Development Application

When is Development Approval Required?

If you are intending to undertake any of the following activities then you will be required to obtain Development Approval from Council before any works can be commenced:

* A change in use of land or building
* Demolition, construction, addition or alteration to any building or structure;
* Erection of a fence over 2.1m high (or over 1m high if it is a masonry wall);
* Any works (including landfill, willow removal (if stump and roots removed)) in the River Murray Floodplain (below the 1956 flood level).

Some minor activities or structures are exempt from requiring Development Approval. The following information guide details these exemptions:

Exemptions from Development

Development to be assessed under the Residential Development Code

The State Government, as part of its Planning Review, has introduced a "Residential Development Code" for the assessment of minor residential development. The purpose of this is to enable "fast-tracking" of the assessment of residential development provided that specific criteria is adhered to.

The enactment of the Residential Code is through:

  • Extending the list of Exempt Development that does not require development approval (refer to Information Guide - Exemptions from Development).
  • Extending the types of development that are classified as being Complying (i.e. development must received Development Plan Consent).
  • Establishing a new classification of development, being Development Plan Exempt where only Building Rules Consent is required.

In addition, if there is only one criteria which is not met for Complying development, then a Limited Assessment of that one criteria only is to be undertaken against the provisions of the Development Plan.

The criteria required for development to be assessed in accordance with the above categories are listed in the Residential Development Code Guide (click here for a copy).  Please note that development can only be assessed under the Residential Development Code provided that all relevant documentation (as listed in the Guide) is submitted with the application.

Assessment of development not meeting the criteria of the Residential Development Code will proceed as per normal.

Note: For the purposes of New Detached and Semi-Detached Dwellings under the Residential Development Code, the only area in the Coorong District Council listed by the Minister is the Residential Zone (which is located in the townships of Tailem Bend, Meningie, Coonalpyn and Tintinara).

How do I lodge a Development Application with Council?

For information of specific types of development, please refer to the Development Information Guides or alternatively contact Council's Planning Officer.

Development adjoining the River Murray, Lake Alexandrina, Lake Albert and The Coorong requires additional consideration in accordance with the River Murray Act 2003, including extra works that require Development Approval.

All Land Divisions are lodged with the State's Planning Authority, Planning SA via their electronic lodgement program (EDALA). This will be done on your behalf by your surveyor.

-The Development Application Package details everything
* Development Application Form,
* Schedule of application fees,
* Listing of the documentation to be submitted with the application,
* Powerline Clearance Declaration Form (declaring that minimum distances to powerlines will be adhered to).

In addition if there is any plumbing work to be carried out to the septic system (including any alterations or additions), then a Septic Application Form will also need to be submitted:

* Septic - On-site Wastewater Application(179 kb)

Demolition - Development approval (planning and building) is required for demolition (complete or partial) or removal of a building/structure. This includes the demolition of commercial buildings (ie. shops, offices etc), houses, sheds, verandahs and garages.

For further information and details please refer to the details on Demolition of Structures.

The Development Application Process

Assessment of Development Applications are undertaken in most instances by the local Council in accordance with the Development Act 1993 and Development Regulations 2008. In most instances this involves two types of assessment:

  1. Development Plan Assessment:
    The development is assessed in accordance with the provisions of Coorong District Council Development Plan. Each property is designated to a specific Planning Zone or Policy Area which details what types of development (and under what criteria) are suitable or not suitable to those areas.
    This determines if the type of development is suitable for the specific location (in accordance with the Development Plan).
  2. Building Rules Assessment:
    The development is assessed in accordance with the various building standards applicable to Australia, including the Building Code of Australia.  This determines if the structure/s comply with the relevant building standards.

Once consent had been granted for both of the above then Development Approval can be given and development can proceed.  Please note that no building or preparation work can be commenced until full Development Approval is given. Any work undertaken without an approval is an offence under the Development Act 1993 and may be person undertaking any such action may be liable to prosecution.

For further information on the Development Application Process see the following Information Guide. Development Application Process(571 kb)

How long will it take to assess my Development Application?

Council will endeavour to assess your application in a timely manner. To expediate the process, please ensure that all relevant documentation as provided as per the Development Application Package.  Lack of documentation and/or details lodged by the applicant is the most common cause of delays in assessment.

Additional assessment might be required in the following instances:

  • Category 2 and 3 Public Notification in which certain applications are required to have a certain level of public notification (10 business days is required for the notification).
  • If any representations are received for the above, then the applicant is required to respond to these. If the respresentation is not resolved then the Development Application will need to be referred to Council's Development Assessment Panel for consideration.
  • If development is required to be referred to a State Government Agency in accordance with the Development Regulations 2008, eg the most common referral is to the River Murray Minister in which they are required to respond within 8 weeks.
  • Non-Complying Development requires are much more stringent assessment process which includes public notification, often State Agency referral and, if approved, the concurrence of the state Development Assessment Commission.

A fact sheet is available providing details on what process application assessment will take.  Please click on the following link Sustainable Development PIA & LGA Fact Sheet 12 - What Process will my Application Follow(540 kb)

If you have any queries on the status of your application, please contact Council's Planning Officer on 1300 785 277 or email

Do I need to clear Native Vegetation?

Native vegetation in South Australia (except parts of metropolitan Adelaide) is protected. You may need to apply to clear native vegetation. This is a separate process to the Development Act approval process.

See maps to find out where the protection under the Native Vegetation Act applies. Contact you local Natural Resources Centre if you need general information.