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Planning and Design Code

A single set of planning rules to enable high quality development


The Planning and Design Code (the Code) is the cornerstone of South Australia’s new planning system. The Code will replace all development plans to become the single source of planning policy for assessing development applications across the state.

The Code will provide South Australians with planning policy that is consistent and clear, making the planning process quicker, simpler and more equitable. This will help the community to navigate the planning system when building a house, developing a business or progressing large commercial developments.

The Code is being progressively introduced across South Australia, commencing in the outback before moving to regional council areas and concluding in Greater Adelaide.

On consultation

Draft Planning and Design Code for Phase Two and Phase Three

On 1 October 2019, the Draft Planning and Design Code for Phase Two and Phase Three went on public consultation. Phase Two covers the rural areas of South Australia while Phase Three covers the urban areas.

People and Neighbourhoods

On 23 September 2019, the State Planning Commission released a People and Neighbourhoods Discussion Paper that investigates the makeup of South Australia’s population, the structure of our neighbourhoods and residential infill development.

Renewable Energy

On 24 July 2019, the State Planning Commission released a Renewable Energy Discussion Paper about proposed changes to renewable energy policy in the Planning and Design Code.

 

Phase Two and Three of the Planning and Design Code

Learn more about Phase Two and Phase Three on consultation

 
Draft Planning and Design Code for Phase Three (Urban Areas) (PDF, 27464 KB) Oct 19
Draft Planning and Design Code for Phase Two (Rural Areas) (PDF, 12353 KB) Oct 19
Community Engagement Plan - Planning and Design Code Consultation (Phase 2 and Phase 3) (PDF, 852 KB) Sep 19

People and Neighbourhoods

 
People and Neighbourhoods Policy Discussion Paper (PDF, 11910 KB) Sep 19
People and Neighbourhoods Background Paper by Professor Emma Baker and Professor Jon Kellett, University of Adelaide  (PDF, 763 KB) Sep 19

Renewable Energy

 
Renewable Energy in the Planning and Design Code - Discussion Paper (PDF, 1734 KB) Jul 19
Renewable Energy Policy in SA Infographic (PDF, 786 KB) Jul 19 

Previous consultations

 
Heritage in Transition - Practitioner Guide (PDF, 1018 KB) Aug 19
Planning and Design Code in the Outback - Version 1 (1 July 2019) (PDF, 3425 KB) Jul 19
Planning and Design Code in the Outback - Version 1 (1 July 2019) - Engagement Report (PDF, 1117 KB) Jul 19
Planning and Design Code in the Outback - Version 1 (1 July 2019) - Technical Advice Report (PDF, 571 KB) Jul 19
Community Guide to the Planning and Design Code in the Outback (PDF, 1397 KB) Jul 19
Productive Economy - What We Have Heard Report (PDF, 687 KB) Jun 19
State Planning Commission overview of neighbourhood growth and change (PDF, 2970 KB) May 19
Practitioner overview of heritage and character in the new planning system (PDF, 1150 KB) May 19
Practitioner snapshot of heritage and character in the new planning system (PDF, 1993 KB) May 19
Community guide to heritage and character in the new planning system (PDF, 812 KB) May 19
Community guide to design in the new planning system (PDF, 8649 KB) May 19
A guide to demolition control for heritage in the new planning system (PDF, 105 KB) May 19
Phase One of the Planning and Design Code - What We Have Heard Report (PDF, 5126 KB) May 19
Integrated Movement Systems - Discussion Paper - What We Have Heard Report (PDF, 3873 KB) Mar 19
Natural Resources and Environment - Discussion Paper - What We Have Heard Report (PDF, 2450 KB) Mar 19
Productive Economy - Discussion Paper (PDF, 13253 KB) Nov 18
Productive Economy - Background Paper (PDF, 3968 KB) Nov 18
Productive Economy - Summary (PDF, 5639 KB) Nov 18
Productive Economy - Deloitte - Land Use Planning and the South Australian Economy (PDF, 455 KB) Aug 18
Integrated Movement Systems - Discussion Paper (PDF, 1752 KB) Aug 18
Integrated Movement Systems - Background Paper (PDF, 4187 KB) Aug 18
Integrated Movement Systems - Summary (PDF, 500 KB) Aug 18  
Natural Resources and Environment - Discussion Paper (PDF, 1505 KB) Aug 18
Natural Resources and Environment - Background Paper (PDF, 5867 KB) Aug 18
Natural Resources and Environment - Summary (PDF, 269 KB) Aug 18
The Planning and Design Code: How will it work? - Discussion Paper - What We Have Heard Report (PDF, 1835 KB) Aug 18
The Planning and Design Code: How will it work? - Future Land Use Definitions and Classes - What We Have Heard Report (PDF, 2099 KB) Aug 18
The Planning and Design Code: How will it work? - Future Land Use Definitions and Classes (PDF, 312 KB) Mar 18
The Planning and Design Code: How will it work? - Summary (PDF, 555 KB) Mar 18
The Planning and Design Code: How will it work? - Discussion Paper (PDF, 1445 KB) Mar 18
The Planning and Design Code - Introductory Blueprint - Summary (PDF, 2742 KB) Mar 18
The Planning and Design Code - Introductory Blueprint - Discussion Paper (PDF, 6588 KB) Mar 18

Presentations

 
Planning and Design Code - UDIA SA Conference 2017 (Sally Smith, DPTI) (PDF, 1673 KB) Sep 17
 

Draft Planning and Design Code for Phase Two and Phase Three

Consultation open for the draft Code for rural and urban areas


On 1 October 2019, the Draft Planning and Design Code for Phase Two and Phase Three went on public consultation.

Phase Two covers the rural areas of South Australia and Phase Three covers the urban areas of South Australia.

People and Neighbourhoods

Consultation commencing October 2019


The People and Neighbourhoods Policy Discussion Paper (PDF, 11910 KB), written in partnership with Professor Emma Baker and Professor Jon Kellett of the University of Adelaide, looks at the key opportunities and challenges facing South Australia’s housing sector caused by changes in South Australia’s population. It looks at the trends and changes occurring in our suburbs, providing a snapshot in time of where we are now and an indication of what the future will look like.

Formal public consultation on the draft Code, including the proposed policies in the People and Neighbourhoods Policy Discussion Paper, will commence in October 2019.

Renewable Energy

Consultation open from 24 July 2019


Our new State Planning Policies for South Australia emphasise the key role of planning in the establishment of energy infrastructure and the need to provide policies that allow for creative and innovative responses to energy demand and supply, while addressing potential impacts on communities and the environment.

Renewable technologies provide sources of energy that have much lower environmental impacts than conventional energy technologies. They play a crucial role in reducing global carbon emissions and the impacts of climate change, as well as helping to provide long-term energy security by lowering our reliance on non-renewables such as coal and gas.

Today, wind, solar and pumped-hydro are firmly established as the three main pillars of renewable energy supply.

South Australia is widely regarded as a national leader in the renewable energy sector, largely due to our enabling planning policy environment and natural conditions and landscape. In 2018, renewable energy generation from wind and solar sources reached 51.2% of total electricity generation. Previously, the Australian Energy Market Operator projected South Australia’s renewable power could account for 73% of the state’s total power consumption by 2020/21.

Existing planning policies now need to be updated to keep pace with new and more efficient energy infrastructure. The introduction of the Code provides the opportunity to update and improve upon our successful policies to reflect new forms of energy generation, storage and distribution and provide improved guidance regarding the intensity, location and impacts of these developments.

Phase One of the Planning and Design Code

Consultation closed on 29 March 2019


Phase One of the Planning and Design Code proposes changes to planning rules and policy in the outback that better meet the needs of rural South Australians and address planning issues relevant to land outside of council boundaries.

Some of the important changes proposed by the Code include the mapping of buffers around vital outback infrastructure and new safety measures to mitigate the risk of bushfire and acid sulphate soils.

What We Have Heard report based on feedback received on Phase One of the Planning and Design Code has been circulated to all engagement participants and published on this page.

Publications

Maps

Heritage and Character

Part of the Neighbourhood Growth and Change Policy Position


Heritage and character is important to the social and cultural fabric of our community and is a big part of what makes South Australian neighbourhoods so unique.

The State Government believes it is crucially important to ensure that our heritage and character places receive the protections they deserve, and that there is better guidance as to how these places are conserved, maintained and enhanced over time. This is consistent with the State Parliament's Heritage Reform Inquiry Report which can be found on the Parliament of South Australia's website.

Design in the New Planning System

Part of the Neighbourhood Growth and Change Policy Position


The design quality of our built environment has the power to make our towns and neighbourhoods more liveable and enhance our wellbeing and prosperity. Design quality is much more than just the ‘look and feel’ of buildings and places: it is primarily about the way our streets and suburbs work as a whole, and how sustainable, accessible, safe and connected they are. Design quality is also important in retaining and developing the character of South Australian places and spaces.

Productive Economy

Consultation closed on 22 February 2019


The Productive Economy Policy Discussion Paper (PDF, 13253 KB) is one of four policy discussion papers helping inform the development of South Australia’s new planning system with regard to South Australia's economy.

It explores four key themes:

  • supporting and growing key industries
  • linking people to jobs, goods and services
  • providing infrastructure to enhance our liveability
  • facilitating innovation and enabling investment.

Your input is being used to inform the Planning and Design Code to help set out the new framework for planning and development in South Australia.

What We Have Heard report based on feedback received on the Productive Economy Policy Discussion Paper has been circulated to all engagement participants and published on this page.

Natural Resources and Environment

Consultation closed on 3 December 2018


The Natural Resources and Environment Discussion Paper is one of four policy discussion papers helping inform the development of South Australia’s new planning system with regard to our unique environments, ecosystems and resources.

It focuses on the fundamental benefits that our natural resources and environment provide to our health and economy, and identifies six key policy themes:

  • Sustainable and Liveable Urban Environments
  • Water Security and Quality
  • Biodiversity
  • Coastal environments
  • Natural Hazards
  • Environment Protection and Public Health

Your input is being used to inform the Planning and Design Code to help set out the new framework for planning and development in South Australia.

A What We Have Heard report based on feedback received on the Natural Resources and Environment Discussion Paper has been circulated to all engagement participants and published on this page.

Integrated Movement Systems 

Consultation closed on 3 December 2018


The Integrated Movement Systems Policy Discussion Paper (PDF, 1752 KB) is one of four policy discussion papers that will help inform the development of South Australia’s new planning system with regard to transport and travel networks.

It focuses on key issues and opportunities associated with managing South Australia’s transport systems and surrounding land use as we build a new planning system and looks at the role our new planning system will play in achieving optimal development and transport outcomes.

The following three key themes are explored in the paper:

  • Aligning South Australia’s growth with transport infrastructure
  • Capitalising on strategic transport infrastructure
  • Sustainable mobility, car parking and the impacts of technology

Your input is being used to inform the Planning and Design Code to help set out the new framework for planning and development in South Australia.

A What We Have Heard report based on feedback received on the Integrated Movement Systems Policy Discussion Paper has been posted on this page.

Planning for a New Retirement Future


‘Planning for a New Retirement Future’ is a key discussion theme within a wider policy conversation about housing diversity that the State Planning Commission will have with industry and the community as it develops the Code.

The State Planning Commission recently hosted a ‘Planning for a New Retirement Future’ event, which sought to bring together a range of key stakeholders to discuss the opportunities and challenges that are informing the contemporary narrative around aged and retirement living in South Australia. This event also sought to highlight ways to improve policies and processes for the future.

The Planning and Design Code – How Will It Work?

Consultation closed on 22 July 2018


This technical Discussion paper explained the structural and functional aspects of the new Planning and Design Code, including the best approach to transitioning policy from the current Development Plans to the new Code.

A What We Have Heard report based on feedback received has been circulated to all engagement participants and published on this page.

Car parking in local streets in Adelaide

Consultation closed on 16 February 2018


The State Government initiated a wholesale review of car parking in local streets across metropolitan Adelaide and has worked closely with local councils to identify the causes of any parking problems and consider potential solutions.

Feedback from local residents across the Adelaide metropolitan area was sought in the following areas:

  • experience of parking in your local streets
  • your own household’s car use and needs
  • improvements to make parking better around your home and your neighbourhood.

Community feedback was obtained via a ‘Your Say’ survey which ran for four weeks from 19 January to 16 February 2018 with 840 submissions received. Two community focus groups and a Car Parking Summit, attended by over 60 key stakeholders, was also held at the Adelaide Convention Centre in April 2018.

A What We Have Heard report was prepared as a summary of the consultation and engagement, in particular the feedback received from an online survey of more than 800 recipients. It has been circulated to all engagement participants and published on the SA Planning Portal.

The results of the survey have been used to inform the development of the Transport and Integrated Movement Discussion paper. Consultation on that paper has now closed and a What we have heard Report is being prepared.

Learn more

The State Planning Commission will lead the implementation of the Code over three consecutive phases, moving from less complex to more complex planning environments between now and 1 July 2020. This approach will allow the Commission to minimise risk and apply key learnings along the way, adjusting the deployment approach as required.

The three implementation phases are outlined below:

  1. Phase One (Outback) - July 2019: Code introduced to the outback (land not within a council area)
  2. Phase Two (Rural) - April 2020: Code introduced to rural councils with small towns and settlements
  3. Phase Three (Urban) - July 2020: Code introduced to urban councils and councils with regional towns and cities

By 1 July 2020, the full Code will be in effect across the entire state and made available to all South Australians via the SA Planning Portal.


Completed In progress Pending

Preparation of the Code has involved extensive consultation with councils, industry and the wider community in accordance with the Community Engagement Charter, as per the steps below:

  • Review of current Development Plans
  • Development of the blueprint for the Planning and Design Code
  • Development of high–level discussion papers
  • Preparation of the Planning and Design Code library
  • Spatial application of the Planning and Design Code library

The Planning and Design Code will be written in plain language and will focus on performance outcomes and acceptable solutions that can be tailored to address local circumstances.

The Code will include a comprehensive set of planning rules for development assessment purposes classified into zones, subzones and overlays. It will also incorporate planning objectives from state, regional and local levels, as well as updated polices for assessing all forms of new development.

Use of the new Code will be supported by the provision of new Design Standards which will offer consistent standards for delivering basic infrastructure within public spaces. There will also be a set of Design Guidelines which will offer best practice guidelines and advice about elements of good design. Furthermore, Design Review Panels will provide specialist advice for larger projects on quality design outcomes as part of the development assessment process.

The new code will divide land into zones, within which various uses of the land will be set out as allowed. Further to zones, land can then be divided into subzones which may include additional rules for use of the land to protect local or special character. This will establish consistent zoning rules and give certainty to the local community and planners:

  • tools will be available to address common issues that apply across different zones and subzones such as flood or bushfire risk and there will be the ability to include performance requirements and recommended design techniques
  • developments will be assessed will be clearly linked to public notification requirements and a register of local heritage and significant trees will be made clear.

It will be supported by the new online SA Planning Portal so that planning information is easily accessible, including electronic lodgement of applications.

An understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges associated with existing policies contained in Development Plans will be the foundation of the Code library drafting process. To gain this understanding the Department is working with all 68 Councils across the State to undertake a Development Plan Review.

Development Plan Reviews will provide high level findings regarding:

  • opportunities to consolidate existing duplicated policy
  • challenges and issues associated with existing policy
  • policy that works well that should be considered for inclusion within the Planning and Design Code
  • gaps within existing policy that need to be addressed to guide new and emerging forms of development.

Key findings from Development Plan Reviews will be fed into the preparation of Discussion Papers.

The Blueprint for South Australia’s Planning and Design Code introductory paper (PDF, 6588 KB) provides the outline to the Code and sets the scene for ongoing conversations with planners, developers, local governments and the community to actively engage in its preparation. It provides a foundation for a series of policy and technical discussion papers that together will underpin the Code.

factsheet on the Blueprint for South Australia’s Planning and Design Code introductory paper (PDF, 2742 KB) is also available.

Drafting the first generation of the Planning and Design Code is a significant and complex task. To achieve progressive certainty in this task, a comprehensive set of high level directions that guide the Code library drafting stage are being prepared. These directions are being progressively set out in a suite of discussion papers that encompass both a policy and technical approach.

Discussion papers synthesise the findings of the Development Plan Review and capture the outcomes of collaboration with practitioners and thought leaders to:

  • define the scope of the first generation of the Code
  • establish guiding principles for the content of the Code
  • identify potential zones, subzones and overlays for inclusion in the Code
  • identify policy and procedural directions and options for zones, subzones and overlays
  • detail relationships between the Code and other instruments created under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

Preparation of the Planning and Design Code library involves drafting the content of the zones, subzones and overlays that will together comprise the Code.

The existing South Australian Planning Policy Library (SAPPL) is being used as the foundation for this drafting process. Relevant policies within SAPPL will be reviewed for conversion to the new Code.

Spatial application of the Planning and Design Code library is the final stage of implementing the first generation of the Code.

This stage involves selecting zones, subzones, overlays and general development modules from the Code library for application to land across the state. This process of selection is being undertaken in collaboration with councils and will be the subject of engagement with affected communities that accords with the principles of the Community Engagement Charter.

Following public consultation, the Code came into effect  in the outback regions of South Australia in July 2019. Consultation on the Code as it applies to rural council areas will take place over two months in October and November 2019, followed by consultation in metropolitan council areas and large regional towns from October 2019 to February 2020.

Page last modified Monday, 30 September 2019