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State Planning Policy 5.4 - Road and Rail Noise
Responsible agency
Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage

Land within the vicinity of the States freight and major traffic routes may be exposed to excessive levels of noise which can affect the health and amenity of nearby communities. 


Road and rail transport corridors play a vital role in moving people and goods safely and efficiently around the State and provide wide-ranging economic and social benefits to the community. However, road and rail noise can have an adverse impact on human health and the amenity of nearby communities, so it is important that a balanced approach is taken in land-use planning and development.

SPP5.4: Road and rail noise is the Western Australian Planning Commission State planning policy which aims to protect  

communities from unreasonable levels of transport noise whilst protecting the functionality of the State’s key freight transport corridors. SPP 5.4 applies to all stages of planning in Western Australia, where there is proposed noise-sensitive land-use and or when new or major upgrades of road and rail are proposed within the policy’s trigger distance of specified transport routes. The road and rail networks to which the policy applies, are considered of key economic importance due to their high vehicle movements and or freight handling functions but can also adversely affect land adversely affect land adjacent to these corridors due to noise.

Where any part of the lot is within the specified trigger distance, an assessment against the policy is required to determine the likely level of transport noise and management/ mitigation required. An initial screening assessment (guidelines: Table 2: noise exposure forecast) will determine if the lot is affected and to what extent.

The designation of land within the trigger distances should not be interpreted to imply that land is affected by noise and/or that areas outside the trigger distances are un-affected by noise. However in a proposed residential development, typically only the first one or two rows of houses adjoining the transport corridor is significantly affected and therefore be required to undertake further steps to mitigate noise impacts.

For more information regarding the State Planning Policy 5.4 Road and rail noise, please see or contact the department on (08) 6551 8002.

Date updated
18/10/2019 09:45:18