SA's Planning System is established by the South Australian Parliament through the Development Act (1993). In lay terms, it is a State system, not a Council system. Development is defined within the Act, and can include (among other things), building work, a change in the use of land, any work affecting a State Heritage Place, any works affecting a significant tree, or the division of an allotment.
Building Work is defined within the Act, and means work or activity in the nature of: construction, demolition or removal of a building; filling or excavating for the construction, demolition or removal of a building; any other prescribed work or activity.
Development Assessment incorporates both Planning and Building assessment.
To obtain a Development Approval in most cases, both a Development Plan Consent and a Building Rules Consent are required to be obtained. Once both consents have been granted a Development Approval can be issued.
Development Plan Consent (DPC)
The tools for assessment are the Development Act 1993, Development Regulations 2008 and the Town of Gawler Development Plan. This is where the Planning section will ensure that your proposal will be suitable for the area it is proposed and that the impact on the amenity of the locality will be minimised.
Part of this assessment may also require a site visit or referrals to government agencies such as Heritage SA, Transport SA or the Environment Protection Agency.
Building Rules Consent (BRC)
The tools for assessment are the Development Act 1993, Development Regulations 2008, the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and the South Australian Housing Code. This is where the Building section ensures your proposal is structurally sound and ensures the health and safety of occupants (example: fire safety equipment installed, adequate light and ventilation to rooms etc).
It should be noted that Building Rules Consent may be undertaken by the Council or a Private Certifier. Where a Private Certifier has issued the BRC, the Certifier must send 2 copies of their approved documents with details of their Consent to the Council. Council then issue the Development Approval.
The Development Plan is the formal policy statement which establishes the criteria used to determine 'appropriate' development within each Council area. Development Plans contain objectives and principles of Development Control for the Metropolitan area and the Council area. Each Development Plan is unique considering effective and efficient use of land, ensures land is allocated to serve the needs of the community and promotes high standards of development unique to the Council area. The Plan promotes the best fit solutions which reach a compromise between the ideal and the practical.
Visit the Planning SA website to download the Development Plan.
The Town of Gawler process, on average, 845 Development Applications per year which range from new dwellings, sheds, verandahs and swimming pools to commercial and rural development. This also includes change of use of sites, significant trees, advertising and signage.
Apart from all new structures and buildings, Development Approval is also required for alterations such as removing an internal wall or building a new wall, altering the size of any door or window openings or other prescribed work or activity. If in doubt, check with Council. Development Approval is also required for the demolition of any structures or buildings.
Residential Development Code
In 2009 the State Government introduced legislation intended to speed up the approval process for certain developments. If a development complies with certain criteria the Development Plan Consent may not be required.