The Shire has prepared a draft Local Planning Strategy to guide how our community will grow and develop over the next 15 years. The draft Strategy aims to reflect the community’s vision for the future, as expressed in the Shire’s Strategic Community Plan 2032.

The draft Strategy encompasses the outcomes of preliminary stakeholder engagement conducted in March 2022.

View the Summary (see item 9.1.3)


The Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) have certified the draft strategy for public advertising and the community is now invited to have their say.

The draft strategy is available via the links below. Printed copies are available to view at the Shire Administration Office in Donnybrook and libraries in Donnybrook and Balingup.


The public comment period ended on 14 May 2024.

All feedback received will be considered and proposed modifications presented back to the Council and the WAPC for final endorsement. We extend our gratitude to all who provided comments.


About the Local Planning Framework


In order to comply with the directive of the Western Australian Planning Commission, the Shire has commenced a review of the Local Planning framework including;

The purpose of reviewing and preparing new documentation is to create a contemporary Local Planning framework that accurately reflects the objectives of the Shire and community in relation to land use and development within the district. 

The review must be undertaken in accordance with the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015.


Project Overview and Progress

It is anticipated that the project will take 1 to 2 years and will be undertaken at the same time as the review of the Heritage Framework.

The project has been broken into 8 broad stages:

  1. Preliminary Review and Project Plan Preparations
  2. Public Engagement and Research
  3. Draft Document Preparation
  4. Public Consultation and Advertising
  5. Consideration of Submissions
  6. Final Document Review
  7. Endorsement
  8. Final Publication

Stage 1 - 4 have been completed.  

Public consultation regarding this Project commenced in March 2024, ending in May 2024. In preparation for this consultation, a preliminary engagement survey was published from 10 December 2021 to 7 February 2022 for community participation. 

The key purpose of the engagement survey was; 
  • to translate broad themes from the Strategic Community Plan (Council Plan) into actionable objectives within the context of the Planning framework;
  • to find out how the community would like to be engaged with during the consultation stage of the project; and
  • to establish a mailing list of all community members that are directly interested in the review project.

There were a total of 21 questions within the survey and a total of 184 participants.

A summary of the survey results was presented to Council at the Ordinary Meeting in March (Item 9.1.3).

A copy of the minutes outlining the survey results can be viewed here.


What is the process to prepare a new Local Planning Scheme?

The process to review, amend and/or prepare a Local Planning Strategy, Local Planning Scheme and Local Planning Policy are set by the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015.

A full copy of the Regulations can be viewed here.

The DPLH have also prepared a flowchart on the specific process to adopt a new Local Planning Scheme which can be viewed here.


Will the community have an opportunity to contribute to this process?

Yes. Under the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015, once the relevant documents are prepared, they are required to be advertised to the general public.

Public consultation regarding this Project is expected to commence mid-2022. In preparation for this consultation, a preliminary engagement survey has been prepared for community participation. To find out more about the survey click here.

The community are welcome to make a submission on the documents during this advertising period. All submissions will be reviewed and considered by the Shire.

In the meantime, if you would like to make any comments or have any questions you can direct them to 

Relevant Documentation

Local planning is bound by State regulations which stipulate how the documentation is to be prepared. The local planning framework is specific to each Local Government however is largely shaped by the overarching State and Regional Planning framework. In addition, there are a number of Local documents that need to be considered when reviewing the planning framework. 

Relevant documents that will shape the review of the Shire's Local Planning framework include but are not limited to:

Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015

State Planning Strategy 2050

Draft Bunbury-Geographe Sub-regional Strategy

State Planning Policies

WAPC Development Control and Operational Policies

Shire of Donnybrook Balingup Strategic Community Plan 2032

Growing Donnybrook Balingup Growth Plan

Municipal Heritage Inventory - Part 1

Municipal Heritage Inventory - Part 2 

Local Laws

Why is the Shire reviewing the Local Planning Strategy & Scheme?

At the Ordinary Council Meeting held 18 December 2019, Council resolved to approve the "Report of Review" with regards to whether, in the opinion of the Shire, the Local Planning Strategy (the Strategy) and Local Planning Scheme (the Scheme) required review. 

A full copy of the Council report and relevant resolution is available here.

In October 2020, the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) considered and delivered a report from the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) regarding the status of the Strategy and Scheme, taking into consideration Council’s recommended Report of Review.

The WAPC determined that a review of the Strategy and the preparation of a new Scheme was required.

The report of the WAPC is confidential, however the final determination can be viewed here.


What does this mean?

In order to comply with the WAPC’s determination made in October 2020 (described above), Council and the relevant Shire Officers are required to:

  1. Review the Local Planning Strategy and prepare an amendment as required;  AND
  2. Prepare a new Local Planning Scheme.

Is the Shire intending to review Local Planning Policies as well?

Yes. The preparation of a new Local Planning Scheme will form part of the Shire’s overall upcoming Strategic Planning review which will include:

  • Review and amendment of the current Local Planning Strategy;
  • Review of Local Planning Scheme No. 7 and preparation of a new Local Planning Scheme; and
  • Review and consolidation of all Local Planning Policies.

How will the Bunbury-Geographe Sub-regional Strategy impact this process?

In November 2020, the draft Bunbury-Geographe Sub-Regional Strategy (BGSRS) was released by the DPLH for public consultation. The BGSRS will set broad, high level objectives for the Bunbury-Geographe region and may shape the review of the Strategy.

It is important to consider the objectives of the BGSRS for the Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup and how this may impact the area.

A copy of the Draft BGSRS can be viewed here.  

Council at their Ordinary Meeting held 24 February 2021 endorsed a schedule of comments for submission to the DPLH representing the formal views of the Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup. A full copy of this report can be viewed here.