A development application's journey through the approval process is determined by its assessment pathway.
The new planning system's assessment pathways enable better assessment processes for development applications.
About this instrument
Development assessment is the process of granting development approval that is required for new buildings or structures, changing or demolishing buildings, a change in land use, or the division of land.
The new PDI Act 2016 will ensure that we enhance professionalism in decision making, spread decision making to a broader range of authorities and provide more opportunity for councils to work together.
It will also introduce assessment processes that flex with the complexity of the proposal, meaning quicker decisions for smaller developments and clearer, performance based, pathways for the assessment of larger developments.
New infrastructure and developments such as roads, housing and community and business facilities have the potential to bring enormous benefits for South Australia and for people who live, work and invest here.
How we assess proposed developments therefore needs to be straightforward, transparent and easy to understand for all involved. We need to reduce red tape while ensuring we support developments to deliver on real benefits for our community.
The Planning, Development and Infrastructure (General) Regulations 2017 have replaced the Development Regulations 2008 to guide the assessment of all development applications lodged under the new system.
The new legislation shifts the focus to the needs of applicants, improving development outcomes and better options for decisions to be reviewed.
Three new assessment pathways will increase certainty for simple developments and provide a tailored approach for more complex development applications. The system will provide applicants with an early ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to their proposed development rather than an infinite and costly ‘maybe’. Delays will be shortened, red tape reduced and investment encouraged.
Homebuilders and small businesses need certainty when they apply for approval of development that is expected in a zone. The new assessment pathways will deliver faster approvals, with fast tracking of deemed-to-satisfy development applications, and more consistent planning rules for performance-based assessment. The new legislation will also ensure that decisions are made and the planning rules are applied by accredited professionals.
The assessment pathways will be largely implemented in conjunction with the switching on of the Planning and Design Code.
Accepted development includes minor and standard applications which will need no approval or building consent only.
For example, a shed will require no planning or building consent and a shop fit out would require building consent only.
Exempt development also covers what types of development does not require any form of assessment.
Code assessed development
Code assessed development includes applications which will be assessed on their merit against the Planning and Design Code and are either deemed-to-satisfy development or performance assessed development.
Simple developments such as a detached house in a residential zone will be fast tracked as a deemed-to-satisfy development application. More complex applications such as a multi storey building will be subject to performance based assessment.
Impact assessed development
Impact assessed development is likely to be major developments such as a new port or a new foundry.
These developments are subject to an Environmental Impact Statement which will include a full analysis of a wide range of environmental, social or economic effects associated with the development and how those effects are to be managed.
A key part of assessing proposed developments is selecting the best authority to make decisions about proposed developments. Which authority is best placed to make that assessment and decision will be based on the scale and potential impact of a development.
Under the new legislation, a range of authorities will be able to assess development applications and make decisions.
For the South Australian Government, the Minister is primarily responsible for assessing development applications for essential infrastructure across South Australia and crown development applications including facilities associated with power, water, waste, education and our ports. Excluding restricted developments, the Minister is also primarily responsible for major development applications which require a full analysis of a wide range of possible impacts.
The State Planning Commission
The State Planning Commission is now South Australia’s principal planning and development assessment body. The Commission comprises experts across a range of disciplines including economics, urban design, construction, social and environmental policy and public administration.
The Commission is primarily responsible for assess development applications for restricted development occurring outside of local council areas or directed by the Minister, for example on matters of state significance or for delayed application.
Assessment panels and Assessment Managers
Assessment panels will now make decisions on more complex developments.
This will increase professional decision making, support local decision making and councils working together and also reduce political representation on assessment bodies.
Each Assessment Panel will have an Assessment Manager who is an Accredited Professional. The Assessment Manager will help support, advise and coordinate the work of the Assessment Panel and will also be responsible for the assessment of certain types of applications as a decision authority in his/her own right. The Assessment Panel may review an assessment decision made by the Assessment Manager, if requested to do so by an applicant.
An Accredited Professional assesses development applications as prescribed by the regulations.
The majority of development application decisions are made by local councils in their role as custodians of their local areas and as assessment authorities.
Councils are responsible for granting final approvals for development that occur within its area. There is no change until a comprehensive review is undertaken of current council delegations and procedures to assist determination under the assessment pathways.
Councils are now also assisted with the establishment of Council Assessment Panels.
A record of public consultation relating to this planning tool is listed below.
Closed 1 March 2019
This consultation has closed.
The draft Development Assessment Regulations and Practice Directions set out how the new development assessment framework will operate in the new planning system.
Your input is being used to inform the draft Regulations and Practice Directions to help set out the new framework for planning and development in South Australia.
A What We Have Heard report based on feedback received has been circulated to all engagement participants and published on this page.
- Draft Planning, Development and Infrastructure (General) (Development Assessment) Variation Regulations (PDF, 859 KB)
- Guide to the draft Development Assessment Regulations and Practice Directions (PDF, 4316 KB)
- Draft Practice Direction - Conditions (PDF, 203 KB)
- Draft Practice Direction - Deemed Planning Consent Standard Conditions (PDF, 566 KB)
- Draft Practice Direction - Notification of Performance Assessed Development Applications (PDF, 652 KB)
- Draft Practice Direction - Restricted and Impact Assessed Development (PDF, 1065 KB)
- Fact Sheet: Development Assessment: What is changing and how will this affect me as a resident? (PDF, 864 KB)
- Fact Sheet: Proposed Assessment Timeframes (PDF, 315 KB)
- What We Have Heard Report - Development Assessment Regulations and Practice Directions (PDF, 572 KB)
- 001 - Naracoorte Lucindale Council.pdf (199.0 KB, PDF File)
- 002 - Bruce Payne.pdf (151.1 KB, PDF File)
- 003 - Save Unley Trees, Grow Grow Grow Your Own, Friends of the City of Unley Society.pdf (167.4 KB, PDF File)
- 004 - Regional Council of Goyder - late submission.pdf (776.4 KB, PDF File)
- 005 - ACB Consulting.pdf (114.7 KB, PDF File)
- 006 - City of West Torrens.pdf (1.0 MB, PDF File)
- 007 - City of Salisbury.pdf (213.1 KB, PDF File)
- 008 - Berri Barmera Council, District Council of Loxton Waikerie, Renmark Paringa Council.pdf (292.0 KB, PDF File)
- 009 - Mobile Carriers Forum.pdf (2.0 MB, PDF File)
- 010 - South Australian Independent Retailers.pdf (853.0 KB, PDF File)
- 011 - Mid Murray Council.pdf (169.3 KB, PDF File)
- 012 - Mount Barker District Council.pdf (217.5 KB, PDF File)
- 012a - Mount Barker District Council.pdf (172.7 KB, PDF File)
- 013 - Light Regional Council.pdf (132.8 KB, PDF File)
- 014 - City of Norwood Payneham and St Peters.pdf (1.5 MB, PDF File)
- 015 - City of Burnside.pdf (129.4 KB, PDF File)
- 016 - City of Charles Sturt.pdf (437.7 KB, PDF File)
- 017 - City of Onkaparinga - Development Services.pdf (589.4 KB, PDF File)
- 018 - Ron Lochert.pdf (40.8 KB, PDF File)
- 020 - Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute South Australia.pdf (136.3 KB, PDF File)
- 021 - Housing Industry Association.pdf (530.3 KB, PDF File)
- 022 - City of Unley - late submission.pdf (265.3 KB, PDF File)
- 023 - City of Tea Tree Gully.pdf (631.4 KB, PDF File)
- 024 - City of Holdfast Bay.pdf (246.9 KB, PDF File)
- 026 - Peet Limited.pdf (144.7 KB, PDF File)
- 027 - City of Adelaide.pdf (1.8 MB, PDF File)
- 028 - City of Onkaparinga - Parks and Natural Resources.pdf (119.8 KB, PDF File)
- 029 - City of Port Adelaide Enfield.pdf (1.0 MB, PDF File)
- 030 - Swimming Pool and Spa Association.pdf (224.5 KB, PDF File)
- 031 - Bunnings Group Limited.pdf (1.3 MB, PDF File)
- 032 - Bernie Steer.pdf (543.7 KB, PDF File)
- 033 - Local Government Association.pdf (1.3 MB, PDF File)
- 034 - The Verge Cohousing Community.pdf (425.6 KB, PDF File)
- 035 - Jeff Shillabeer.pdf (326.9 KB, PDF File)
- 036 - The Rural City of Murray Bridge.pdf (1.4 MB, PDF File)
- 037 - Campbelltown City Council.pdf (124.9 KB, PDF File)
- 038 - Town of Gawler.pdf (1.8 MB, PDF File)
- 039 - Tony DiGiovanni.pdf (11.9 KB, PDF File)
- 040 - Adelaide Plains Council.pdf (294.4 KB, PDF File)
- 041 - Australian Institute of Landscape Architects SA Chapter.pdf (228.2 KB, PDF File)
- 042 - Alexandrina Council.pdf (172.0 KB, PDF File)
- 043 - Yorke Peninsula Council, Copper Coast Council, Barunga West Council, Wakefield Regional Council, Port Pirie Regional Council.pdf (3.5 MB, PDF File)
- 044 - City of Playford.pdf (541.4 KB, PDF File)
- 045 - City of Salisbury.pdf (1.1 MB, PDF File)
- 046 - Planning Institute Australia.pdf (168.0 KB, PDF File)
- 048 - City of Marion.pdf (126.5 KB, PDF File)
- 049 - The Barossa Council staff.pdf (1.0 MB, PDF File)
- 050 - Property Council of Australia.pdf (4.1 MB, PDF File)
- 051 - Resilient East Project Steering Group.pdf (232.7 KB, PDF File)
- 053 - Yup Yup Labs.pdf (79.4 KB, PDF File)
- 054 - Master Builders Association of SA Inc.pdf (955.7 KB, PDF File)
- 055 - Mary Morris.pdf (557.9 KB, PDF File)
- 056 - Adelaide Hills Council.pdf (363.1 KB, PDF File)
- 057 - The Law Society of South Australia - late submission.pdf (352.0 KB, PDF File)
- 058 - Senior Officers of the 5 Growth Area Council Officers.pdf (1.0 MB, PDF File)
- 059 - Environment Defenders Office.pdf (145.0 KB, PDF File)
- 060 - Australian Institute of Building Surveyors.pdf (167.6 KB, PDF File)
- 061 - Urban Development Institute of Australia SA Inc.pdf (438.6 KB, PDF File)
- 062 - Evonne Moore.pdf (103.0 KB, PDF File)
- 063 - People for Trees.pdf (86.1 KB, PDF File)
- 064 - Prospect Residents Association.pdf (967.6 KB, PDF File)
- 065 - Friends of the City of Unley.pdf (85.4 KB, PDF File)
- 066 - Kensington Residents Association.pdf (884.2 KB, PDF File)
- 067 - Community Alliance SA.pdf (430.4 KB, PDF File)
- 068 - Norwood Residents Association.pdf (255.7 KB, PDF File)
- 069 - Cheltenham Park Residents Association.pdf (278.5 KB, PDF File)
- 070 - Coastal Ecology Protection Group.pdf (62.4 KB, PDF File)
- 071 - National Trust South Australia.pdf (629.8 KB, PDF File)
- 072 - Residents for Environment and Character Conservation.pdf (31.0 KB, PDF File)
Closed 17 October 2018
This consultation has closed.
The Assessment Pathways Discussion Paper (PDF, 2216 KB) provides an overview of new development application assessment processes which will become operational in South Australia by mid-2020. There is also a shorter summary paper Our New Assessment System (PDF, 867 KB) available for download.
Your input has been used to inform the draft Regulations and Practice Directions to help set out the new framework for planning and development in South Australia.
A What We Have Heard report based on feedback received has been circulated to all engagement participants and published on the SA Planning Portal.
- Assessment Pathways Technical Discussion Paper (PDF, 2216 KB)
- Assessment Pathways Technical Discussion Paper - Summary (PDF, 867 KB)
- Assessment Pathways Technical Discussion Paper - Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 177 KB)
- Assessment Pathways Technical Discussion Paper - What We Have Heard Report (PDF, 3256 KB)
- 001 - Department for Energy and Mining.pdf (73.1 KB, PDF File)
- 002 - Town of Gawler.pdf (1.1 MB, PDF File)
- 003 - City of Campbelltown.pdf (87.1 KB, PDF File)
- 004 - South West City Community Association.pdf (183.5 KB, PDF File)
- 005 - City of Holdfast Bay.pdf (1.0 MB, PDF File)
- 006 - Adelaide Plains Council.pdf (204.8 KB, PDF File)
- 007 - City of Playford.pdf (206.1 KB, PDF File)
- 008 - South East City Residents Association.pdf (211.1 KB, PDF File)
- 009 - Iris Iwanicki.pdf (410.3 KB, PDF File)
- 010 - City of Adelaide.pdf (3.9 MB, PDF File)
- 011 - City of West Torrens.pdf (2.2 MB, PDF File)
- 012 - Norwood Residents Association Inc.pdf (314.3 KB, PDF File)
- 013 - Australian Pork Limited.pdf (216.6 KB, PDF File)
- 014 - The Barossa Council.pdf (134.6 KB, PDF File)
- 015 - City of Unley.pdf (454.3 KB, PDF File)
- 016 - Environmental Defenders Office SA Inc.pdf (226.1 KB, PDF File)
- 017 - City of Port Adelaide Enfield.PDF (6.0 MB, PDF File)
- 018 - Prospect Residents Association.PDF (840.2 KB, PDF File)
- 019 - Rural City of Murray Bridge.pdf (284.1 KB, PDF File)
- 020 - UDIA.pdf (284.7 KB, PDF File)
- 021 - City of Charles Sturt.pdf (284.9 KB, PDF File)
- 022 - EPA.pdf (1.6 MB, PDF File)
- 023 - Planning Institute of Australia.pdf (195.1 KB, PDF File)
- 024 - City of Onkaparinga.pdf (3.6 MB, PDF File)
- 025 - City of Norwood Payneham and St Peters.pdf (919.4 KB, PDF File)
- 026 - Housing Industry Association.pdf (2.1 MB, PDF File)
- 027 - Australian Institute of Architects.pdf (155.7 KB, PDF File)
- 028 - City of Tea Tree Gully.pdf (196.4 KB, PDF File)
- 029 - Jeff Shillabeer.pdf (433.1 KB, PDF File)
- 030 - Bicycle Institute of SA.pdf (162.8 KB, PDF File)
- 031 - Resilient East.pdf (797.0 KB, PDF File)
- 032 - Morag Lethbridge.pdf (54.4 KB, PDF File)
- 033 - Light Regional Council.pdf (618.5 KB, PDF File)
- 034 - City of Prospect.pdf (205.7 KB, PDF File)
- 035 - Kensington Residents Association.pdf (405.2 KB, PDF File)
- 036 - Surveying and Spatial Science Institute.pdf (340.1 KB, PDF File)
- 037 - Tim Kelly.pdf (636.1 KB, PDF File)
- 038 - Community Alliance SA.pdf (259.0 KB, PDF File)
- 039 - Adelaide Hills Council.pdf (180.3 KB, PDF File)
- 040 - Coorong District Council.pdf (363.7 KB, PDF File)
- 041 - Department for Environment and Water.pdf (102.6 KB, PDF File)
- 042 - Master Builders Association of SA - late submission.pdf (550.4 KB, PDF File)
- 043 - City of Mitcham - late submission.pdf (216.1 KB, PDF File)
- 044 - Mount Barker District Council - late submission.pdf (121.4 KB, PDF File)
- 045 - Local Government Association - late submission.pdf (636.0 KB, PDF File)
- 046 - Mid Murray Council - late submission.pdf (179.4 KB, PDF File)
- 047 - City of Salisbury - late submission.pdf (2.9 MB, PDF File)
If you can't find a document, try searching PlanSA's resources library.
- Application for preliminary agency advice (PDF, 593 KB)
- Application to Assessment Panel for Assessment Manager’s Decision Review (DOCX, 31 KB)
- Application to State Planning Commission for State Commission Assessment Panel's Decision Review (DOCX, 63 KB)
- Certificate of occupancy (DOCX, 69 KB)
- Deemed consent notice (DOCX, 183 KB)
- Designated building products (DOCX, 64 KB)
- Development application form for Crown PDI Act applications (PDF, 600 KB)
- Development application form for PDI Act applications (PDF, 704 KB)
- Disclosure of commercial competitive interest (DOCX, 61 KB)
- Essential Safety Provisions (ESPs) - Certificate of compliance (DOCX, 67 KB)
- Essential Safety Provisions (ESPs) - Certificate of maintenance (DOCX, 69 KB)
- Essential safety provisions (ESPs) - Schedule (DOCX, 64 KB)
- Prescribed supervisor's checklist for designated building products (DOCX, 64 KB)
- Statement of compliance (DOCX, 73 KB)Statement relating to electricity infrastructure (PDF, 347 KB)
- Role of relevant authorities in development assessment (PDF, 147 KB)
- Applicant's guide to lodging a development application in the outback (PDF, 4299 KB)
- Development assessment timeframes in the new planning system (PDF, 2345 KB)
- Key changes to the PDI (General) Regulations 2017 based on feedback received during consultation (PDF, 2842 KB)
- Comparison between the Development Regulations 2008 vs PDI Regulations (PDF, 189 KB)
- Assessment Panel Members - Code of Conduct (PDF, 349 KB)Online Map of Assessment Panels that are in effect