Town Planning Reform underway in the West End of Port Hedland, Pilbara Region

Changes which will guide the future town planning and development framework in the West End of Port Hedland in Western Australia’s Pilbara Region are now progressing following a preliminary release of the Western Australian Planning Commission’s draft Improvement Plan for the area.

The adoption of the Draft Improvement Plan by the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC), expected during 2019, will pave the way to create an Improvement Scheme, a Town Planning instrument which allows the State Government to resume and reset land use and development controls normally administered by a Local Government, in this case the Town of Port Hedland.

The West End of Port Hedland is the historical centre of the 120 year old community and nestled amidst the largest bulk tonnage port in the world, exporting in excess of 500 million tonnes of iron ore annually which delivers around 5,000 jobs in the Port Hedland area. Despite the Ports value to the local economy and employment; health risks, dust and noise impacts have created a point of ongoing friction between some of the local community, the port users and operators. This has effected the ongoing expansion and improvement of the Port Hedland port, whilst also stagnating development in the West End town centre and surrounding residential areas that run along its amazing coastline (its home to some of the best sunset getting around!).

The Improvement Plan and Improvement Scheme, will provide the required town planning framework to enable port expansion, new investment and commercial development back into an area which has been rapidly declining in amenity.

Proactive engagement by landowners and the community will be necessary if the amazing coastal amenity of the West End of Port Hedland is to remain activated space for the use and benefit of the broader Pilbara community to enjoy.

It is expected that consultation through the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage will commence later in 2019. Having lived and worked in the West End of Port Hedland, our team understands this complex issue, the risks and opportunities. If you need assistance or want to understand how to engage in the formulation of the Improvement Scheme touch base and we will be more than happy to help!