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Planning, Building and Development

Planning, Building and Development

The Development Act 1993 requires that no development can be undertaken unless it has the approval of the relevant authority, which in most cases is your local council.

This means that any construction, alteration, addition to or demolition of a building or structure, a change in that current use of land or anything that modifies a designated heritage item constitutes development as defined in the Development Act 1993 and therefore requires formal development approval.

Council, as a regulatory authority under the Development Act 1993, is responsible for the assessment of Development Applications against the relevant provisions of the Copper Coast Development Plan 2017 and the requirements of the Building Code of Australia. This responsibility is delegated to Council’s Development Assessment Panel and key Council staff. Elected members do not undertaken the assessment process.

In April 2017 the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 came into operation. The Act is being implemented in stages, over a four year period. To keep up to date with the rollout and review the ‘Transforming our Planning System’ report can be accessed at reform

Detailed information on each development type, along with forms, checklists and tools to assist with drawing of plans are provided below to assist with your Development Application being lodged with accuracy and relevance. 

Click on the icon below for more information regarding a specific development you wish to undertake.

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Development Information Sheets

Information sheets have been created to assist in understanding the process and relevant standards. Preliminary advice can also be obtained from Council's staff on issues relating to the Development Plan, Policies and the Building Code of Australia.

Preparing Plans and Drawings

Am I required to engage someone who is qualified to draw my plans?

Depending on the size and scale of the development, there may be a need to engage either an:

  • Architect - a qualified individual or company can manage the entire design and construction process

  • Draftsperson

  • Building Consultant and Designer

If you choose to undertake drawing your own plans, specific information, tools and grid sheets are provided below to assist.

What plans are required with my Development Application?

Site Plan

A scaled site plan is required for all development applications and must comply with the following criteria; however a lesser level of detail may be acceptable in some circumstances.

The site plan must:

  • Be drawn to a recommended scale of 1:100 or 1:200 depending on property size, showing boundaries of the property including measurements and site area

  • Show the location of all existing buildings on the property and neighbouring property especially building build on or close to the property

  • Show the location of any easements on the property

  • Show how stormwater will be discharged from the property

  • Show the location of any proposed retaining walls with details of required cut and/or fill

  • Show driveways from adjoining roads onto the land and car parking spaces for occupants and visitors

  • Indicate location of street furniture such as stobie poles and any side entry pits adjacent to the property

  • For sloped land, contours of the land and finished floor levels of proposed building work in relation to the water table may be required

  • Show north point

Selecting a Scale When Drawing Plans

It is important to the consider the following:

  • The size of your property – The scale selected determines the size of your drawings.  When selecting your scale, it is important to ensure your site plan fits on a single piece of paper.

  • Consider the amount of information you need to include on your plan. Properties with a lot of information will need to be drawn at a larger scale to ensure that all information can be easily read. The smaller the number, the larger the drawing.

  • Elevation drawings generally need to be drawn at a larger scale to clearly convey the appearance of a building.

  • There is no such thing as a right scale, provided all information is clearly legible. Pick a scale suitable to your property.

1 centimetre  = 1 metre

This scale may be appropriate for smaller properties and elevation drawing

0.5 centimetres = 1 metre

This scale may be suitable for most site plans.  It is not suitable for elevations drawings
2 millimetres = 1 metre
Only suitable for very large properties. Not suitable for standard sized allotments and elevations

Graph Paper Templates

Other Documents, Links and Tools

Certificate of Title - SAILIS

A copy of your property Certificate of Title is required to be submitted with your Development Application. Do you need to order a copy of your property Certificate of Title? A copy can be ordered on-line from Land Services SA.

Construction Industry Training Board - Levy

The Construction Industry Training Fund Act 1993 was created at the request of the SA Building and Construction Industry with the funds to be used to improve the quality of training in the building and construction industry. A development that exceeds $40,000 is required to supply evidence of contribution to the CITB with the Development Application.


Property Location Browser - SA Planning Portal

The Property Location Browser is a free map-based application which is used to view land administration boundaries and obtain information about the the land parcels details, valuation, when it was subdivided, Development Plan zoning and index, energy efficiency climate zones, earthquake hazard zones, coordinates and imagery.

Property Location Browser

Virtual House - SA Planning Portal

Do I need approval? SA Planning Portal has development the Virtual House tool to guide you through the types of developments which do not require approval.

Virtual House Icon

Just type in your property address and select the the part of the house you are planning to build or change.  You will be shown whether approval is required (or not) and which advice on the next steps.

Owner Builder

An owner builder is someone that uses their own skills or manages others to build, extend, or renovate a home that they intend to live in. A registered builder can also be an owner builder, but only on their own property. 

Environment, Resources and Development (ERD) Court

The Environment, Resources and Development (ERD) Court was established in 1993, is a specialist court dealing with disputes, and enforcement of laws relating to the development and management of land, the natural and built environment and natural resources. It has jurisdiction under a wide range of leglisation including Development Act 1993, Environment Protection Act 1993, Heritage Places Act 1993, Natural Resources Management Act 2004 etc.

Many people who appear in the court are self represented and the court is committed to making sure people can access its services.

Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) Fact Sheets

Planning Institute of Australia - SA Planning Fact Sheets

Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) is a national body representing planning professions and a pivotal organisation serving and guiding through education, communication and professional development. PIA South Australian Branch (established in 1948) have develop the following informative fact sheets: