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

The Local Design Review Scheme (the Scheme) provides a consistent state-wide approach for councils to provide Design Review for locally assessed development proposals with the aim of:

  • supporting high-quality design
  • improving access to independent and expert advice early in the planning and design process
  • supporting consistent and informed planning decisions
  • facilitating collaboration between allied professionals
  • supporting the State’s planning system to meet objects and principles in the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

The Scheme was prepared by the Office for Design and Architecture SA (ODASA) in close collaboration with council staff from across the state, representatives from peak industry bodies, the State Planning Commission and interstate government agencies with experience in Local Design Review. You can learn more about the consultation process for the Scheme and read the feedback in the Engagement Summary Report below.

The Local Design Review Code Amendment was required to give effect to the Scheme and has now been adopted by the Minister for Planning and Local Government. The Local Design Review Code Amendment Engagement Report is available below and details the process and outcomes of the engagement, including a summary of the feedback received and how the proposed Amendment was updated. The Amendment will come into effect when consolidated into the online Planning and Design Code, which will occur in early 2022.

You can learn more about Local Design Review by downloading the Scheme and overview brochure below, and by emailing the team at LocalDesignReview@sa.gov.au.