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Business land use permission

All properties have a 'land use' or 'use'. Examples include shop, office, single house, café/restaurant and showroom. A property's land use is determined by two aspects:

  • the zoning of the property. The City of Wanneroo is separated into 12 different zones, including residential, commercial, business, mixed use, and general industrial. Different 'land uses' are permitted in different zones
  • approval from the City of Wanneroo for a specific 'land use' on a property.

A list of uses, specified in the City of Wanneroo District Planning Scheme 2 (DPS2), are available here: Table 1 - The Zoning Table and definitions associated with the uses area available here (starting on page 8): Schedule 1 - Interpretations.

Establishing a Land Use: The initial 'land use' of a property is established during the 'building construction' phase as part of the development (planning) approval.

Changing a Land Use: A 'change of use' occurs when the 'use' of land changes from one to another, e.g. from shop to office. All changes of use require Planning Approval from the City of Wanneroo.

A change of land use also triggers the need for a new 'occupancy permit' and building inspection.

Non-Conforming Land Use: You may find that a property is currently being used for a land use that is, according to DPS2, no longer allowed on the site. If this is the case, Non-Conforming Use Rights may exist on the site.

Non-Conforming Use Rights are set out in detail in Part 7 of DPS2. If you are examining a site that appears to rely upon the Non-Conforming Use provision of DPS2, it is recommended that you contact one of the City's Planning Officers by phoning 9405 5000.

Checking an Existing Land Use: To find out the existing approved 'land use' of a property please call 9405 5000 and speak with one of the City's Planning Officers.

When is/isn't an application required?

If a property is approved for a 'use', another business of the same 'use' may move in without requiring further planning approval; e.g. a premises being used as an 'office' by one business, may have another 'office' type business move into and use the premises without seeking permission from the City's Planning Services. The new business must comply with all the conditions of approval for the previous relevant Planning Approval given to that site (e.g. parking requirements). Please note that approvals by other departments of the City may still be required, e.g. Health Services (see below).

If the new business needs to alter external signage, parking requirements, extend the building, change any other conditions that apply to the land, or change the use of the land, Council approval is required.

Council approval requirements

Establishing a land use

The initial 'land use' of a property is established during the 'building construction' phase as part of the development (planning) approval. Refer to Building Construction for further details.

Changing a land use

Step 1. Development (planning) approval (always required)

When changing a land use you will always need to submit a development (planning) application.

Development Application Form and checklist

Speak with a Planning Officer: 9405 5000

Please note: If your business involves any of the business types mentioned in Step 3 – Health Approvals, please provide as much detail as possible regarding the intended use as part of your Development Application. This will help to streamline the time required to assess and approve your application.

Step 2. Occupancy permit and building inspection (always required)

An occupancy permit is evidence that the building or portion of building has been lawfully constructed and is safe to occupy for the use stated on the permit. When you apply for a 'change of use' you must also apply for a new occupancy permit.

The 'application for occupancy permit' may be submitted at the same time as the 'development application form', however it will be assessed once the Development Application has been approved.

BA09 - Application for Occupancy Permit 

Information Sheet – Occupancy Permits (Class 2-9 Buildings)

Speak with a Building Surveyor: 9405 5000

Step 3. Health Approvals (sometimes required)

If the land is proposed to be used for any of the below that business types, your Development (planning) Application(step 1) will be referred to the City's Health Services for comment.

  • accommodation (non-residential)
  • outdoor dining, street trading & street markets
  • food handling
  • hairdressing
  • beauty therapy
  • skin penetration (i.e. waxing, tattooing)
  • keeping of animals
  • meat processing.

Further information.

Please note: If your business involves any of the above points, please provide as much detail as possible regarding the intended use as part of your Development Application (step 1). This will help to streamline the time required to assess and approve your application.

Speak with an Environmental Health Officer: 9405 5000