Development application process

The Development Application process needn’t be complicated if you take it step-by-step.

The City of Adelaide employs qualified and experienced staff to undertake the assessment of applications as well as providing general advice. They’ve put together this step-by-step guide to help you.

A tip: As each application is unique, we strongly recommend you discuss your proposal with a staff member before lodging your application.

How the Development assessment process works

Following this guide below will ensure the most efficient processing of your application.

You will need to obtain Development Approval from Council before you undertake the following activities:

  • Demolish, construct, add or alter a building.
  • Erect a sign.
  • Change the use of a property.
  • Any tree damaging activity to a regulated or significant tree.
  • Any external alterations (and in some case also internal alterations) to a listed heritage item.
  • Divide or alter the boundary of an allotment.

Refer to the specialist guide sheets on the Development Information page to find exactly what you need to submit with your application.

Make sure you have everything together before starting your online application.

You’ll need to have all your documentation with you, ready to complete the application form online, as unfortunately, you are unable to save the form part way through. At a minimum you’ll need:

  • Certificate of Title - to confirm ownership of the affected property and check boundaries.
  • Powerline Clearance Declaration Form - To confirm that your proposal satisfies the necessary setbacks from powerlines. View a copy of the declaration and information on the necessary setbacks.
  • Construction Industry Training Levy Receipt - Required for all development applications with a value of work in excess of $40,000.
  • Plans & Drawings - Site plans and drawings will need to be provided for every Development Application.

To lodge a new Development Application, please click on the 'Lodge a new DA' button to the right:

To lodge a Variation to a Development Application please click on the

‘Lodge certified, amended or additional documents’ button to the right:

If you need further help, we’ve developed a pictorial how-to guide showing the online process

Fees apply for the processing of Development Applications. Refer to our Development Applications Fees chart for full details.

 You’ll need to pay all applicable fees before your Development Application can be processed. Remember to have your payment reference number handy.

Pay any outstanding fees now

Council plays an active role in assessing all applications.

The time taken to process applications varies depending on the type of proposal. Generally, applications take a minimum of six weeks to be processed, assuming all the relevant information has been submitted. If more information needs to be requested, the time to process will be longer.

The process may involve some or all of the following:

  • Assessment of Plans against the Development Plan, Building Code and relevant standards
  • Site Visit/Inspection. You will be contacted by a Council officer if this is required.
  • Referral for expert advice. This may include another Council department, or externally to places such as the State Heritage Unit of DENR, or the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
  • Public notification - where appropriate Council will write to neighbouring or surrounding property owners and allow 10 business days for comments to be made.
  • Report and Decision - A report will be collated by a Planning Officer after all the above has been taken into consideration. It will outline the recommended decision.

Over 90 per cent of development applications is delegated to the administration for decisions. The remaining applications are determined by the Council’s Assessment Panel

  • Building Rules Assessment. This can be done by either Council or a Private Certifier. The assessing officer ensures the proposed works are in accordance with the Building Code of Australia and relevant Australian Standards; including items such as disabled access and fire and life safety systems.

Once this is complete, the officer is able to finalise the application, granting Building Rules Consent, and in turn Development Approval.

Note: You can see where your application is at using the Track my Development Application feature.

Once Development Approval is granted you are permitted to commence works. This Substantial commencement must occur within 12 months of the date of the approval.

You are required to notify council via email a minimum of one business day prior to work commencing. You are also encouraged to contact Council so that a site management meeting can be arranged. We’ll discuss the process of working with the City of Adelaide, meeting all legal requirements, and minimising the impact on your neighbours. Arranging this meeting helps ensure a smooth and efficient construction process for everyone.

We also recommend you read the During Construction page, which details requirements throughout the building process.

Need more information?

Please contact the City of Adelaide Duty Planner:

08 8203 7185