents may find it easier to put a granny flat on their property than their rural counterparts under the relaxed regulations.
February 22, 2024
Gera Kazakov

RURAL residents in certain council’s wanting to put a granny flat on their property may still require planning approvals despite the state government’s new relaxed regulations.

In the hills, rural-zoned residents in the Shire of Mundaring and the City of Kalamunda will still have to get planning approvals to put granny flats on their block.

“In urban areas, ancillary dwellings are already exempt from planning approval, so no further changes have been identified,” City of Kalamunda Mayor Margaret Thomas said.

“However, it should be noted that development approval is still necessary in the city’s rural zones.

“These rural zones are subject to additional planning considerations where further assessment is necessary, such as bushfire risk, public drinking water catchment areas and agricultural land uses.”

Shire of Mundaring chief executive officer Jason Whiteaker said granny flats were mostly exempt in the shire if they fully complied with R-Codes and scheme requirements.

“The exception, which will remain the case, is if they are in a bushfire prone area or local natural area,” he said.

Down the hill, City of Swan rural-zoned residents will find themselves with similar caveats to the hill’s councils and still requiring planning approval, while properties in urbanised areas may find other caveats relating to distances from public transport, heritage, or airport noise amongst others as a reason to seek approval from the city for a dwelling.

In the Town of Bassendean, a spokesperson said that granny flats would be exempt across the entire district where they met the relevant standards relating to setback size and regulations.

“The town has not made any changes to the granny flat approval process after the new planning exemptions were released,” they said.

Rural residents within the Shires of Chittering and Northam also have similar granny flat caveats to rural-zoned hills residents.

All granny flats within the Shire of Chittering will require building approval, but they’re exempt from planning approval in the Bindoon townsite and Wildflower Ridge estate.

All Shire of Chittering rural residential lots, agricultural properties, and those within the Muchea townsite will still require planning approval for their granny flats.

The Shire of Northam states that lots zoned residential don’t require development approval for ancillary dwellings, whereas approval is required for rural, rural residential, and rural smallholding zoned lots. The shire does not permit the dwellings in other zones.

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