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Design Review Panel

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The South West Joint Design Review Panel is a shared initiative between the Cities of Bunbury and Busselton and the Shires of Augusta Margaret River, Collie and Harvey. 

The Design Review Panel meet monthly to provide design advice on development applications and projects occurring throughout the South West. The Design Review Panel will operate in accordance with the agreed Terms of Reference and design feedback provided in response to the ten design principles listed in State Planning Policy SPP7.0 - Design of the Built Environment. 

Please see LPP 1.4 Design Review and the FAQs below for more information about design review at the City of Bunbury.  

If you have any questions, please contact the Planning Team on 9792 7000.  

  • The Panel Chair of the SWDRP is Craig Smith with Deputy Panel Chair Malcolm Mackay.

    The Chairperson and Deputy form the basis of the panel for each item, with each Local Government selecting other members from a pool of 16 members depending on the item.

    The panel pool is made up of architects, landscape architects, urban designers, heritage experts, sustainability and energy efficiency experts and arts.

    Pool Member   Position  
    Craig Smith  Architect/ Panel Chair  
    Jackson Liew   Architect 
    Jessica Beaver  Architect 
    Kent Lyon  Architect 
    Sam Brown   Architect 
    Simon Venturi   Architect 
    Marc Beattie  Heritage 
    Stephen Carrick   Heritage 
    Mia Aspland  Art  
    Gordana Nesic-Simic  Urban Designer  
    Jeff Thierfelder  Urban Designer  
    Malcom Mackay  Urban Designer/ Deputy Panel Chair 
    Susie Zuber  Urban Designer  
    James Cross  Sustainability consultant  
    Oliver Grimaldi  Sustainability Consultant  
    Katy Svalbe  Landscape Architect  
    Simon Kilbane  Landscape Architect  
    Tony Blackwell  Landscape Architect  

    The current pool term will run from March 2023 to 2025.  

  • Each of the Local Government areas determines the types of applications that require design input. 

    The City of Bunbury will present your application to the Design Review Panel for consideration at pre-lodgement or lodgement stage, where it meets the following thresholds as outlined in Local Planning Policy 1.4 Design Review: 

    (a) All applications that meet the mandatory or optional requirement for Development Assessment Panels applications, where there is a design element that may impact on the character, appearance, or streetscape of an area.  

    (b) Major development proposals where there is a design element that may have a significant impact on the character, appearance, or streetscape of an area at the discretion of the Director of Sustainable Communities.  

    (c) Any other planning proposal (e.g. Scheme Amendment, Structure Plan, Precinct Plan, Local Planning Policy, Local Development Plan, Design Guidelines; or City project) relating to the design of development and places may be referred to the Design Review Panel at the discretion of the Director of Sustainable Communities. 

    The City encourages proponents to engage with staff early in the process to determine if design review is required.  

  • A preliminary referral shall generally consist of the following:  

    • Completed application form 
    • Context/streetscape analysis which considers the site location and character and considers the desired future character of the area 
    • Concept/development plans  
    • Artists impressions/colour perspectives of proposed development (if possible) 
    • Assessment against SPP 7.0 Design Principles 
    • Any additional information the City or applicant considers relevant  

    For the meeting, the proponent can prepare a short presentation for the South West Joint Design Review Panel.  

  • The City encourages proponents to come in at an early stage of the project where the design advice can be considered while the project is in formulation.  

    To incentivise this no charge will be incurred by the proponent for up to three design reviews, provided at least one of those occur prior to lodgement of a development application. If design review is required for an application which has already been lodged,  please see Clause 7 of LPP 4.1 Design Review

  • The SWDRP, Local Government staff and the proponent (including other consultants and land owner) attend the SWDRP.

    Members of the public or Elected Members are not permitted to attend.  

  • The SWDRP will be held online via Teams and will allow up to 60 minutes for each item.

    A longer duration can be allowed for more complex applications. The meeting will follow this agenda: 

    • Pre-meeting discussion (10 mins) 
    • Pre-review panel discussion and Local Government presentation  
    • Design review (30 mins) 
    • Welcome and introductions with proponent 
    • Proponent presentation  
    • Panel questions and clarifications 
    • Panel discussion  
    • Summary by chair 
    • Post meeting discussion (5-10 mins)  
  • The deadlines of each SWDRP meeting are shown below. As this is a joint panel, the City of Busselton will be organising the administration of the panel for the first term of the SWDRP. 

    It is highly encouraged that you engage with the City of Bunbury before the ‘Proponent Application to City of Bunbury’ deadline below to confirm if a proposal requires design review.  

    10-May-24  17-May-24  21-May-24  31-May-24  7-Jun-24 
    7-Jun-24  14-Jun-24  21-Jun-24  28-Jun-24  5-Jul-24 
    5-Jul-24  12-Jul-24  19-Jul-24  26-Jul-24  2-Aug-24 
    9-Aug-24  16-Aug-24  23-Aug-24  30-Aug-24  6-Sep-24 
    6-Sep-24  13-Sep-24  20-Sep-24  27-Sep-24  4-Oct-24 
    4-Oct-24  11-Oct-24  18-Oct-24  25-Oct-24  1-Nov-24 
    8-Nov-24  15-Nov-24  22-Nov-24  29-Nov-24  6-Dec-24 
    ** no meeting in December 

    Please note – if your proposal has an address which is listed on the City’s Heritage List, Local Heritage Survey or Heritage Area, the proponent may need to submit the application to the Local Government earlier to allow for the application to be considered by the City’s Heritage Advisor. 


  • In accordance with LPP 4.1 Design Review, Clause 8 states that all South West Joint Design Review Panel considerations relevant to the City of Bunbury will be reported to Council for noting at the first Ordinary Council Meeting following the outcome of the decision, and prior to going to development approval or the Joint Development Assessment Panel subject to legislative requirements. 

    The proposals will be included as a confidential attachment in accordance with Clause 16.7 of the Terms of Reference “Proceedings of a meeting of the Design Review Panel and details of any proposal before the Design Review Panel are to remain confidential unless such details are disclosed in an authorised manner by a Local Government officer to the applicable applicant or presented in a report which is available to the public.”