Development applications

Building and development applications are now lodged and assessed under simplified, state-wide planning rules through the Planning and Design Code and ePlanning platform.

Visit the PlanSA portal to find out more about the changes and to lodge an application.

Submitting an application

If you’re planning a development, you may need to apply for approval before you get started.

Getting approval ensures that development is appropriate for where it is proposed and constructed in a safe and compliant way.

Types of development that usually need approval are:

  • building work and construction
  • changing a land use, for example an office to a shop
  • altering land boundaries, for example subdiving land into two
  • advertising.

Some projects at home are not considered 'development' and are exempt from needing approval. For example, a small garden shed, fence or water tank.

Visit PlanSA ‘Development Applications’ for further information about preparing an application, tracking and paying for an application.

Assessing an application

Planning and building rules describe which developments are appropriate for different areas and how they should be built. The rules that apply to an approval depend on the type of development, where it's located and when you apply. Planning and building rules are set out by the new Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

The following planning rules are used to assess a development for planning consent:

These following building rules are used to assess a development for building consent:

How development applications are assessed -  PlanSA

Appealing a decision

At the end of the assessment process, a decision is granted or refused by a relevant authority.

Once a decision has been made, you’ll receive a decision notification form (DNF).

If you disagree with a decision about a development you may be able to lodge an appeal against that decision. Appeals are dealt with through the Environment, Resources and Development (ERD) Court.

Decisions and appeals - PlanSA

Guides, factsheets, forms and fees

The PlanSA support library has easy-to-follow step-by-step guides and factsheets on how to perform specific tasks within the ePlanning system.

There is also a range of videos with instructions for using the new planning system features and undertaking a development application, as well as  information on fee payments.

There are also statutory forms that must be used during the assessment process of a development application, from initial stages of lodgement to final occupation of a building.

Having your say

South Australians can have their say on changes to the planning system and developments proposed across the state, these include:

Notified developments - Some lodged development applications need public notification as part of their assessment process. Public notification lets neighbours and other interested parties have a say about a development before a decision is made.

Code amendments – From time to time, the planning and development system is amended to improve the way it works in South Australia.  By having your say, you can influence the way we plan and build under the new planning system.

State developments - South Australians can have their say about state developments that are notified, including crown developments and major projects.

When you have your say on a notified development application, it’s called submitting a representation.

To find out more about submitting a representation visit PlanSA.

Public registers

You can find and track a development application in South Australia, from lodgement to decision, on PlanSA.

Start by searching for an address to find an application in the Development Application Register. If you don't know an address, you can use SAPPA to search using an online map.

You can also find a registered planning and building professional who are accredited within government or the private sector under the Accredited Professionals Scheme.

Major developments

A development proposal can be declared as a major project by the Minister for Planning and Local Government if it is considered to be of economic, social or environmental importance to South Australia.

The way that major projects are assessed is a state-run process that differs from other development applications.

To view a list of current major projects and learn about the major assessment process visit PlanSA.

Related information

    Other websites

    PlanSA portal


    Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016

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    Page last updated 23 March 2021

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    Attorney-General's Department
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