Development information

South Australia's Planning System is changing on 19 March 2021. Find out more at

Developing your land or building is an exciting time but it can also be confusing.

That’s why we’ve collated a wealth of development information and answered common questions to help you through the process.

Development- frequently asked questions

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 cases also internal alterations) to a listed heritage place
  • Divide or alter the boundary of an allotment

If you are unsure about requirements please contact the Duty Planner who can guide you.

Your application will be assessed against the objectives and principles of the Adelaide (City) Development Plan and the Building Code of Australia, with the application process determined by the Development Act 1993 and Development Regulations 2008. The Development Plan divides the Council area into Zones and Policy Areas, with different policies applicable to each. The Council area is divided into different Zones and Policy Areas, with different objectives and principles applicable to each.

Providing Council with all of the plans and documents required for the type of development you propose is the quickest way to have your application assessed. Development applications submitted without the correct information will face significant processing delays.

We recommend a pre-application discussion with a Council Planning and Building Officer to ensure you have considered the relevant issues.

A planning assessment involves assessing the impact of development, including:

  • the potential impact of development upon adjoining buildings, properties and people (e.g. overshadowing, overlooking, and visual dominance),
  • size, shape, orientation and layout of new allotments,
  • impacts to heritage buildings – this involves building work to a heritage building as well as works adjacent to a heritage building,
  • impact to the character of existing buildings in an existing street or locality,
  • appropriateness of certain land uses, dependant on the relevant zoning.

Examples of other criteria considered during the assessment are environmental sustainability, access and traffic, and public safety.

The assessment is undertaken against the principles and policies in Council’s Development Plan with different requirements based upon what you wish to do and what area of the city or North Adelaide you are located in.

After receiving a planning approval, a building approval is typically required.

This involves an appraisal of the design of buildings to ensure 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.

You may also be required to pay the Construction Industry Training Levy. The levy is payable on all building or construction work (including maintenance) with a value over $40,000 and is put towards industry training. Payment can be made via the Board's online payment system.

Need more information?

If you are unsure about requirements or have any questions about the development process, please contact the Duty Planner:

8203 7185