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Development Plan and Legislation

This page covers the legislation that underpins Development Assessment processes in the Town of Gawler and throughout South Australia.

South Australia’s Planning System is established by the State 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 regulated or significant tree, or the division of an allotment.  

Building Work is defined within the Act as 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 Approval

In most cases, Development Assessment incorporates both Planning and Building assessment. To obtain a Development Approval, 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.

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.

Development Plan Consent (DPC)

Applications are assessed against the Development Act 1993, Development Regulations 2008 and the Town of Gawler Development Plan. Council’s planning staff aims to ensure that the 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 the State Heritage Unit, DPTI or the Environment Protection Agency.

Building Rules Consent (BRC) When required, applications are assessed against the Development Act 1993, Development Regulations 2008, the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and the South Australian Housing Code. Council’s Building staff ensure that any proposed building work is structurally sound and ensures the health and safety of occupants (eg 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.

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.  

The Gawler (CT) Development Plan is the Town of Gawler's primary development control document, through which Council guides and controls building work within the Town of Gawler. It is the formal policy statement which establishes the criteria used to determine 'appropriate' development within the Council area by dividing it into Zones and Policy areas, each of which have their own Objectives and Principles of Development Control.

Each Council has its own Development Plan which is unique to its area, considering effective and efficient use of land, ensuring land is allocated to serve the needs of the community and to promote 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.

Click here to access or download a copy of our Development Plan. 

Development Plans are amended through a process known as a Development Plan Amendment (DPA). This process involves a public consultation process where members of the public are invited to make a submission either in support or opposition to a proposed DPA.   

Any DPAs currently on consultation in the Town of Gawler can be viewed via our Public Consultation Page

Sections of land adjoining Gawler River, North Para River and South Para River have been identified as being susceptible to indundation by flood waters. This land is therefore referred to as the Gawler Rivers Flood Plain Area.

In July 2013 the Town of Gawler's Development Plan was amended to include additional policies relating to development within the Gawler Rivers Flood Plain, which can have severe repercussions for the development of land within the Gawler Rivers Flood Plain Area.

If you wish to build on your land and it is within the Gawler Rivers Flood Plain area, you are encouraged to read pages 29-38 of the Town of Gawler Development Plan.

If you are purchasing land identified as being in the Gawler Rivers Flood Plain Area, it is strongly recommended that you seek independent technical advice as to potential impacts on your land purchase, property purchase or proposed development prior to the purchase of the land.

You may view the maps below, or the maps in the Development Plan via the link above to determine if your property is within the flood plain. If you have any further questions relating to the Gawler Rivers Flood Plain please contact us on 08 8522 9211.

Gawler 1:100 Year ARI Flood Inundation Map

Hillier 1:100 Year ARI Flood Inundation Map

The South Australian Government is currently implementing significant reforms to the State Planning System.

The first of these reforms has already been implemented, which is the change of the Council Development Assessment Panel (CDAP) to the Council Assessment Panel (CAP). However there are many more  to follow.

For further information on these reforms please visit the SA Planning Portal Website.