Can We Help? Community Finder

Environmental Planning

Zoning under the City of Mandurah's Town Planning Scheme No 3 and the Peel Region Scheme means that subdivision development will continue to occur in vegetated areas to allow for the City's projected population growth.  

This kind of development puts pressure on undeveloped natural areas for the provision of homes, commercial services, schools, roads and recreation facilities.  It will also result in increased demand for water, electricity and fuel for the transport of goods as well as increase in the number of cars in the City.

The City of Mandurah is working to address these issues by incorporating environmental considerations into planning and approval processes.


Rural Residential Lots

Large areas within the City of Mandurah are zoned Rural Residential with the intention of enabling landowners to live in close proximity to the natural environment while retaining areas of natural vegetation.

The City has put in place controls to limit the extent of development in such areas, thereby protecting natural vegetation and retaining the amenity and unique atmosphere of these areas. Purchasers of undeveloped Rural Residential lots are encouraged to apply for a Building Envelope to obtain approval to clear up to 2000 square metres to accommodate the construction of their residence, associated buildings and landscaped areas. 

Clearing outside the approved Building Envelope is not permitted except for the construction of required firebreaks and a driveway access. Rural Residential lots may already have approved Building Envelopes which were designated through the Outline Development Plan or Sudivision process.  The City's EcoServices team can advise if your property has an existing Building Envelope. 

Landowners that choose not to establish a Building Envelopes are still subject to the City’s Tree and Bushland Preservation Provisions and Planning Approval is required for any clearing or tree removal for any purpose other than required firebreaks.

Landowners are encouraged to establish approved Building Envelopes on their property to streamline the Planning Approval and Building Licence application processes. When applying for a Building Envelope, landowners should select the most degraded section of their property on which to create their building envelope, thereby minimising the number of trees required to be cleared and minimising the loss of high quality natural vegetation. Landowners may choose to apply for a single Building Envelope or two smaller Building Envelopes to minimise disturbance to natural vegetation. 



Keeping Horses and Livestock

There is no inherent right to run livestock on Rural Residentially zoned land and Planning Approval is required for the keeping of horses and other grazing livestock within the City of Mandurah. Grazing by horses, cattle, sheep and goats denudes natural vegetation and causes gradual tree decline, adversely impacting the amenity and conservation value of the area. Under the City of Mandurah Town Planning Scheme No 3, the keeping of horses may be approved in areas zoned Rural Residential, Rural or Urban Development (unless covered by an Outline Development Plan) if:

  1. The keeping of horses on the property does not impact on remnant native vegetation.
  2. WA Department of Agriculture and Food stocking rates are complied with.

The keeping of horses shall not be approved on uncleared Rural Residential lots or those with semi-intact remnant vegetation where the keeping of horses will result in further loss of vegetation. The keeping of horses is to be restricted to existing cleared or parkland cleared areas. Further clearing of remnant bushland on lots for the keeping of horses is not permitted in accordance with Section 6.5 of the City’s Town Planning Scheme No 3, Tree and Bushland Preservation. The grazing of livestock within areas of remnant vegetation is classified as clearing by default and penalties may be incurred.

For more information on the keeping of horses within the City of Mandurah, please refer to the City’s 'Keeping Horses' information handout which you can download from the documents tab on the right side of this page.



Energy Efficient Building and Development Design

Energy efficient design incorporates the principles of climate sensitive and solar passive design to create homes and developments which are not heavily reliant on energy for temperature control. Through good design, it is possible to create homes which require minimal additional heating and cooling. Solar passive design is greatly facilitated by aligning new streets so that lots are oriented north to south.

The City of Mandurah encourages developers to incorporate solar passive design with the aim of reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from the urban environment. The City encourages homeowners to design and construct homes which are well suited to our local climate, thereby reducing their electricity bills as well as reducing their carbon footprint. For more information on how you can incorporate energy efficiency into your existing or proposed home, please visit the Sustainable Mandurah Home page.



State and Commonwealth Policy Implications

There are a number of State and Commonwealth acts and regulations that control land use and clearing within the City of Mandurah. Remaining areas of natural vegetation are of vital importance to vulnerable and endangered species such as the Carnaby’s White-Tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) and the Western Ringtail Possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis).

Any clearing or development that will impact upon the habitat of species listed under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999, or have impact on the Ramsar listed Peel Inlet and Harvey Estuary may be a controlled action or matter of national environmental significance and must be referred by the applicant to the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) for approval.

Such actions include but are not limited to the clearing of more than one hectare of Banksia/Eucalypt Cockatoo foraging habitat or 5000 square metres of Ringtail Possum habitat, or proposed increased nutrient loads into the estuary, for example, from the establishment of additional residential gardens.

Clearing restrictions are also in place through various State Government legislation including but not limited to the Wildlife Conservation Act, 1950; Environmental Protection Act, 1986 [and associated Native Clearing Regulations] and the Coastal and Lakelands Planning Strategy, 1999.  Landowners should liaise with the relevant State and Commonwealth Government agencies to ensure compliance with regulations as well as the City of Mandurah's environmental protection provisions. 

For more information on requirements for the protection of wetlands please visit the Ramsar Initiative page.


Click on the links to view the EPBC Act or for the Native Clearing Regulations.



Sustainable Urban Design

In the face of a changing climate, planning for the protection of natural resources and water and energy efficiency is increasingly important. The City of Mandurah is working to ensure that all new developments are designed and constructed in a manner which minimises their direct impact on the natural environment, and reduces water and energy demands and associated operating costs.

This includes the incorporation of solar passive design principles into the design of new developments, encouraging the installation of efficient fixtures and fittings and the design of roads with pathways and cycle lanes integrated with public transport systems to reduce dependence on automobiles.

Higher density development is encouraged within central Mandurah to provide housing and employment opportunities near public transport systems and reduce the land area footprint.  Higher density within central Mandurah decreases the pressure for urban sprawl within surburban areas as well as pressure to rezone lower density areas which would result in the clearing of more bushland and greater vehicle dependency.  

Residential travel plans and way-finding signage strategies are encouraged for new developments to reduce vehicle dependency and are being incorporated into existing areas.

As a part of sustainable urban design, quality public open space areas and bushland reserves are being designed, developed and maintained to provide for ecosystem services as well as healthy lifestyles for Mandurah's community and its visitors.   

For more information head to our TravelSmart page.



Tree and Bushland Protection

The City of Mandurah has recently updated tree and bushland preservation requirements to ensure that trees and native species are protected within Mandurah. The City also works with developers to maintain as much natural bushland as possible within current legislation and through negotiated outcomes. 

The City is committed to its Bushland Protection Strategy which has set a goal to: 'Protect 150 hectares of privately owned bushland that will otherwise be developed'.  Our community has made it very clear that our bushland is one of our most important community assets.  Along with our magnificent waterways it is recognised as the essence of our culture and base of our economic growth.

Our environment is a complex, fragile and interconnected system that provides far more than a place to live.  Trees and bushland perform a number of important functions by providing shade, evaporative cooling and the creation of microclimates, protection from strong winds, food and habitat for native animals, providing visual amenity, providing clean air by trapping pollutants and carbon dioxide as well as many health and wellbeing values. Bushland areas also serve as important stormwater infiltration areas, absorbing nutrients and pollutants which would otherwise percolate into the groundwater system or flow into our rivers and estuary.

For more information visit Planning Requirement for Tree Preservation Areas, and for information on the Bushland Protection Strategy go to Bushland Protection.



Tree Retention

Tree retention is a priority for any new development. Provided that trees are adequately protected during development works and pruned and maintained correctly, mature native trees can be safely retained and contribute greatly to the look and feel of new neighbourhoods. Developers are encouraged to design for the retention of trees and are required to prepare and submit tree surveys as part of the application and assessment process to ensure that maximum retention of trees is achieved.

Some remnant trees may be deemed to be structurally unsound or otherwise unsuitable for retention within urban areas. These trees may have been damaged by fire or have developed an unsound structure, making them prone to future limb or trunk failure. Whilst unsuitable for retention adjacent to homes on private lots, post-mature and dead trees often contain hollows which provide important habitat for native animals and when pruned to make safe, may be appropriate for retention in open spaces. Trees which are deemed by an arboriculturalist to be unsuitable for retention are removed but the hollows from these trees may be relocated into retained trees to provide wildlife habitat and the trees themselves may be used to provide additional fauna habitat in bushland reserves.



Tree retention in the City of Mandurah
Tree retention in the City of Mandurah


Fauna and Habitat Protection

By protecting Mandurah's bushland, we aim to achieve protection of our many diverse fauna and flora species, communities and ecosystems. Pressure on fauna and flora biodiversity in Mandurah is related to the loss of natural and rural/semi-natural areas to urbanisation. 

By incorporating environmental planning principles we have the opportunity not only to retain the original character of Mandurah but also preserve our threatened and vulnerable fauna and flora as well as more common species.

In areas that are to be cleared for construction of homes, retail and commercial services, schools and active recreation facilities, developers are generally required to prepare and implement wildlife and flora protection and relocation plans to ensure that wherever practical birds, animals and reptiles as well as important plant species are either protected on site or relocated.


For more information on Fauna and Habitat Protection, head to the Flora and Fauna Relocation page.



Sustainable Landscape Design

Developers and home owners are encouraged to choose native plant and tree species when designing landscaped areas. Local native species have adapted to our poor soils and seasonally dry climate and therefore require less water and nutrients than most exotic species.  They also have the added benefit of attracting native wildlife into our gardens.

The City of Mandurah works with developers to assist in the selection of suitable native species for landscaping and where practical street trees.  The City has established a formal garden at its administration centre and the Sustainable Mandurah Home to showcase native plants.



Water Sensitive Urban Design and Foreshore Management

To protect our waterways by reducing the impacts of nutrient enrichment, the City of Mandurah has introduced a Water Sensitive Urban Design Local Planning Policy which requires that all new developments prepare and implement an integrated total Water Cycle Management Plan to reduce stormwater and nutrient runoff and to facilitate groundwater recharge. This includes the construction of vegetated treatment swales and bioretention areas in preference to unsightly sumps for nutrient absorption. 

Water Sensitive Urban Design also has the added benefit of creating or protecting existing habitat as well as enhancing public amenity. In order to further protect the Peel-Yalgorup Lakes System, developers of land which are adjacent to or will impact on foreshore reserves are required to prepare and implement a foreshore management plan or contribute financially towards the implementation of an existing management plan, or the management of the adjacent foreshore. This is essential in order to mitigate against the impacts of an increased number of residents accessing and utilising foreshore areas. For more information see Stormwater Management  and Foreshore Management Plans.