Bushfire recovery - planning and building assessment

People affected by bushfires can ask for a streamlined assessment and faster approval to help them repair or rebuild buildings damaged in bushfires.

Contact the Planning and Building Assessment Recovery Unit to guide you through the process.

Phone: 7109 7060

Email: dit.bushfirerecoveryunit@sa.gov.au

Planning approval

Approvals are not always needed if buildings on your land have been destroyed or substantially damaged by bushfire.

Approval not required

  • demolition
  • temporary shipping or storage containers to store goods and equipment
  • temporary accommodation (caravan) that is not fixed to the land

Approval required

Building approval

Approvals are not always needed if buildings on your land have been destroyed or substantially damaged by bushfire.

Approval not required

  • work to fix minor damage, such as smoke damage
  • temporary structures to store goods and equipment
  • temporary accommodation (caravan) that is not fixed to the land.

Approval required

Building approval is required for other building work, including:

Repairing your current house

Have your house inspected by a professional to check it is structurally sound following the fire. You might need to repair to a higher standard of bushfire protection if your house is older.

You might need building approval if the damage is significant.

Building a new house

Building a new house requires planning and building assessment. You might need to meet extra safety requirements, depending on the bushfire risk.

Use overlays in the Planning and Design Code to view maps showing each area’s level of risk.

Planning assessment

Planning assessment considers things like:

  • the siting of your house
  • clearance from vegetation
  • access to and from your property
  • how close the house is from activities like farming or industry.

You must comply with the planning rules relevant to the bushfire hazard for your area. These rules are set out in overlays of the Planning and Design Code.

Levels of bushfire risk

In high bushfire risk areas, new houses must undergo a Bushfire Attack Level assessment.

Planning approval is given within 10 days if you are rebuilding a ‘replacement building’ – the same house in the same location. Applications will need to be ‘performance assessed’ if you rebuild a substantially different house or in a different location.

Once your designer or builder has completed your plans, building approval can be sought from either your council or a private certifier.

Fee concessions and free services

Concessions

If your home has been destroyed or substantially damaged by bushfire, you can access concessions to help with the cost of BAL assessments.

Contact the Planning and Building Assessment Recovery Unit or your local council for assistance.

Free services

Design, planning, building and environmental services are being offered free of charge to support South Australia’s bushfire recovery.

South Australia’s Recovery website provides advice and access to current free resources.

Application advice

For bushfire rebuilding, planning and building application advice contact :

Planning and Building Assessment Recovery Unit (DIT)
Level 5, 50 Flinders Street 
Adelaide SA 5000
Phone: 7109 7060
Email: dpti.bushfirerecoveryunit@sa.gov.au

SA Country Fire Service
Level 7, 60 Waymouth Street
Adelaide SA 5000
Phone: 8115 3300


Checklists

Use the relevant checklist to help you apply for planning or building approval and speed up your assessment.

No approval required

Approval required


Related information

Other websites

PlanSA portal


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Page last updated 29 April 2021

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
URL:
https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/emergencies-and-safety/types/bushfire/rebuilding-in-areas-affected-by-bushfires
Last Updated:
29/04/21
Printed on:
03/07/22
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2022
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