SPP 3.7 – Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas

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If you are planning on building in an area that has been identified as bush fire prone, there are extra requirements when applying for planning approval. State Planning Policy 3.7 – Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas was developed in 2015 to establish objectives for bushfire management objectives for land use and development. It is a requirement that any new development, subdivision or strategic planning document relating to a bushfire prone area address the objectives set out in the policy and accompanying guidelines. This policy is closely related to and guided by AS3959 – Construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas.

Depending on your proposal, a combination of the following documents will be required:

  • Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Report: A BAL report provides an assessment of the current site and surrounding area concerning its proximity to classified vegetation that may pose a bushfire risk. The report assigns a BAL rating that determines extra construction standards or management requirements for proposals to mitigate bushfire hazards
  • Bushfire Management Plan (BMP): A BMP outlines the site requirements to ensure bushfire risk is maintained throughout the life of a proposed development. Based on an indicative BAL rating, the BMP details how a proposal will address elements such as location, siting, vehicular access and water access. This will show a decision maker that the proposal will address any potential bushfire risks
  • BAL Contour Map: This is a visual representation of the potential impact of classified vegetation based on the relevant BAL ratings applied.
  • Bushfire Hazard Level (BHL) Assessment: A broad assessment of a site area indicating the level of bushfire hazard. Usually only required for strategies, schemes and structure plans.

Many local governments with large scale development in bushfire prone areas may require variations of the above documents to suit their particular circumstances. Engaging a local planner early in the planning and development process will help ensure you know what you need to provide. Contact us now to help you out in the development process of your next project.

For more information and to view the policy and accompanying guidelines please visit the WAPC website.