Residential Design Codes

Residential Design Codes

The Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) is a State Planning Policy, which aims to enhance the amenity and liveability of owners, neighbours and the community as a whole.

This is achieved by incorporating a number of the development controls that generally apply to all residential development throughout Western Australia. The controls relate to a number of items including, but not limited to, the following

  • Building setbacks from the street
  • Building setbacks from the boundary
  • Building height
  • Open space
  • Privacy
  • Overshadowing

The R-Codes recognise that each property has its own constraints and that flexibility is sometimes required to achieve better outcomes. For this reason, the R-Codes provide two sets of options to comply with each development control.

Option 1

The first set of options is called the "Deemed-to-Comply" provisions. They are prescriptive and are intended to offer a straight-forward path to approval.

An example of a Deemed-to-Comply provision for building setbacks from the boundary is 'setback the building 1.5m from the boundary'.

Option 2

The second set of options is called the "Design Principles". These are essentially objectives that clarify the purpose of the development control.

An example of the Design Principles for building setbacks from the boundary is 'the building being setback an appropriate distance to ensure that the neighbour, or the subject property, is not adversely affected by the bulk of the building, loss of sunlight, loss of ventilation or overlooking'.

As the Design Principles are not prescriptive, the onus is on the applicant to demonstrate how the Design Principles have been satisfied. This is done by applying to the City of Armadale (the City) for a Residential Design Codes Variation.

Residential Design Code Variation (RDCV) application process

An application for an RDCV needs to be accompanied by the following

  • Payment of the applicable application fee, being $278 for non-habitable structures or $556 for a habitable structure
  • Completed Residential Design Codes Variation application form signed by all property owners
  • A site plan showing the lot boundaries, existing structures, proposed structures and setbacks from boundaries
  • For habitable structures, a floor plan showing room dimensions and internal layout
  • An elevation plan showing the height, material and any ground level changes
  • Written justification demonstrating how the relevant Design Principles have been satisfied to be itemised on the reverse page of the application form

Part of the assessment process may involve consultation with neighbours where development could affect them. If consultation is required, the City will typically provide details of the proposed development to the relevant parties and allow a 14 day consultation period to make comment.

Where an objection is received, the City typcially adopts a more community focused approach of working with all parties to achieve a mutually acceptable outcome. This usually assists in building better relationships with residents and realising better outcomes.

Regardless of the outcome of the consultation, the City will consider all submissions, the justification provided by the applicant and the relevant planning legislation that applies, before making a decision on whether to approve the application. Click on the following links for a Residential Design Codes Variation application form and Adjoining Property Owner comment form (if applicable to your application).

Residential Design Codes Variation application form

Residential Design Codes Variation Adjoining Property Owner Comment form

For further information regarding the R-Codes, visit the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage website www.planning.wa.gov.au/residential-design-codes.