Pre-lodgement service

This free service is designed to help more efficient decision making for complex projects in Metropolitan Adelaide.

It works well for complex projects where addressing issues early in the design stage can have significant benefits.

The pre-lodgement service is free, voluntary and confidential. The service allows proponents and key decision-makers to work together to achieve the best design, planning and development outcomes.

Benefits of the service

  • helps prepare the development application with all key information provided
  • reduces assessment time of development proposals
  • provides progressive certainty by resolving planning and design issues upfront
  • facilitates pre-lodgement agreements that cut out the need for agency referrals
  • allows proponents to get feedback from SCAP during the development of their proposal
  • advises proponents on submitting a complete application.

Eligible developments

The pre-lodgement service is available in these areas for these development types:

City of Adelaide

Developments that are $10 million or more in value within the City of Adelaide.

Inner Metropolitan Adelaide

Developments that are five storeys or more in height within an Urban Corridor Zone as described in the council Development Plans of:

  • Burnside
  • Prospect
  • Unley
  • West Torrens
  • Norwood Payneham and St Peters (also includes District Centre Zone).

Holdfast Bay

Developments that are five storeys or more in height within the District Centre (Jetty Road) Zone and Residential High Density Zone within the City of Holdfast Bay.

Port Adelaide Enfield

Developments that are $3 million or more in value within the Port Adelaide Regional Centre Zone of the City of Port Adelaide Enfield.

Apply for the service

You can request the pre-lodgement service (PDF, 1222 KB) at any stage of your proposal by making an appointment with the Department.

Level 5, 50 Flinders Street
Adelaide SA 5000
Phone: 1800 752 664
Email: PlanSA@sa.gov.au

The process


  1. The proponent contacts the Department to start the process and they assign a case manager.

    The case manager holds an initial meeting with the proponent to decide the best assessment pathway for the proposal.

  2. To commence the pre-lodgement process, the proponent must submit baseline documentation.

    The case manager can help proponents develop these materials in consultation with relevant referral agencies.

    Baseline documentation includes:

    • a description of the land use or proposal
    • site analysis and consideration of the provisions of local planning regulations
    • preliminary drawings that show the proposed development’s height, building envelope and access.
  3. The case manager establishes a pre-lodgement panel to review the proposal. They arrange meetings between the panel and the proponent.

    The panel provides advice on the progress of the proposal and raises any significant concerns.

    The panel includes:

    • senior planning assessment officers
    • the Government Architect or delegate
    • representatives of the relevant council
    • representatives of the relevant referral agencies.
  4. In parallel with the panel meetings, the case manager liaises between the design review panel and the proponent as required.

    The panel assists the Government Architect by providing independent advice on the design quality of development proposals.

    The Government Architect chairs the panel and issues a recommendations report to the proponent within 10 working days of each session.The Government Architect’s final recommendations report forms part of the pre-lodgement agreement and is considered when assessing the development application.

    The design review panel includes:

    • architects
    • landscape architects
    • other design professionals with extensive industry experience
    • the Government Architect (as chair).
  5. The proponent seeks pre-lodgement agreements from the relevant referral bodies. Other information and materials may be required, depending on the nature of the development proposal.

  6. The proponent lodges the final development application with the relevant authority for assessment and a decision.