What is a Development Assessment Panel and what is its role?

    State Government legislation created Development Assessment Panels (DAPs) in Western Australia on the 1 July 2011. The purpose of DAPs is to determine the higher value development applications.

    The City of Nedlands refers development applications, once they meet a certain criterion to the Metro-West Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) which covers the local governments of Nedlands, Subiaco, Cambridge, Claremont, Cottesloe, Mosman Park, Peppermint Grove and Vincent.

    The Metro-West JDAP and other DAPs are decision-making bodies administered by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and comprise of technical experts and elected local government representatives who must have experience in one or more of the following areas:

    • Planning
    • Architecture
    • Urban design
    • Engineering
    • Landscape design
    • Environment
    • Law
    • Property development and management

    The Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) includes Councillor representatives who are nominated by their local government to represent the local government at the JDAP. 

    The relevant local government is responsible for nominating four local government representatives from Council. Two councillors will be local members, and two deputy local members will be called on if an issue of quorum arises. The Minister appoints the local government representatives in accordance with the local government's nomination.

    The City of Nedlands Mayor de Lacy and Cr Smyth are members of the Metro-West JDAP with Councillors Bennett and Wetherall being alternative members. These members were elected by the Council at its meeting on 6 November and have been referred to the Minister for final approval/appointment.

    Cr Smyth and Wetherall will attend any JDAP meetings until the new nominated delegates are appointed by the Minister and then trained prior to being able to attend any JDAP meetings.

    What is the DAP process for assessing applications?

    DAP applications must be assessed following the DAP’s local government process and as per the local planning scheme and policies. This includes:

    • public advertising if required
    • consultation with internal departments and external referral agencies.

    The City of Nedlands must then prepare a Responsible Authority Report which includes a recommendation to the JDAP. Applications are determined by the Metro- West JDAP at a special meeting of its members.

    Under the DAP regulations, each JDAP will determine certain development applications as the determining authority. For example, if a DAP application is submitted to the City of Nedlands, the application will be assessed against the City’s Local Planning Scheme No. 3, relevant Local Planning Policies and Metropolitan Regional Scheme (MRS) as per any other application submitted to that authority.

    The DAP regulations state that DAP applications cannot be determined by local government or the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC).

    To find out more, please visit the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) website under development assessment panels.

    Where can I obtain information regarding applications received by the City to be determined by the Joint Development Assessment Panel?

    If a JDAP application is required to be advertised in accordance with the City's Local Planning Scheme No. 3 and/or Local Planning Policy - Consultation of Planning Proposals, details of the development application will be placed on the City's Your Voice Nedlands page (amongst other consultation methods as per the City's Policy). 

    Each development application requiring assessment by JDAP has its own engagement page which contains information on the assessment and the approval process.

    Further information can be found on the DAP website.

    When does the JDAP become the assessing body?

    If an application is for a development with an estimated cost of $10 million or more, it is mandatory for an application to be referred to the JDAP other than those exempted as per the regulations.

    The only exceptions are if your proposed development is exempt from requiring JDAP determination. Exempt developments include:

    • Applications for a single house with any associated carport, patio, outbuilding and incidental development
    • Applications for less than 10 grouped dwellings and any associated carport, patio, outbuilding and incidental development and
    • Applications for less than 10 multiple dwellings and any associated carport, patio, outbuilding and incidental development.

    If an application is for a development with an estimated cost of $2 million, the developer can ‘opt-in’ and have the application referred to the JDAP. The above exempt developments are also applicable in this instance.

    What happens at a JDAP meeting?

    • The meeting will commence once a quorum is achieved and the minute taker is in attendance.
    • Formalities such as the noting of the minutes, absences, apologies and disclosures of interest are completed.
    • The presiding member then invites submitters' presentations to be made.
    • The DAP members then consider and discuss the responsible authority’s reports.
    • DAPs members determine the applications by consensus or by majority vote.
    • The presiding member reports to the panel on any applications to amend/cancel DAP approval and any SAT reviews.
    • Any general business is discussed before the meeting is closed.

    Can I attend a JDAP meeting?

    JDAP meetings are open to the public.

    How can I make a presentation at a JDAP meeting?

    When a JDAP application is advertised under the local planning scheme and/or region schemes, submissions may be sent to the City of Nedlands. Submitters may also wish to present at the JDAP meeting.

    Any submitter wishing to address the JDAP meeting is to send a DAP presentation request form to the DAP secretariat at the Department of Planning via email to daps@dplh.wa.gov.au at least 72 hours prior to the meeting. The presentation request form is to be accompanied by a written document setting out the name of the person or representative of the group, the DAP application it relates to and the substance of the submission to the person or group proposes to make.

    Please visit the DPLH website to download the DAP presentation request form.

    The number of submissions that may be received at the meeting is at the discretion of the presiding member. The presiding member will approve or refuse the request and decide the order in which presentations may be made.

    Please note presentations are limited to a maximum of five minutes.

    What must an applicant do when lodging a DAP application?

    When lodging an application, the applicant must:

    • complete the new DAP form and pay the required fee PLUS
    • submit and pay any existing development application forms and fees as required under the local or region planning scheme.

    All new applications should comprise the following documents:

    • DAP Application plus a copy of appropriately scaled site plans, development plans, development elevations and accompanying technical reports in support
    • Local government application for development approval form plus a copy of appropriately scaled site plans, development plans, development elevations and accompanying supporting technical reports
    • Payment of the DAP application fee
    • Payment of local government development approval application fee.

    Where can I find further Information?

    For more information about Development Assessment Panels (DAPs), visit the DAPs section on the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage website.

    To speak to the City's statutory planning services regarding the development application you have an interest in, please telephone (08) 9273 3500 or email council@nedlands.wa.gov.au. You can also view the information provided on this engagement page and ask us a question.