City of Wanneroo proposes to introduce massage premises use in planning scheme

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE City of Wanneroo plans to introduce a ‘massage premises’ use to its district planning scheme.

The proposed change, which will be advertised for public comment, will allow massage premises in business and commercial zones.

Massage premises could also be allowed on a discretionary basis in mixed use and service industrial zones.

The proposed definition is “premises involving the manipulation or other treatment of body parts for therapeutic or remedial purposes, but does not include the provision of any sexual service”.

A November council report said the City had considered 20 applications for massage premises since 2011, excluding home businesses that offer massage, and each time it was considered an unlisted use.

A recent State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) case relating to a development application for a massage premise within the City prompted the move to introduce the use.

That SAT decision related to an application for a remedial massage premises in Wangara that had operated on Irwin Road for about four years prior to the owners relocating about 500m to Arrigo Street.

As the latter site was zoned service industrial and remedial massage was an unlisted use, the City refused the application and the owner appealed to SAT.

The tribunal determined that use could be consistent with permitted uses and would not detrimentally affect local amenity.

It said listing the use and nominating where it would be permitted was “in the interests of orderly and proper strategic and statutory planning”.

“This would provide greater certainty and avoid public and private resources having to be incurred,” it said.

The proposed change would cover premises offering remedial or traditional massage, sports massage, reflexology, acupuncture and aromatherapy.

It would also require developments to have five parking bays per practitioner to accommodate that practitioner, support staff such as a receptionist and three clients.

If the City receives approval from the Environmental Protection Authority and WA Planning Commission, it will advertise the proposed change for at least 60 days.