COVID-19 Planning Information 

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic the City of Vincent and the State Government have introduced a series of changes to the local and state planning legislation, frameworks and schemes.

These changes aim to remove barriers within the planning system to support businesses and enable flexible responses in a changing environment and during lockdown situations.

These temporary exemptions apply to certain changes including the following:

  • New or existing businesses seeking to change their current approved use;
  • Restaurants, cafés, taverns and similar businesses seeking to sell takeaway during a lockdown in contravention of a current planning approvals;
  • People operating their businesses from home during a lockdown;
  • An additional two-year timeframe extension for all current planning approvals;
  • Companies needing to deliver goods but currently with restricted loading and unloading times under a planning approval;
  • Parking commercial vehicles on residential properties; and
  • Medical or health-related facilities required in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Resources

    More Information

    Contact the City’s Planning team at mail@vincent.wa.gov.au or 9723 6000 between 8:30am to 5:00pm so we can provide assistance.

      FAQ's

      Where can I see exactly what is exempt?

      For the common planning approval exemptions during COVID-19, please refer to the information sheet available here. A full list is available on the State Government website here.

      If I intend to use any of the planning exemptions, do I need to do anything?

      Yes. You must notify the City within 7 days of taking up the exemption. You can send an email to mail@vincent.wa.gov.au including your name, property address and the exemption you are proposing to use, e.g. restaurant now operating takeaway.

      Do I need to notify my neighbours that I’m taking advantage of these exemptions?

      Yes. They should be notified in writing and this should include the following:

      • The nature of the use, change or works that is occurring.
      • The details of any operations or any operational changes
      • The business or property owner/occupier’s contact details in case of any issues arise.

      All adjoining residents should be notified in accordance with the diagrams below:

      Draft letters that can be adapted to suit individual circumstances have been prepared to assist with this communication and are linked below:

      The City has also prepared a guide to effective neighbour communication which is available here.

      What if I decide to continue the business after the State of Emergency has ended?

      If you want to continue operating a business that is only exempt during the State of Emergency then you will need to submit a planning application to the City. It is recommended that you apply as soon as possible to avoid any delays.

      Do I need planning approval to change the use of my business, such as to change my restaurant to only offer takeaway?

      Planning approval is not required, subject to the following:

      • The property must not be zoned Residential. To check this, please refer to the City’s online maps here and click on the ‘Local Planning Scheme No. 2’ module.
      • The use is not prohibited in this zone. To check please refer to the zoning table in the information sheet available .
      • No more than two food businesses can be registered at the property. If unsure, please contact the City’s Health team via mail@vincent.wa.gov.au or 9273 6000.
      • Prior to commencing the change, the City and adjoining residents should be notified in writing.

      This exemption expires 90 days after the current State of Emergency for Western Australia has ended. After this a planning application is required to continue operating.

      Do I need planning approval to start a new business?

      Planning approval is not required, subject to the following:

      • The property must not be zoned Residential. To check this, please refer to the City’s online maps here and click on the ‘Local Planning Scheme No. 2’ module.
      • The use cannot be not prohibited (i.e an X use) in this zone. To check please refer to the zoning table in the information sheet available here.
      • No more than two food businesses can be registered at the property. If unsure, please contact the City’s Health team via mail@vincent.wa.gov.au or 9273 6000 between 8:30am to 5:00pm.
      • Prior to commencing the change the City and adjoining residents should be notified in writing.

      This exemption expires 90 days after the current State of Emergency for Western Australia has ended. After this a planning application is required to continue operating.

      Do I need planning approval for medical or health-related activities associated with COVID-19 response?

      Planning approval is not required for the use of land, or for works on land where these relate to medical or health related activities in response to COVID-19.

      To take advantage of this exemption confirmation must be provided by the Department of Health that the activities are necessary in response to COVID-19.

      This exemption expires 90 days after the State of Emergency Declaration ceases to have effect or is revoked, after this a planning application is required to continue operating or so to not have to remove the works.

      Do I need approval to setup a Home Business or to work from home during a lockdown?

      No. Temporary home businesses can be set up without planning approval from the City provided that:

      1. You are operating in a Residential zone; or
      2. Where a dwelling (Single, Multiple, Grouped) is a permitted land use.

      You may require approval from the City’s Health Team for any food or skin penetration businesses.

      Please be aware that this only applies during a lockdown declared by the State Government.. A planning application will be required to submit a following this to continue operating a home business.

      I have a Commercial Vehicle (greater than 3.5GVM) do I need approval to park this at home?

      No. However if you are seeking to use of this exemption you must notify the City in writing within 7 days of this starting

      Example: If you are a delivery driver or have a similar service and need to temporarily park your vehicle at home in response to COVID-19 requirements.

      This exemption expires 90 days after the State of Emergency Declaration ceases to have effect or is revoked. After this a planning application is required for this to continue.

      My approval has a condition limiting delivery times for my business, can I now receive deliveries of good and services for my business at any time?

      Yes. Loading and unloading of goods and petroleum is to still be undertaken in accordance with other relevant legislation (such as health, road traffic) with regards to matters such as noise, odour, traffic management and the like.

      If you are seeking to use of this exemption you must notify the City in writing within 7 days of this change starting.

      This exemption expires 90 days after the State of Emergency Declaration ceases to have effect or is revoked. After this time, restrictions for loading and unloading will return in full effect and must be complied with at all times.

      I don’t think I will be able to substantially commence my development within the 2 year timeframe, what can I do?

      Any planning approval that was still valid on the 8 April 2020 is eligible for an additional 2 years to commence development.

      Example: This means if your approval was due to expire on 10 April 2020 your new expiration date is the 10 April 2022.

      This applies to any planning approval granted on or before the date upon which the State of Emergency Declaration ceases to have effect or is revoked. This does not apply to any planning approval granted by a Development Assessment Panel after 22 April 2022.

      Do I need approval to start serving takeaway food at my business (restaurant/café, tavern, hotel or similar venue) during a lockdown?

      No.

      Example: I have approval for a ‘Restaurant’ as defined under the City’s Local Planning Scheme No.2 which refers to sale of food and drinks for consumption on the premises in provided seating. The current restrictions do not allow for this and I want to switch to takeaway only. No approval is required.

      Please be aware that this only applies during a lockdown declared by the State Government. A planning application will be required to continue this afterwards.

      I have an existing liquor license for my business and want to offer takeaway, what do I need to do?

      Proponents are advised to visit the Department of Racing Gaming and Liquor (RGL) website here which outline the requirements and relevant application forms.

      What if I want to get a liquor license for my business?

      Proponents are required to lodge an application with Department of Racing Gaming and Liquor (RGL). Details regarding the application forms, fees and licensing types are available on their website here.

      I need to make some alterations and additions to my building to be able to operate a takeaway food service during a lockdown, what do I need to do?

      You do not require planning approval for any works that are minor and temporary in nature. For example, the installation of a service window.

      You are still required to obtain a Building Permit.

      Please be aware that this only applies during a lockdown declared by the State Government. A planning application will be required to continue this afterwards. It also does not apply to heritage protected places.