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Road and Rail Noise Policy Updated

September 15, 2019

On 6 September, the Minister for Planning released the revised State Planning Policy 5.4 - Road and Rail Noise, which aims to balance the needs of transport corridors with protecting the community from unreasonable amounts of noise.

HIA provided comments the draft policy in December 2017, with supporting pro-forma submissions from industry. The policy has been updated in line with a number of the recommendations made. 

However the policy and associated Guidelines will continue to increase the cost of constructing a home in the vicinity of a transport corridor. 

Members will need to be aware of the requirements and triggers of the policy. The policy does not apply retrospectively to existing dwellings or to planning proposals that do not result in intensification of land-use (for example no proposed increase in the number of approved dwellings from that existing) although local governments are required to consider the policy for any planning application. 

This should prevent single houses on existing residential lots from requiring mitigation measures, however subdivisions (including strata subdivisions) will need to assess the noise impacts of the transport corridor. Apartments or grouped dwelling subdivisions will need to be assessed in line with the policy.

New residential developments proposed within 300 metres of a strategic freight or major traffic routes, 200 metres of other significant freight or traffic routes, 100 metres of passenger railways and 200 meters of freight railways will be required to consider and potentially mitigate noise impacts from the transport route.

Early planning for developments should identify the need for noise mitigation, and measures should be taken in the design of subdivisions to minimise the impact on the dwelling and construction requirements. Conditions may be imposed on subdivision and development applications requiring the implementation of mitigation measures. Notifications on title are also required as a condition of subdivision (including strata subdivision) and development approval informing of the existence of transport noise where existing and/or forecasted noise levels are to exceed the policy’s outdoor noise targets.

A site can be identified as being subject to SPP5.4 by using the PlanWA mapping tool available at https://www.dplh.wa.gov.au/planwa 

There is no transition period provided for the application of this updated policy. Development approval and subdivision decisions made from 6 September 2019 will be required to reflect this policy. If you have made an application but not received a decision, this policy will be applied in the decision making process. 

The Guidelines contain information on how a subdivision or home could be designed or constructed to reduce the impact of noise. 

The Policy and supporting Guidelines can be found here.

Contact wa_techncial@hia.com.au if you have any queries.