Development process

The process for obtaining Development Approval will vary according to the type of development proposed, but an application must be lodged every time a development is undertaken. The processes for making development applications and assessing those applications are laid out in the Development Act 1993 (Sections 32-56A) and Development Regulations.

'development' is defined in the Development Act as:

  • A change in the use of land or buildings
  • The creation of new allotments through land division (including Strata and Community Title division)
  • Building work (including construction, demolition, alteration and associated excavation/fill)
  • Cutting, damaging or felling of significant trees
  • Specific work in relation to State and Local Heritage Places
  • Prescribed mining operations
  • Other acts or activities in relation to land as declared by the Development Regulations.

An application for development approval must be made using a standard official  form, lodged with the relevant authority. Most development applications are received and assessed by the local council. The local council then acts as a 'one stop shop', sending out to relevant agencies for specialist comments on the proposal.  Some specific kinds of development application are determined by an independent Development Assessment Commission (DAC), where they are not covered by a local  council area. Since July 2001, local councils have been required to establish Development Assessment Panels (DAPs) in order to increase the impartiality and  certainty of development assessment decisions. Feedback and comments from the  relevent agencies are then considered by the commission /panel and assessed.

The following chart provides an overview of the phases of a typical irrigated development approval process. There are three key steps:

  1. the development of a planning proposal;
  2. the lodgement and assessment of the development application; and
  3. the approval process

Each phase is explained in more detailed charts.

Flow diagram giving an overview of the development approval process. Phase one: Develop a planning proposal - the developer identifies the approvals required. Phase two: Application lodgement and referral - conditions are determined on referral. Phase three: approval process - assessment application and approval process.  


Key external links for further information

Planning SA - South Australia's planning and development system, including an overview of the land use planning system

 Land Titles - buying and selling of land, property searches, Certificate of Title, ownership details, encumbrances

 DENR (SA) - property information, land and maps, biodiversity, coasts and marine, environmental protection, environmental reporting, biodiversity, land management, native vegetation, natural resource management

 Environment Protection Austority (EPA) - environmental protection act and policies

Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources - water resources, River Murray

Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) - biosecurity issues, crops, technical expertise, research, path to market