These Guidelines provide supporting information for decision-making authorities, planners, landowners/ proponents, referral agencies, Level 1 Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Assessors and Bushfire Planning Practitioners, to implement SPP 3.7.
Specifically, they assist in:
- determining appropriate land use planning in relation to bushfire prone areas across the State of Western Australia;
- specifying the requirements to be met at each stage of the planning process; and
- ensuring that necessary bushfire protection measures are incorporated into development.
These Guidelines are designed to assist in the interpretation of SPP 3.7’s objectives and policy measures. They provide advice on how bushfire risk is to be addressed when planning, designing or assessing a planning proposal within a bushfire prone area. It is intended that these Guidelines will be reviewed regularly to ensure they reflect best practice.
The Office of Bushfire Risk Management has endorsed these Guidelines as their standard. As an endorsed standard, these Guidelines, in conjunction with SPP 3.7, are the predominant documents in the State for use by decision-making authorities and referral agencies, during the consideration of strategic planning proposals, subdivisions and development applications. It is important to note that a bushfire’s intensity and spread is dependent on a range of factors, including weather conditions, fuel loads and topography. Adherence to these Guidelines do not guarantee the survivability of a building that has incorporated the appropriate bushfire protection criteria; rather they reduce the risk of ignition by wind-borne embers, radiant heat and direct flame attack, in conjunction with ongoing site management.
These Guidelines apply to all higher order strategic planning documents, strategic planning proposals, subdivisions and development applications located in designated bushfire prone areas. These Guidelines also apply where an area is not yet designated as bushfire prone but is proposed to be developed in a way that introduces a bushfire hazard (as outlined in section 3.2.2). A designated bushfire prone area is an area that has been identified and designated by an order of the Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner under section 18P of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1998 (as amended). Such areas are identified on the Map of Bush Fire Prone Areas, which can be sourced on the Department of Fire and Emergency Services’ website www.dfes.wa.gov.au/bushfireproneareas .
Designation of an area as bushfire prone reflects the potential of bushfire to affect that site. It acts as a mechanism for initiating further assessment in the planning process.