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Find out if you need approval​

If you are undertaking development, you may require approval


Development approval is granted after obtaining one or more type of consent during the development assessment process. The type of consent you might need depends on the development you are trying to do and where it is located.

Types of consent

Consent Required For How Obtained

Planning Consent

Development that may have a planning impact on its surrounding area

The development is assessed by a relevant planning authority against the planning rules to grant planning consent

Building Consent

Development that may involves building work

The development is assessed by a relevant building authority against the building rules to grant building consent

Land Division Consent

Development that involves the creation or movement of land boundaries

The development is assessed by a relevant planning authority against the planning rules as well as land division infrastructure requirements set out by the legislation, to grant both planning consent and land division consent.

 

Approval for development in a council area

If your development is proposed in a council area, the type of approval you may require is determined by the Development Act 1993.

Most developments in council areas are granted approval by the relevant local council. In a small number of cases, approval may be granted by the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP).

Learn more about how development is assessed under the Development Act


Typical development types

The examples below should be treated as guidance only. You should always contact your local council to determine the rules that apply to your development.

Development Example Approval Required?

Minor building projects at home

  • Small garden sheds
  • Small water tanks
  • Fencing
  • Retaining walls
  • Decks

Development approval not usually required

If development approval is not required, the development is ‘exempt’.

The Virtual House guides you through all development types that are exempt from requiring development approval.

Larger building projects at home

Development approval usually required

The development approval must include a building consent to ensure building work can be undertaken in a safe and compliant way.

A planning consent may also be required if the project is considered to have a planning impact on its surrounding area, such as overlooking or overshadowing.

Changing the land use of an existing building

Development approval usually required

The development approval must include a planning consent to ensure the project does not have a negative planning impact on its surrounding area, such as increased car parking or hours of operation.

A building consent may be required even if no building works are proposed. This is because a change in land use may require different building fire safety requirements.

Altering land boundaries

  • Moving the boundary between two adjoining allotments
  • Subdividing a parcel of land into two parcels

Development approval always required, unless amalgamating two adjoining allotments

The development approval must include a land division consent and a planning consent.

Approval for projects around the home


The Virtual House guides you through typical projects undertaken around the home. It will give you an idea of the situations where approval is required. We recommend you contact DPTI if you need help interpreting the Development Plan that relates to your region.

Lodging an application


If you require approval for your development, you must lodge an application with the relevant decision-maker.

It is illegal to undertake a development without a required development approval and you may face prosecution or be fined.

Approval for development not in a council area

From 1 July 2019, if your proposed development is not located within a council area, the type of approval you may require is determined by the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016. This replaces the Development Act 1993 for outback areas.

In outback areas, all developments are granted approval by the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP), as there is no local government. If you are proposing a development, it is recommended that you contact SCAP in the first instance to determine the rules that may apply

Learn more about implementation of the PDI Act in outback areas

1 July 2019: The SA Legislation website is currently experiencing delays in publishing new legislation that was gazetted on 27 June 2019. To see copies of approved legislation, please refer to the Government Gazette of this day.

Lodging an application


If you require approval for your development, you must lodge an application with the relevant decision-maker.

Download the Applicant's guide to lodging development in outback areas under the PDI Act (PDF, 4299 KB)

It is illegal to undertake a development without a required development approval and you may face prosecution or be fined.

Page last modified Friday, 12 July 2019