Developing in bushfire prone areas

WA BAL Report specialise in conducting Bushfire Attack Level Assessments and Bushfire Attack Level Reports. At WA BAL Report, we get queries from people wanting to develop on their property. We can provide assistance and conduct the required assessments where you are applying for development approval in a bushfire-prone area.

All development applications in bushfire-prone areas are required to be lodged with a BAL Assessment or BAL Contour Map, the identification of all issues arising from them and an assessment against the bushfire protection criteria demonstrating compliance within the boundary of the development application. However, under the Local Planning Scheme Amendment Regulations 2015 and State Planning Policy (SPP) 3.7, development applications for single houses and ancillary dwellings on a lot or lots less than 1,100m2 are excluded from requiring further assessment at the development application stage (also known as planning approval or DA) but will require a bushfire attack level (BAL) assessment report before making an application for building permit.

Where a BAL Contour Map has been prepared for the subject site for a previous subdivision approval, this can be used in lieu of a BAL assessment as long as it is at a scale appropriate for the development. It is recommended that BAL Contour Maps are prepared by an accredited Bushfire Planning Practitioner and BAL assessments prepared by an accredited Level 1 BAL Assessor. WA BAL Report are Level 1 BAL Assessors.

In deciding whether the development application in bushfire-prone areas is compliant, decision-makers take into consideration:

  • The existing requirements of the relevant scheme
  • The objectives and policy measures contained in the SPP 3.7 and the Guidelines for Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas
  • Any existing Bushfire Hazard Level assessment, BAL Contour Map, BAL assessment or similar existing document in relation to the subject site
  • Any applicable or indicative BAL for the subject site
  • The vulnerability or high risk nature of the land use
  • The proximity of the site to existing settlement areas
  • The capacity of existing firefighting infrastructure
  • Any existing local biodiversity strategy or conservation plan

Minor developments (development applications for single houses and ancillary dwellings on a lot or lots less than 1,100m2) and unavoidable developments (developments that represent exceptional circumstances where full compliance with SPP 3.7 would be unreasonable as no alternative location exists and it can be proven that it is not contrary to the public interest) are treated differently. WA BAL Report can determine if your proposed development is a minor or unavoidable development. A bushfire attack level (BAL) assessment report is required for all building permit application in areas identified as bushfire prone.

For more information

WA BAL Report are experts at conducting Bushfire Attack Level Assessments, Bushfire Attack Level Reports and bushfire prevention strategies in general in Perth and Western Australia. For more information, contact our friendly staff on 08 6114 9356 or at

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