Lodge a Planning/Building Compliance Investigation Request

Planning Compliance

 What is Planning Compliance?

They City of Busselton Planning Compliance team investigate alleged breaches against the City’s Local Planning Scheme 21 and the Planning and Development Act 2005. Under the Act, authorised officers of the City has the power to investigate and prosecute matters such as non-compliance of planning approvals, removal of vegetation, unauthorised development and other breeches.

 Who can make a compliant?

Any person who is aggrieved by a land use or development matter may lodge a complaint.

Your request must be made in writing by completing the Planning/Building Compliance Investigation Request Form. The completed form may be emailed to city@busselton.wa.gov.au or posted to City of Busselton, Locked Bag 1, BUSSELTON WA 6280.

When completing the form please provide as much detail as possible so the issue can be investigated efficiently. Include your contact details as information may be needed to fully investigate the issue.

All complaints and requests remain highly confidential however, the City of Busselton is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (WA). In some circumstances complainants may be required to give evidence should the matter go to the Magistrates Court.

 Responding to Complaints

Complaints received by the City will be investigated and actioned in accordance with the serious nature of the complaint.

Priority 1: Urgent and dangerous matters are a priority and should be actioned on the day of the complaint is received or the day immediately following. Complaints include those which pose an immediate risk to the environment and safety.

Priority 2: General compliance matters. Examples include but are not limited to: alleged unlawful uses, unlawful works, works on carried out contravening the Planning Approval, unlawful commercial vehicle parking.

Priority 3: Nuisance matters. Examples include overgrown land, disused materials, and unregistered vehicles.

Management of Breeches

When acting upon and resolving breeches, City Officers will consider a range of options depending upon the circumstances of the matter. Options include:

(a) Negotiation

Negotiations can be a worthwhile approach to foster relationships and build trust in the community and demonstrate reasonableness to the community. Negotiation can often be the least time consuming approach in achieving an acceptable outcome, however, it is dependent upon the seriousness of the breach and willingness of the offender to comply. Negotiation is an important tool but cannot always be relied upon to achieve the desired outcome.

(b) Education

Alleged offenders may be counselled or cautioned, with the purpose of educating them on the relevant requirements. The City recognises that educational incentives may lead to compliance being achieved without enforcement action in some circumstances.

(c) Development Application

Any person is entitled at any time to apply for development approval for an existing use or retrospective approval of an unlawful construction. Such an application must include the applicable fee, plus twice the applicable fee by way of a penalty. The City may consider not commencing formal enforcement proceedings where a planning application is made to formalise the unlawful development that complies with the standards and requirements of the Scheme.

(d) Notice

Issuing a written notice or caution requiring the activity/work to cease or modify the development in order to comply. This is not a direction notice under the PD Act. Notices may be issued by the City for any development compliance matter.

Managing Expectations

It is not always possible for the City to ensure that a complainant is satisfied with the outcome of a complaint. The City must consider a range of factors when determining whether it will warrant enquiry/investigation.

The City is bound by legislative, local law and policy requirements, which mean that it will not always be possible to give the complainant the outcome they were looking for. In some cases, the best the City can do is to ensure that it has investigated the matter and satisfy itself that the development is compliant with Local Planning Scheme requirements.