New Regulations extend planning and building approvals

Published Thursday, 12 November 2020

Today changes to the Planning, Development and Infrastructure (General) (Lapse of Consent or Approval) Variation Regulations 2020 (regulations) have been gazetted extending the time frame for consent or approval-to-commence to 24 months.

These changes remove the need for applicants to formally seek the approval of the relevant authority for an extension past 12 months and also provides a further 12 months (to 24 months) to begin construction from the date a project receives development approval.

In summary the regulation variations ensure that for applications lodged from 12 November 2020:

  • a planning or building consent is valid for 24 months
  • an applicant has 24 months to substantially commence an approved development
  • for those applicants that initially only seek planning consent (and then seek building consent and development approval once finance is secured), they would have an extra 24 months (than the current timeframes) to secure finance and commence an approved development.

There are no changes to the time within which to complete an approved development, which is within three years. Once a development is commenced, the Government considers that three years is a reasonable time to complete a development given the noise and visual impacts of construction sites on surrounding properties.

As the Development Act 1993 still applies in metropolitan Adelaide and regional cities until Phase Three of the Planning and Design Code is implemented, a regulation variation has also been made to the Development Regulations 2008 to ensure that the changes to timeframes will apply equally under both legislative schemes until the repeal of the Development Act 1993.

Please note these changes do not apply to consents or approvals for applications lodged prior to 12 November 2020.

These changes bring South Australia in line with other states – for instance, approvals are valid for two years in Queensland and New South Wales, with changes due to COVID-19 now providing development consents to lapse five years after the date from which it operates.

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