Design review

Design review enables design advice from an independent panel of professionals at the state and local level.

The service is available to development proposals before lodgement.

Design Review is an independent evaluation process, where built environment experts consider the merits of a development proposal and identify opportunities to encourage high quality design.

Design quality relates to:

  • the look and feel of buildings and places
  • how successfully development meets the needs of people who use and experience it
  • making building and places better for people, the environment and economy.

Design Review is most effective when undertaken early in the planning and design process, prior to a development application being lodged, where the opportunities to effect positive change are greatest.

State design review

State Design Review has operated successfully in South Australia since 2011.

It is currently available to development proposals that will be assessed by the State Planning Commission and referred to the Government Architect.

Eligible developments are:

  • $10 million or more in value in the City of Adelaide
  • Five storeys or more in the:
    • Inner Metropolitan Adelaide Urban Corridor Zones
    • District Centre (Norwood) Zone (City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters)
    • District Centre (Jetty Road) Zone and Residential High Density Zone (City of Holdfast Bay)
  • $3 million or more in value in the Port Adelaide Regional Centre Zone (City of Port Adelaide Enfield)
  • Major projects and projects of state significance
  • Located within the Design Overlay of the Planning and Design Code

Local design review

Councils in South Australia are increasingly offering design advisory services to proponents in a variety of ways. The new Local Design Review Scheme will introduce a consistent approach to delivering Local Design Review across South Australia and support council staff, private sector professionals and proponents.

The draft Local Design Review Scheme seeks to:

  • support high-quality design
  • improve access to independent and expert design advice early in the planning and design process
  • support consistent and informed planning decisions
  • facilitate collaboration between allied professionals that can positively contribute to professional development.

Between December 2019 and March 2020, the team from the Office for Design and Architecture South Australia (ODASA) met with over 50 staff from 24 councils across the state and representatives from the local divisions of peak industry bodies to understand council and stakeholder needs in relation to Local Design Review.

More recently, ODASA undertook eight weeks of public consultation on the draft Local Design Review Scheme (26 June 2020 – 21 August 2020). A total of 38 formal submissions were received in response to the draft Scheme. The responses are currently being reviewed and will be taken into consideration when updating the Scheme.

In the coming months, a pilot program will be undertaken in collaboration with councils who have expressed interest in establishing a Local Design Review panel.

How to apply

To enquire about State Design Review, visit the Office for Design and Architecture South Australia’s website.


A record of public consultation relating to this planning tool is listed below.

Closed 21 August 2020

The Office for Design and Architecture South Australia (ODASA) has prepared the draft Scheme on behalf of the Minister for Planning in collaboration with the State Planning Commission, local government staff from across the State and representatives from peak industry bodies.

Feedback on the draft Scheme was sought from councils, industry professionals and any other interested parties and closed on Friday 21 August 2020.

A consultation guide has been prepared to provide background information and should be read in conjunction with the draft Scheme.

Submissions received