Consultation on amendments to development plans

Development plans need to be amended over time to introduce changes in zoning or to reflect changes in local and state government policy.

In South Australia changes to development plans are made through a process called a development plan amendment (DPA). This process is set out in the Development Act 1993 and related regulations. It can take eight to 18 months to complete, depending on the complexity of the amendment.

Amendments can be initiated by a local council or, under certain circumstances, the minister responsible for planning.

Members of the public can find out more about the topic in the Guide to development plans and development plan amendments - (660.2 KB PDF). It explains:

  • what a development plan is
  • what a DPA is and how the process is undertaken
  • how to make a written or verbal submission on a DPA.

Planning practitioners can find technical information and tools in the Practitioners guide to preparing development plan amendments.

Council-initiated development plan amendments

Most amendments are initiated by councils. First the council prepares a statement of intent with details about the proposed amendment. Once the statement has been approved by the minister, the council investigates various aspects of the amendment and consults with government bodies and the public.

The minister must assess and approve the final amendment.

To find out about current amendments see the development plan for your council.

Minister-initiated development plan amendments

The minister can initiate an amendment under certain circumstances set out in the Development Act 1993. Under a minister-initiated amendment, the state planning agency undertakes the investigations, rather than the council.

The public consultation on Minister initiated amendments is conducted by the State Planning Commission, an independent body that advises the minister on planning and development issues.

For more information and list of current Minister initiated amendments, see Minister initiated amendments to development plans.

Commenting on a development plan amendment

The amendment process requires consultation with the public to allow community members to comment on the proposed outcome.

The consultation has two components:

  • the public are invited to make written submissions, by letter or email, within a specific time, and the submissions are made available for public inspection
  • a public meeting is held, at which anyone who has provided a written submission can provide additional information (a meeting is not required if no written submissions are received or if no one indicates a wish to be heard).

What is interim operation?

In some cases a minister-initiated amendment can be brought into immediate effect on a temporary, or interim, basis while the community is consulted. This measure is used only when the minister considers it necessary to ensure orderly and proper development in the area affected by the amendment.

Interim operation begins at the start of public consultation and can be in place for up to 12 months. During this time, all the policies proposed by the amendment are in effect. However, changes to the amendment can be made as a result of the consultation.

Parliamentary review of development plan amendments

All minister-approved amendments must be reviewed by the state parliament's Environment, Resources and Development Committee. The committee may make objections or suggest changes to a DPA as a result of its review.

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Page last updated 18 August 2020

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