Home businesses and cottage industries can start small, support local families, and reduce travel requirements for residents.

Some home businesses have no impacts on surrounding residents and do not need any Shire approvals. Some businesses can be permitted with Planning and/or Health approval, and some are just not appropriate to run from home. 

Local Planning Scheme No.4 (LPS4) is made up of maps showing zoning for land, and the 'Scheme text' providing regulations for development and land uses.  In addition to the Residential zone, there are three rural zones (Rural Residential, Rural Smallholdings, General Agriculture) and four commercial zones (Town Centre, Local Centre, Light Industry, Service Commercial). Some businesses can only operate in commercial zones.

Low impact home businesses (home office)

Low impact home businesses using a spare bedroom or the kitchen within the house include a home office or occasional commercial cooking.

A 'home office' is a room in the house, used by a resident as an office, but has no employees or customers coming to the property. Home offices need no Shire approvals.

Occasional commercial cooking can include preparing cakes, preserves and other foods for sale, but no more than twice per week and no employees or customers coming to the property. Occasional commercial cooking does not require planning approval, but will require health approvals. You can contact the Shire's Health Service on 9290 6742 to check the requirements for commercial kitchens, food premises and product labelling.

Small home businesses (home occupation)

Small home businesses that have customers coming to the property, or operate outside the house, may fit the definition of 'home occupation'.

Home occupations are limited to 20sqm, will usually require planning approval and are assessed on the appropriateness of the use in the specific setting.  Neighbour comments may be taken into account in deciding whether or not a home occupation should be approved and what the conditions will be. Home occupations that relate to food preparation or personal services (hair, beauty, acupuncture, massage etc)will usually require separate approvals from the Health Service. 

Larger home businesses (home business or cottage industry)

Larger home businesses may fit the definitions of 'home business' or 'cottage industry' under LPS4, and are not permitted without specific planning approval. A cottage industry is a trade producing arts and crafts goods in an outbuilding. Home businesses can involve a range of activities that do not fit into the definitions of cottage industry or home occupation, and may employ up to two people who aren't residents on the property.

Both cottage industries and home businesses are limited to 50sqm (or 100sqm in the General Agriculture zone) and cannot adversely affect the amenity of the neighbourhood by noise, smoke, dust, odour etc.

The Shire will take into account relevant neighbour comments when considering whether the activities, operating hours, noise, traffic and other aspects of the business are acceptable in the proposed location. If approved, home businesses and cottage industries must operate in accordance with the conditions of planning approval and may be subject to annual renewal.

Successful home businesses may outgrow the home and need to shift into a commercial zone.

Educational establishments

Educational establishments can include tuition for a range of activities, from horse riding to music lessons. An application for planning approval must include detailed information about the number of participants, hours of operation, defined areas within the property for educational uses and car parking, and how impacts on neighbours will be minimised. You should also check with the Health Service if the type of activity or the number of participants will require other approvals or toilet facilities. 

Home businesses in bushfire prone areas

Home businesses in bushfire prone areas may require additional information to be supplied with the application for planning approval. You may be asked to limit the numbers, or submit a bushfire management statement assessing the location, escape routes, fire-fighting water supplies, driveways and vehicle turning areas before a decision is made. If you are accommodating people on your property for a home business of any kind, then you will be responsible for helping them to evacuate or shelter on site in the event of a bushfire.

Family day care

Family day care will require local planning approval and must be able to accommodate parent car parking on the property.

You will also require a range of other certifications and approvals under state and federal legislation.

Find out more about Eastern Region Family Day Care.

Home based tourism services

Home based tourism services such as bed and breakfasts and holidays accommodation are covered in the Holiday and Short Term Accommodation page.

Preparing food for paying guests will require separate approvals from the Shire's Health Service. If you don't want to prepare or provide food yourself, connect with another small business to provide locally prepared food from an approved commercial kitchen. 

Parking of trucks and buses

Parking of trucks and buses is not permitted in Residential or Rural Residential zones without specific planning approval, and limited in the Rural Smallholdings and General Agriculture zones.

Applications will be assessed against the Scheme and Local Planning Policy for commercial vehicle parking, which limits the vehicle size and parking locations for each zone. Note that multiple commercial vehicles are listed separately as a 'transport depot' and limited to the Light Industry zone.

More information and contact

Contact a Planning Officer on 9290 6740 or email shire@mundaring.wa.gov.au.

See also: Local Planning Strategy, Scheme and Structure Plans