27 October 2021










Late Items FOR THE Council MEETING TO BE HELD ON 27 October 2021



ITEM NO.                                        SUBJECT                                                                                                                              PAGE NO.

13..... Planning and Development Services Report. 3



Council                                                                                      3                                                                  27 October 2021

13.             Planning and Development Services Report



LIFESTYLE - A place that is relaxed, safe and friendly with services and facilities that support healthy lifestyles and wellbeing.


2.8 Plan for and facilitate the development of neighbourhoods that are functional, green and provide for diverse and affordable housing choices.


Local Planning Scheme No. 21 Amendments


Strategic Planning


Planning Officer - Joanna Wilkinson


Director, Planning and Development Services - Paul Needham


Legislative: adoption of “legislative documents” such as local laws, local planning schemes and local planning policies


Simple Majority


Attachment a   Location Plan

Attachment b    Aerial Photo

Attachment c    Scheme Amendment Map

Attachment d   Schedule of Submissions

Attachment e    Schedule of Modifications  


This item was referred from the Ordinary Meeting of Council 13 October 2021.



That the Council:

1.         In pursuance of the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015, adopts Amendment 50 to Local Planning Scheme No. 21 for final approval, in accordance with the modifications proposed in the Schedule of Modifications shown at Attachment E, for the purposes of amending the Scheme map by modifying the residential density code from R80 to R60 over Lot 81 (18), Strata Plan 17588 (20) and Lots 115 to 127 (26-50) Geographe Bay Road, Dunsborough, as set out at Attachment C.

2.         Advise the Western Australian Planning Commission that Amendment 50 is considered a ‘standard’ amendment pursuant to the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 as it is:

(a)       an amendment relating to a zone or reserve that is consistent with the objectives identified in the Scheme for that zone or reserve;

(b)       an amendment that would have minimal impact on land in the Scheme area that is not the subject of the amendment;

(c)       an amendment that does not result in any significant environmental, social, economic or governance impacts on land in the Scheme area.

3.         Pursuant to r.53 of the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015, endorses the Schedule of Submissions at Attachment D, which has been prepared in response to the public consultation process undertaken in relation to Amendment 50.

4.         Upon preparation of the necessary documentation, refers the adopted Amendment 50 to the Western Australian Planning Commission for consideration and determination in accordance with the Planning and Development Act 2005.

5.         Pursuant to r.56 of the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015, should directions be given that modifications to Amendment 50 are required, direct these modifications to be undertaken accordingly, on behalf of the Council, unless they are considered by officers likely to significantly affect the purpose and intent of the Amendment, in which case the matter shall be formally referred back to the Council for assessment and determination.



The purpose of this report is to set out recommendations regarding the final adoption of Amendment No. 50 (the Amendment) to Local Planning Scheme No. 21 (LPS 21), following consideration of the submissions received through the consultation process. The amendment proposes a reduction to the density coding of 23 residential lots fronting Geographe Bay Road on the Dunsborough foreshore, from R80 to R60. A location plan and aerial photograph are provided at Attachments A and B, respectively.

The Amendment was initiated by Council in February 2021 (C2102/021) following community interest in a recent development approval (DA 20/0624) in this locality, granted by the Regional Joint Development Assessment Panel (RJDAP). The majority of submissions to the Amendment demonstrate concern about future development in the locality and support for the proposed down-coding.

Officers recommend that Council seek finalisation of the Amendment in accordance with the modifications in the Schedule of Modifications provided at Attachment E.


Note: this section of the report has been drafted by an independent planning consultant who is not employed by the City. This consultant was engaged by the City to prepare the Amendment documents, draft comments and recommendations in respect of submissions received (Schedule of Submissions, Attachment D), and assist with the drafting of this Council report. Minor edits only have been made by officers and the consultant has indicated no objection to those edits. The views expressed in this section of the report do not necessarily reflect the views or understandings of City officers.

The Amendment was initiated by Council in response to community concerns about future development on Geographe Bay Road along the foreshore. This concern was prompted by the approval of DA 20/0624, a four storey apartment building on Lots 115 and 116 (26-28) Geographe Bay Road and Lots 139 and 140 (23-25) Lorna Street, by the RJDAP in February 2021.  Objections to DA 20/0624 centred on the height and bulk of the proposed development in this foreshore precinct, which was regarded as important to the attraction and ambience of Dunsborough as a residential and tourist area. Approval for the proposed development, including additional plot ratio requirements, setback dispensations and a parking reduction, was granted on the grounds that it satisfied the performance requirements of current state planning policies and was supported by a design assessment undertaken by consultants on behalf of the City. Some submitters indicated that they had been advised by the City that a three storey height limit would apply in this area as required in LPS 21.


This first apartment building development, as is often the case when areas are up-coded, demonstrated the potential and the impact of the R80 coding in this locality. The amalgamation of four lots for this development, their juxtaposition with Seymour Park and dual road access, enabled the design of a substantial four storey building on this site. Approval of this application highlighted the scope of height control provisions in LPS 21, providing for development above three storeys. It also raised wider concern about the ability of State and local planning instruments to achieve an acceptable design outcome in this locality without the support of a site-specific strategic framework and design guidelines for subdivision and development. Overall, there was significant concern about the transitioning of development in this area, and this approval was seen as an undesirable precedent for development along this sensitive foreshore strip.

The substantial increase in coding of lots from R15 to R80 was approved some four years ago as part of Amendment No. 1 to LPS 21. This change was justified at the time on the basis that it reflected the recommendations of a number of strategic plans and studies for the Dunsborough town centre. A proportion of the submissions opposed the coding change citing loss of “village” atmosphere as a result of the visual impact of increased height and bulk of buildings, increased noise and light, overshadowing, loss of privacy, and increased traffic and parking demand. The R80 coding was supported by the Council and approved by the Minister on the grounds that it reflected the strategic direction for the town. It was considered that any negative impacts could be managed through the development approval process, the provisions of LPS 21 with regard to permitted heights, the Residential Design Codes (R-Codes), and comprehensive assessment within urban design guidelines. The City also indicated that it was committed to constructive engagement with the community to ensure transitional improvement in the town.

Since the approval of Amendment No.1 new state policies have been introduced to guide the design of residential buildings at a higher density. An urban design assessment which includes the subject lots (apart from Lot 81 (18) Geographe Bay Road) was completed in 2021 to assist with the preparation of a Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) for the Dunsborough town centre, but to date no specific design guidelines or special provisions have been prepared for this area. The City is actively engaged in the preparation of the PSP and preliminary consultation has revealed community concern about density and height of future development in the area.

Summary of Submissions to Amendment 50

A total of 114 submissions were received during public advertising of the Amendment, including one public objection and no agency objections. A Schedule of Submissions is provided at Attachment D.

The support for the Amendment followed several consistent themes. In the first place, submissions emphasised the need to retain the seaside village feel of Dunsborough particularly outside the town centre and along the foreshore. Great emphasis was placed on protecting and enhancing its small, intimate and unique character and the special qualities of the bay area. In this regard four storey development was seen as conflicting with this important objective and also perceived as likely to obstruct views to the foreshore coming from the town centre, block out northern sun to adjoining properties and contribute to increased traffic and parking problems.

There was general support for the R60 down-coding, in particular the three storey height control. R60 was seen by some respondents as achieving a balance between providing for manageable residential density and at the same time providing a transition between the town centre and the seafront. Some submissions indicated that further design controls should be implemented such as requiring greater setbacks for higher buildings to avoid solid walls opposite the foreshore and measuring setbacks from balcony lines rather than wall lines. A number of submissions favoured a two storey limit to maintain the low density environment along the foreshore.


Several submissions raised concerns about past assurances by the City that the height of the development would be limited to three storeys on the foreshore, through specific provisions in LPS 21 regarding development within 150 metres of the mean high water mark. The ‘loophole’ that allowed the approval of a four storey building approval was questioned and the importance of removing this to safeguard the future amenity of the foreshore locality.

Four submissions were received from owners of lots directly affected by the proposed down-coding to R60. Three of these, the owners of Lot 119 (34), Lot 122 (40) and Lot 126 (48) Geographe Bay Road, supported the coding of R60 citing concern with the impact of four storey buildings on the surrounding lots and the vista and views from the park and beachfront. The submissions emphasised the need to protect the space, peace and environment of the foreshore and the coastal feel and integrity of the town.

One objection to the Amendment was received on behalf of the owner of the four lots granted development approval for DA 20/0624. This submits that the Amendment should be modified and the R80 coding on this land retained as there is already a development approval in place, the proposed design is broadly consistent with an R80 coding, and the development approval is currently being implemented. It is argued that the land has unique characteristics abutting a public reserve, has dual frontage, constitutes a large development site and is in close proximity to the R-AC3 coding of the town centre. The submission also questioned the planning rationale behind the Amendment as the change from R80 to R60 is not apparently supported by strategic planning, planning principles or urban design modelling. Should the Amendment be modified over Lots 115 and 116 (26-28) Geographe Bay Road, given the unique attributes of the land and the fact that there is a development approval in place, the owner raises no objection to the down-coding of the remaining lots.

Current strategic direction for higher density residential development

There continues to be significant emphasis in State Government planning direction on increasing residential density in urban areas to provide for more diverse accommodation choices and to achieve a more sustainable footprint from an economic, environmental and social point of view. The approach of imposing higher density codings without adequate design control and guidance over existing residential areas has proved to be a “blunt instrument” in several cases with a corresponding adverse impact on urban form, streetscapes and the adjoining areas. Many initiatives in this regard throughout urban areas in WA have raised community concern prompting some successful attempts to reduce density codings and substantial review of State policy in the past few years. State Planning Policy 7.0 – Design of Built Environment (SPP 7.0) was gazetted in 2019 to address these issues more comprehensively. It identifies important design principles to be taken into consideration - context and character, landscape quality, built form and scale, functionality and build quality, sustainability, amenity, legibility, safety, community and aesthetics.

The R-Codes indicate that a local government may, with the approval of the WAPC, prepare local planning policies, local development plans, structure plans, and activity centre plans to deal with specific local circumstances. This acknowledgement of the need to protect sensitive and unique areas, such as coastal towns and foreshores, using these planning instruments reflects widespread practice in Australia and is of particular relevance to Dunsborough.

The Local Planning Strategy 2020 is the most recently endorsed strategic planning document for the City of Busselton, and recommends the continued growth of the Dunsborough Urban Area through the redevelopment and consolidation of the existing urban area, and identification of suitable areas for planned, progressive expansion. In this respect, it deals in broad terms with the issue of increased density and where it should be applied, but does not prescribe a specific density or built form outcomes.

It is intended that the PSP for the Dunsborough town centre, which is being progressed, will provide more guidance on how such development should occur in the Study Area. An Urban Design Assessment Report prepared by Urbis as part of the PSP process identified that the town centre had its own “sense of place” and a low key friendly atmosphere. The report came up with broad urban design objectives for identified precincts including the area the subject of the amendment defined as Dunn Bay East. Within this particular area it identified the potential for inconsistent streetscapes and the need to ensure that scale and transitioning between areas was properly managed. The Report was again broad in scope and not intended to be accompanied by specific recommendations to address the above design issues.

Future development along Geographe Bay Road

The application of the R80 coding in Amendment No. 1 to the local planning scheme, a substantial change from R15 coding in 2017, was based on broad recommendations in strategic documents including the objective of linking the town centre with the foreshore and providing for more activation from Dunn Bay Road southwards along Geographe Bay Road. The amendment created the opportunity for a range of mixed uses on the land coded R80 subject to the preparation of urban design guidelines or special provisions to address a range of issues. These included  appropriate building setbacks, built form articulation, architectural design, function, bulk, scale, massing, grain, signage, vehicular access, and  location of crossovers/provision of onsite car parking; roofscapes, skylines and service installation sites. This detailed guidance has not been undertaken to date and the assessment of DA 20/0624 was carried out using the R-Codes and a design assessment of the proposal by Urbis consultants.

The design assessment of DA 20/0624 specifically addressed design principles in the absence of local design guidelines and concluded that it was a suitable design response which largely met the design principles of SPP7.0. The assessment acknowledged in terms of context and character that the proposal departed from the existing two and three storey buildings in the vicinity, but considered it appropriate in the wider residential context of three storey structures across the town centre. It was also justified on the basis of its location close to Dunn Bay Road and its potential to provide a gateway entry and transition between the town centre and the foreshore. The assessment placed considerable emphasis on its advantageous siting next to Seymour Park which provided the opportunity not only for visual relief and containing the park edge but also surveillance and access for the gym and café uses. It also pointed out the opportunities for servicing, legibility and transitioning of building form offered by the larger lot size and its frontage to two streets.

The majority of the remaining R80 lots subject to the Amendment are between 800 and 900 square metres and are further removed from the town centre. Access is limited to Geographe Bay Road, there is no abutting open space and the interface is with R15 coded residential land. The lead up to and the processing of this Amendment has highlighted the need and demand for additional design controls to provide for more rigorous assessment of higher coded development along this portion of the Dunsborough foreshore. Whilst current State design policies and possible assistance by a Design Review Committee in the future may assist in development assessment, there is a need to address wider strategic issues than building design such as the transitioning of development with surrounding areas and articulating a clear vision for the future development of the town.


Alternative Recommendations for Amendment No. 50

The alternative courses of action by the Council regarding the progress of the Amendment in terms of the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015, are to support the Amendment without modification, to support the Amendment with proposed modifications or not to support the Amendment.

The R60 coding if approved in this locality would reduce the prospect of development above three storeys on the remaining foreshore lots. This coding is not in conflict with the broad urban consolidation objective for the Dunsborough town centre and continues to reflect the strategic direction for mixed use and higher residential development in this locality. This would reflect the majority of views in submissions and signal the concern about the potential impact of the current R80 coding in this sensitive locality within the current planning framework. Given the constraints associated with developing the remaining lots and the progression of the PSP process this is unlikely to create any negative impact for landowners in the short term. It is recommended therefore that the Council resolve to seek final adoption of the Amendment.

The shortcomings of a blanket density code in this sensitive foreshore locality without supporting design guidance have been outlined above and it is recommended that the issue of more detailed analysis of potential development outcomes on the remaining lots be given priority as part of the PSP process or its recommendations for further action.

The proposed designation of the R60 coding on Lots 115 and 116 (26-28) Geographe Bay Road, whilst retaining the R80 coding on Lots 139 and 140 (23-25) Lorna Street, is potentially confusing given that the lots are being amalgamated to form one development site, with development approval for one building. In order to reflect a uniform coding over this development site, a modification to the Amendment to R80 or R60 should be required.

An R80 coding over the site would indicate the density approved for the apartment development. It would also represent an exception for this significant lot on the Dunsborough foreshore as Lots 81 and Strata Lots 1-9 across Dunn Bay Road and Lots 117- 127 Geographe Bay Road would remain coded R60. It is acknowledged that the site has some unique advantages for the design of a landmark commercial and residential development but a similar case could be argued for redevelopment of the site on the opposite corner of Dunn Bay Road.

If the R60 coding proceeds within this amendment, it will not affect the validity of the approval already issued. The development approval remains valid (notwithstanding any down-coding) unless the approval lapses and the development has not been substantially commenced. However, the development approval is the subject of an application for judicial review in the Supreme Court (unrelated to the proposed down-coding) and, depending on the outcome, this may impact on the validity of the approval.

Notwithstanding the concerns raised by the owner, it is recommended that the Amendment be modified to include Lots 139 and 140 in the R60 coding to reflect the overarching intention to down-code lots on the Dunsborough foreshore. It is envisaged that the PSP process will provide specific provisions and clearer guidance aimed at protecting the future of this unique foreshore location and this may prompt future amendments to the local planning scheme.

This recommendation for final approval and modification is made on the grounds that the proposed down-coding is not contrary to current strategic planning direction, reflects community concern about future development of this coastal locality, and will not cause a negative impact on future development of the area.


Note: this section of the report has been drafted solely by Planning Officers who are employed by the City.

Recommended Modification to the Amendment – Scheme Map

Officers acknowledge that the proposal to down-code the subject lots from R80 to R60 broadly aligns with the strategic objective for urban consolidation and redevelopment in Dunsborough, and that it continues to allow for mixed use development in order to link the foreshore to the town centre.

In terms of mixed use development, land on the periphery of the town centre has been identified through a number of strategic documents, endorsed by Council, to allow for low-key commercial and service land uses to support the town centre. This was formally enacted through Amendment No. 1 and the introduction of ‘Additional Use 74’. The recent Dunsborough [Town] Centre Commercial Growth Analysis (Pracsys, 2018), commissioned to inform the Dunsborough PSP, identified that that there will be a shortfall of commercial floor-space in the Dunsborough town centre, to meet future demand. Mixed use development of these peripheral sites, including the subject land, will contribute to alleviating the shortfall of future demand.

Officers agree that the proposed designation of R60 coding on Lots 115 and 116 (26-28) Geographe Bay Road, whilst retaining the R80 coding on Lots 139 and 140 (23-25) Lorna Street, is potentially confusing given that the four lots have been approved for amalgamation and will form one development site, with development approval for one building. Officers also understand that a significant number of people in the community have expressed concern with four storey development on the site.

Officers also agree that, in contrast to the communication around the application of the ‘RAC-3’ Coding to the ‘Centre’ Zoned portion of the Dunsborough town centre, where implications in terms of building height and density were made clear, the same cannot be said to the application of the R80 coding to areas on the periphery. In part as a result of that and also having considered the submissions, officers do support the application of the R60 coding to the bulk of the land subject of the amendment.

Reflecting the recommendation of the independent planning consultant, the Schedule of Modifications provided as Attachment E indicates support for application of the R60 coding across the whole of the site. City officers are not fully supportive of that recommendation, and there are some alternatives that the Council may wish to consider – as briefly outlined in the ‘Options’ section of this report.


Recommended Modification to the Amendment - Scheme Text

Officers have recommended three additional modifications that relate to height control clauses in LPS 21. The key reason for these additional modifications is to ensure that the fundamental intent of the amendment is reflected in the Scheme – i.e. to apply a three storey height control to the affected land. The proposed changes and the more detailed rationale for them is set out below.

1.         To update clause 4.3.2 to include reference to the R60 residential density coding, to clarify that building proposals are permitted under the relevant provisions of the R-Codes.

The policy aim of the Amendment is to allow R60 coded buildings, with a three storey height control, to be proposed and considered within the Amendment area. Submissions were broadly supportive of the R60/three storey height control. Current height controls in clause 4.8.1(a) require that a building containing more than two storeys must not be erected within 150 metres of the mean high water mark, which is contrary to the policy aim of the Amendment. Clause 4.8.3 is intended to provide the discretion to vary clause 4.8.1, however these modifications would provide further clarification to landowners and developers that the R-Codes can be applied.

2.         To update clause 4.8.1 to clarify that the wording “except where otherwise provided for in the Scheme” applies to both parts (a) and (b) of the clause.

Currently, it is possible that the clause may be interpreted so that wording “except where otherwise provided for in the Scheme” is applied only to part (b) of clause 4.8.1.

3.         To update clause 4.8.1 to clarify that building height is measured from natural ground level.

For proposals where a residential density coding has been designated, they would be measured consistently with ‘Figure Series 7 – Building Height’ of the Volume 1 of the R-Codes, or in accordance with ‘2.2 Building height’ in Volume 2 of the R-Codes. For non-residential proposals, this also clarifies that building height would be measured from natural ground level (which is the reference point used in practice currently).

4.         To update clauses 4.3.2 and 4.8.3 when referring to the R-Codes, to reflect amendments to Volume 1 and the introduction of Volume 2.

When drafted, clauses 4.3.2 and 4.8.3 referred to a version of the R-Codes that is now redundant. In 2019 the R-Codes was effectively split into two separate volumes and, the result is that Volume 1 still contains provisions for single houses, grouped dwellings and multiple dwellings in areas coded less than R40, however planning and design standards for multiple dwellings in areas coded R40 or greater, within mixed use development and/or activity centres, is now contained in Volume 2 – Apartments. Each volume uses different terminology when referring to design standards and performance principles, and the structure and format of Volume 2 is quite different from that of Volume 1.

In regard to providing direct reference in clause 4.3.2 to the ‘Deemed-to-Comply’ and ‘Acceptable Outcome’ provisions of Volumes 1 or 2 of the R-Codes, Parts 2.4 and 2.5 (Volume 1) and page IV (Volume 2) of the R-Codes explicitly allow for the standards in each policy to be applied with a degree of flexibility, and the exercise of judgement on the contextual merit of individual proposals. While direct reference is made in this clause to ‘Deemed-to-Comply’ and ‘Acceptable Outcome’, a proposal could still be assessed on ‘Design Principles’ and ‘Element Objectives’ of Volumes 1 or 2 of the R-Codes, as proposed in the modification to clause 4.8.3.

5.         To clarify that clauses 4.3.2 and 4.8.3 should be read in accordance with amended versions of the R-Codes.

The R-Codes is subject to reasonably regular amendments (more so than many other State planning policies). This modification provides clarity that if specific parts of the R-Codes have been referenced in the Scheme, and the structure or format of the R-Codes is subsequently changed, then the stated part of the R-Codes should be read in accordance with the amended version of the R-Codes, which may be different to what is stated in the Scheme.

6.         To update clause 4.8.3 to clarify that only buildings proposed on land where a residential density coding has been designated, are to be consistent with the relevant provisions of the R-Codes.

Clause 4.8.3 currently requires that applications proposing to exceed the height controls specified in clause 4.8.1 are to be assessed against the relevant criteria of clause 67 ‘Matters to be Considered’ of the Deemed Provisions, and the relevant criteria of the R-Codes. However not all land within the City is zoned Residential and, it may not always be appropriate to assess development proposing to exceed the height controls against the relevant criteria of the R-Codes. In fact, it may be the case that none of the criteria are relevant.

Detailed Urban Design Guidelines

As discussed in the Background section above, Amendment No. 1 to LSP 21 up-coded the subject sites to R80, and at the same time the opportunity for mixed use development was created. Amendment No. 1 was gazetted in 2017, at a time when the State was developing new ‘performance-based’ urban design guidance through draft policies on the design of the urban environment and, more specifically, apartments within mixed use developments and/or activity centres. In many instances, as the State introduces and ‘works through’ policy reform, local governments can be delayed in their own development of complementary policy. Indeed the State planning policies 7.0: Design of the Built Environment and 7.3: Residential Design Codes Volume 2 – Apartments were not gazetted until, respectively, February and May 2019. Any work the City had done in this policy space prior to the gazettals may have been premature and rendered redundant during the time those policies were being formulated.

Officers accept and agree that detailed urban design guidelines for all of the subject lots will provide clarity around the design of future developments. In this regard, there is an opportunity to provide a nuanced approach in focused ‘design response areas’ through the Dunsborough PSP, in a manner that strategically provides for residential and commercial growth, and also listens and responds to community concern. A considerable amount of work in researching and collating information and data in respect to the preparation of the Dunsborough PSP has already been carried out, and it is anticipated that this will be presented to Council, for endorsement to advertise, later in 2021.

Statutory Environment

The key statutory documents relevant to this proposal include the Planning and Development Act 2005, the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015, and the relevant objectives and provisions of the City of Busselton Local Planning Scheme No. 21. Each is discussed below under appropriate subheadings.

Planning and Development Act 2005

The Planning and Development Act 2005 outlines the relevant considerations when preparing and amending local planning schemes. The relevant provisions of the Act have been taken into account in preparing and processing this Amendment.

Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015

The Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 (the Regulations), which came into operational effect on 19 October 2015, identify three different levels of amendments – basic, standard and complex. The resolution of the local government is to specify the level of the amendment and provide an explanation justifying this choice.  This Amendment is considered to be a ‘standard’ amendment.

Local Planning Scheme No. 21

The subject land is zoned ‘Residential’ with a residential density coding of R80; and, is identified in Schedule 2 ‘Additional Uses’ no. A74. Land uses and conditions specified for A74 are:




Medical Centre


Consulting Rooms



Tourist Accommodation

1.         The Additional Uses specified shall be deemed to be “D” uses for the purposes of the Scheme.

2.         Shop’ land uses may be permitted at ground floor level only and occupy 50% of total development floor space, up to a maximum area of 300m2 per lot.

3.         A nil setback to the street shall be considered for active frontages.

4.         The provisions of Clause 4.25 relating to cash in lieu of car parking shall apply.

5.         Urban design guidelines (and/or Special Provisions) shall be prepared and adopted as a Local Planning Policy to address the following matters in relation to any proposed development:

a.         Appropriate building setbacks to prevent or suitably mitigate overshadowing or overlooking of neighbouring properties;

b.         Built form articulation, architectural design, function, bulk, scale, massing, grain, signage, and surveillance (in relation to the streetscape, surrounding buildings, adjoining land uses and the overall character and amenity of the subject development area);

c.         Vehicle access, and the location of crossovers/provision of onsite car parking;

d.         Roof scapes, skylines and service installation sites to ensure minimal visual intrusion.



Relevant Plans and Policies

The key policy documents relevant to this proposal are the Dunsborough Town Centre Conceptual Plan 2014, and the Local Planning Strategy. Each is discussed below under appropriate subheadings.

Dunsborough Town Centre Conceptual Plan 2014

This Plan shows land along Chieftain Court, Geographe Bay Road and Dunn Bay Road designated for potential expansion of low-key commercial development and increased residential density into adjoining streets which connect to the town centre and foreshore. It recommends that Dunsborough improves linkage with the foreshore by replacing low and intermittent activity with an area of interest and pedestrian amenity from the town centre.

City of Busselton Local Planning Strategy 2020

The LPS recommends the continued growth of the Dunsborough Urban Area through the redevelopment and consolidation of the existing urban area and identification of suitable areas for planned, progressive expansion. This objective to be achieved by urban consolidation and redevelopment (including increases in permissible residential density) in existing urban areas, especially in areas close to the town centre, high amenity areas, such as coastal locations, adjacent to open space, or areas close to significant community facilities.

Financial Implications

There are no financial implications associated with the officer recommendation.

Stakeholder Consultation

The Amendment was advertised for a period of 49 days ending 20 August 2021. During the advertising period it became apparent that direct written advice had not been sent to the 23 affected landowners. Each owner was contacted by telephone and email advising that the closing period for submissions would be extended by a further week.

A total of 114 submissions were received, from five government agencies and 96 different members of the public, including four affected landowners. Some members of the public provided two submissions of support, and 10 public submissions declared that they ‘did not support’ the proposal, however their comments indicated that they were in fact supportive. Each of these submitters was invited to clarify their views, and each provided a second submission, changing their view from ‘do not support’ to ‘support’.

One public submission was a clear objection, and there were no objections received from Government agencies.

Risk Assessment

An assessment of the potential implications of implementing the officer recommendation has been undertaken using the City’s risk management framework, with risks assessed taking into account any controls already in place. No risks of a medium or greater level have been identified.



As an alternative to the proposed recommendation, the Council could:

1.         Resolve to not support the Amendment for final approval (and provide a reason for such a decision). The Council would need to make that as a recommendation to the Minister, setting out the rationale for the recommendation. The decision would then rest with the Minister, having also received and considered a recommendation on the amendment from the Western Australian Planning Commission.

2.         To make different or further modifications including, potentially, retaining the R80 coding over Lots 115 and 116 (26-28) Geographe Bay Road, and Lots 139 and 140 (23-25) Lorna Street, or retaining the R80 coding over the Lorna Street lots only, reflecting the amendment as advertised.


The Amendment concerns the potential future development of land along the Dunsborough foreshore, an iconic area of the South West and one that has merit for special design consideration. The coding of the land for R80 residential development in 2017, whilst reflecting broad strategic objectives, also placed reliance on LPS 21 and state residential development controls, and the use of specific design guidelines to guide future development. The recent approval of an apartment complex has demonstrated the potential impact of R80 coding, particularly in terms of height and bulk, in this sensitive foreshore location, and highlighted concerns about future development in this locality.

An R60 coding will continue to permit medium density development but will alleviate concerns about development exceeding three storeys. The Amendment proposal is not contrary to the strategic direction in state and local government policies and plans and reflects community concerns about the future development of this foreshore land, as it retains a medium density coding that will permit apartment and mixed-use development to occur, albeit at slightly lower density than is currently permissible. There is also the opportunity in future to provide more specific design guidance for the remaining lots in this locality and the townsite in the preparation of the PSP and further studies.


The implementation of the officer recommendation will involve the referral of Amendment No. 50 to the Western Australian Planning Commission for final approval and this will occur within one month of the resolution.



27 October 2021


Attachment a

Location Plan




27 October 2021


Attachment b

Aerial Photo




27 October 2021


Attachment c

Scheme Amendment Map




27 October 2021


Attachment d

Schedule of Submissions




27 October 2021


Attachment e

Schedule of Modifications