Minor and Unavoidable developments in a bushfire-prone area

At WA BAL Report, in addition to getting queries from people wishing to propose a high-risk land use in a bushfire-prone area, we also get queries as to whether a proposed development in a bushfire-prone area is a minor development or an unavoidable development. This is relevant because minor and unavoidable developments are excluded from the presumption against approval of any strategic planning proposal, subdivision or development application that will result in the introduction or intensification of development or land use in an area that has an extreme bushfire hazard level and/or where BAL 40 or BAL Flame Zone applies.

Minor developments

Minor developments are those for single houses and ancillary dwellings on a lot or lots less than 1,100m2. WA BAL Report can determine if your property falls within the definition of a minor development.

Unavoidable developments

An unavoidable development is defined as a “development that in the opinion of the decision-maker represents exceptional circumstances where full compliance with State Planning Policy 3.7 would be unreasonable as no alternative location exists and it can be proven that it is not contrary to the public interest”.

There are very few examples of proposals that can be deemed unavoidable developments. Unavoidable developments would likely be limited to critical State infrastructure such as railway lines, telecommunication facilities, electricity infrastructure, historical or cultural site preservation or emergency services such as evacuation centres, fire stations, police stations and ambulance facilities. Proposals for intensification of development or land uses, such as rural-residential development or an increase in residential densities, would not be considered unavoidable development.

Applications for unavoidable development are only supported where they meet the policy requirements of State Planning Policy 3.7. The responsibility is on the landowner or applicant to justify why their proposal should be considered an unavoidable development. The applicant is also likely to be required to identify how they could achieve significant reductions in the bushfire risk level and indicate how the benefits outweigh the costs to adjacent landowners, the government and the general community. WA BAL Report can assist in making an application for a development to be considered an unavoidable development.

The application must also be accompanied by a Bushfire Management Plan jointly endorsed by the relevant local government and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services. WA BAL Report are experts at preparing Bushfire Management Plans. In the absence of sufficient justification, the proposal for the development to be considered an unavoidable development would not be accepted.

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 admin@wabalreport.com.au.

Thank you for visiting www.wabalreport.com.au


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