Better assessment processes for development applications
The Assessment Pathways Technical Discussion Paper (PDF, 2216 KB) provides an overview of the new development application process which will be fully operational in South Australia by July 2020. There is also a summary Our New Assessment System (PDF, 867 KB) available, as well as a Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 177 KB) document. Consultation on the Assessment Pathways Technical Discussion Paper has now closed. A What We Have Heard report (PDF, 3256 KB) is now available.
- Assessment Pathways: How Will They Work? Technical Discussion Paper (PDF, 2216 KB)
- What We Have Heard Report - Assessment Pathways: How Will They Work? Technical Discussion Paper (PDF, 3256 KB)
Frequently Asked Questions
- Flowchart: Relevant Authorities (PDF, 79 KB)
- Flowchart: Assessment Pathways Overview (PDF, 67 KB)
- Flowchart: Exempt and Accepted Development (PDF, 78 KB)
- Flowchart: Performance Assessed Development (PDF, 78 KB)
- Flowchart: Impact Assessed Development (PDF, 79 KB)
- Factsheet: Assessment Panels (PDF, 254 KB)
- Factsheet: Assessment Panel Members - Code of Conduct (PDF, 184 KB)
- Legislation: Draft Planning Development and Infrastructure (General) (Assessment Panels) Variation Regulations 2017 (PDF, 38 KB)
Regulations on consultation
Completed February 2019
Completed December 2018
Assessment Pathways Technical Discussion Paper on consultation
Completed August 2018
Council Assessment Panels and Regional Assessment Panels commence operation
Completed October 2017
SCAP assumed role of DAC, BRAC, BAC, DPAC
Completed August 2017
A record of public consultation relating to this planning tool is listed below.
Consultation on the Assessment Pathways Technical Discussion Paper closed for feedback on 17 October 2018.
The paper provides an overview of the new development application process which will be fully operational in South Australia by July 2020. The ePlanning solution will be the central portal for submitting all planning applications for assessment by accredited professionals, panels and authorised bodies.
- Assessment Pathways Technical Discussion Paper (PDF, 2216 KB)
- Summary of Our New Assessment System (PDF, 867 KB)
- Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 177 KB)
- What We Have Heard Report (PDF, 3256 KB)
Listed below are links to the submissions for the Assessment Pathways Technical Discussion Paper:
- 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)
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.
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 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 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 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 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.