Planning advice

The City provides free general advice and pre-lodgement planning advice service for customers who are proposing to lodge a development application with the City. Land owners/applicants can also lodge a deemed-to-comply check with the City.

The State Government has recently made changes to the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulation 2015 that affects advertising requirements. Due to come into effect on 15 February 2021, the changes will reduce red tape and streamline the approvals process.  To learn more, click here.

General advice

General enquiries, such as land zoning, development application lodgement questions, timeframes and planning policy information can be request by emailing Development Services or contacting the City on (08) 9205 8555.

Need general planning advice?
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Pre-lodgement advice

Pre-lodgement advice is provided by the City to assist in proactively identifying potential issues relating to a development proposal prior to lodgement.

What is the planning pre-lodgement advice service?

The planning pre-lodgement advice service is aimed at providing potential applicants with the opportunity to obtain written advice from planning officers or alternatively to meet with planning officers regarding their proposal, identify key areas of concern, and gain an understanding of the City’s development application process.

Planning applicants and agents often request advice on whether a particular proposal is likely to be successful. Whilst the planning officer will not be able to advise whether a proposal will be supported or not at the time a formal application is made to the City, the planning officers can provide advice on individual aspects of a proposal. This is  valuable to the development application process because it can identify improvements needed to a proposal prior to formal submission and can save people submitting applications that have little or no prospect of success.

Whilst the outcome of a development application cannot be guaranteed, it is more likely to succeed if it is well prepared, aligns with the City’s planning framework and properly addresses and responds to relevant issues identified at pre-lodgement stage. This should also ensure the quicker delivery of decisions, time and cost savings and higher quality developments. 

If your question does not include either a proposed variation, or whether an aspect of your proposal complies with the R-Codes or Policy requirements, you need to lodge a request for Written Planning Advice, and pay the applicable fees.  Information provided as part of Written Planning Advice includes:

  • Zoning of a particular property
  • Approved land use of a specific property address
  • Policies that are applicable to a specific development or zone, or
  • Minimum and average lot sizes for a specific lot or zone

To lodge a Written Planning Advice request, please visit Written Planning Advice.

Can I engage with the Design Review Panel through the pre-lodgement advice service?

Ordinarily the City will encourage applicants to seek the advice of the Design Review Panel (DRP) during the early stages of design for large scale development proposals including:

  • Large scale mixed use and residential developments valued at $2 million and over
  • Multiple Dwelling applications equal to or greater than 10 dwellings
  • Preliminary development proposals located within the City where referred by the Manager Development Services.

As a result of the current COVID-19 situation, the normal scheduling of the City's DRP has been impacted.  This means that the Design Review Panel are currently considering formally lodged proposals through the formal development application process only at this stage. 

How does the service work?

All requests for pre-lodgement advice are submitted through the City’s website by completing a pre-lodgement advice form. 

The form requires customers to provide information relating to the proposed development including:

  • Type of development
  • Cost of development
  • Development address
  • Proposed development details
  • Preferred method of advice (Written advice or Meeting).

Customers are also required to attach relevant documents such as site plans, floor plans, elevations, overshadowing diagrams etc. The greater level of detail submitted by customers will enable planning officers to provide more detailed planning advice on their proposal. The City will assess the information provided against the City’s planning framework and provide this to the customer in writing or via a meeting as requested.

What advice will I receive? Is it legally binding?

In all cases, officers will be pleased to offer advice, based upon their own professional judgement; however this will not commit the decision maker (City, Council or Joint Development Assessment Panel) to a particular decision or outcome.

A decision will only be forthcoming once a development application has been lodged and determined. Above all, the decision makers discretion to make the final decision cannot be prejudiced in any way.

What doesn’t the pre-application discussion service do?

The pre-lodgement advice service does not apply to existing development applications or to applications for review that are currently being considered by State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).

The pre-lodgement advice service cannot provide a professional consultancy service. The City’s Development Services - Planning team is here to assess and make comments on your proposal. Officers are not able to offer planning consultancy, design or architectural, traffic, civil engineering services, etc.

The pre-lodgement service is not a full assessment of a proposal and responses by the planning team are limited to specfic questions raised regarding your proposal.  The planning team will not undertake a full assessment and advise whether a proposal meets the City's Planning Framework or not.  A full assessment of the proposal is undertaken when a formal development application is lodged with the City.

Applicants who are unsure about preparing a development application are advised to consult with an independent, suitably qualified professional. Details of town planning consultants can be found on the Planning Institute of Australia’s website.

How do I make an appointment to obtain pre-lodgement advice in person?

To access the pre-lodgement advice service, you must submit a request to the City by completing a pre-lodgement advice form. 

A meeting date will be arranged at a mutually convenient time to discuss your proposal. A pre-application reference number will be assigned and you will be notified of the name of the planning officer who will lead your pre-application meeting.

Given the current restrictions in place due to COVID-19, pre-lodgement advice will be provided via written advice, phone call or video conferencing only.

Can I use the Duty Planner service to get pre-lodgement advice?

The City provides general planning advice regarding the legislative planning requirements within the City of Stirling by way of two duty planning officers available every day from 8.30am to 5.00pm for phone and counter enquiries. This can be obtained via telephone on (08) 9205 8555 or in person at the counter at the City’s Administration Centre, 25 Cedric Street Stirling.

The City’s duty planner service can provide advice on:

  • Legislative requirements of Local Planning Scheme No. 3 and Planning and Development Regulations 2015
  • The development approvals process including types of development applications, fees and payment methods
  • Exemptions under the Development Regulations 2015
  • The types of land uses
  • Matters regarding unauthorised land-use such as home businesses, short stay accommodation and privacy issues relating to structures such as decks, patios and fences
  • Advice on the requirements of a development application (DA) for the approval of unauthorised land use and structures
  • Design Review Panel process.

The above advice can also be obtained via email by contacting Development Services on

All requests for pre-lodgement advice are to be submitted to the City via the pre-lodgement advice form. 

What is a Deemed-to-Comply check?

Landowners and/or applicants can lodge plans for single houses and additions to single houses to the City to find out if they comply with the Residential Design Codes, or any relevant Structure Plan, Local Development Plan or Local Planning Policy.

What information do I need to provide for my Deemed-to-Comply check to be processed?

To carry out a Deemed-to-Comply check the City needs a full copy of plans. 

This information requirements can be found in the Deemed-to-Comply Check application form of the Department of Planning Lands and Heritage Website here.

How long does a Deemed-to-Comply check take?

The City has 14 days from accepting a Deemed-to-Comply Check to provide a response. 

How much does a Deemed-to-Comply check cost?

A Deemed-to-Comply Check has a maximum fee of $295.

What's the difference between a Deemed-to-Comply check and the pre-lodgement advice service

The Deemed-to-Comply Check confirms whether or not your plans complies with the relevant requirements and is specific to single houses and additions to single houses.

The Pre-Lodgement Advice Service is not limited to single houses, and provides advice on key areas of concern in a development.

Ready to request pre-lodgement advice?
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For further queries relating to the pre-lodgement advice service please contact Development Services via email on or by phone on (08) 9205 8555.