Planning & Infrastructure

The Development Plan

The City of Unley Development Plan sets out planning zones, lists complying and non-complying land uses within each zone and provides development principles and design techniques.



Development Plan Amendments

The Unley Council Development Plan is subject to ongoing strategic reviews and amendments to ensure that planning trends and community issues are balanced, reflecting the desired future character for the area.

Changes to the Development Plan are made by Development Plan Amendments (DPAs) which can be prepared by either the Council or by the Minister for Urban Development and Planning. All DPAs are subject to the approval of the Minister.

DPAs are notified and released for public consultation for a minimum of eight weeks.

Some DPAs are given interim authorisation by the State Government to prevent negative speculative development. This means that the new policies become law on an interim basis, during which time the public and government agencies are consulted. There may be changes made during this time based on submissions received.

After the consultation period finishes, all submissions including those from the public and government agencies are reviewed and amendments made as considered appropriate. The DPA is then forwarded to the Minister for Urban Development and Planning for final authorisation.

Residential Growth DPA

  • Village Living & Desirable Neighbourhoods

    The Residential Character, Growth Areas and Council Wide Residential Policy Development Plan Amendment (DPA) focuses on protection of valued neighbourhood character, while targeting new integrated development in areas of mixed character and areas of renewal adjacent to strategic location, ie close to public transport infrastructure, centre facilities and services.

    • Revised and new policies affect major areas of the city and include:
    • Minor expansion of the Residential Streetscape (Built Form) Zone
    • New residential zones - Residential Streetscape (Landscape) Zone, Residential Zone and Residential Regeneration Zone - to replace existing zones
    • Revised Council Wide Residential policy
    • New Council Wide Hazards policy module to consolidate relevant policy
    • Revised structure and format of the Plan Edited maps, figures and tables to reflect the new zones and policy
  • Public Consultation and Review
    Public Consultation concluded in May 2014 and a public meeting was held on 16 June 2014.

    A summary of Public and Agency feedback from the consultation process and a Post Consultation Key Issues Preliminary Review was prepared to allow Council to provide guidance on desired proposed amendments.

    The Post Consultation Key Issues Preliminary Review was considered by the Development Strategy and Policy Committee and by Council in August 2014 and recommended key amendments to the DPA were endorsed.
  • Final Approval

    Due to the caretaker period from 16 September 2014 to the Council elections in November 2014, and appropriate induction period for a new Council, a revised DPA was considered by the Development Strategy and Policy Committee and Council in April 2015.

    Council resolved that the DPA be split into two parts so the changes in the central and eastern suburbs can proceed at this time and be considered for approval in accord with the endorsed Summary of Consultation and Proposed Amendments (SCPA) Report. 

    The policy changes in the DPA relating to areas to the east of a line along Goodwood Road, the tram line and East Avenue are to be encompassed in a separate amendment document and forwarded to the Minister for Planning for consideration for approval.  Approval is anticipated to occur within the next 3 months or so.

    The remaining areas to the west, that have been the focus of various issues and proposed changes in accord with the SCPA Report, will be formed into another DPA document and forwarded to the Minister for Planning for consideration of approval to release for further consultation if it is determined to proceed with this part of the DPA.
    There is no change to the current planning policy and zoning until a change is approved by the Minister for Planning.

  • Document Library

Unley Central DPA

The Unley Central Precinct is the heart of our City. We want to create a smart city that is highly accessible and inclusive. A city that promotes innovation, health and wellbeing and provides opportunities for connection, inclusion and participation.

The City of Unley has prepared a Development Plan Amendment (DPA) pursuant to sections 24 and 25 of the Development Act 1993 to amend the Unley (City) Development Plan. 

For further information view:

To help guide new development and achieve the goals of the Unley Central Precinct Plan, Council needs to change its Development Plan. A consultant team led by URPS, (Urban & Regional Planning Solutions), has been engaged to provide recommendations on the desired urban design, built form, land use, traffic, transport and parking to guide the preparation of revised planning policy as part of the draft DPA.
  • Next Steps

    The Unley Central DPA process is nearing its anticipated conclusion.

    The City Strategy and Development Policy Committee (CSDP) of Council and Council have received all respondents’ feedback, and will be further considering this at meetings in March. There was a significant number of respondents and a wide variation of views, so it is taking some time to compile the necessary reports for Council and Committee to consider. To assist in this process, there will be a further briefing of the CSDP Committee and Council Members on Monday 6 March at 6.30pm in the Unley Civic Centre. While the meeting gallery will be open to the public, there will be no public presentations or representations at this meeting.

    This briefing will be the last opportunity for CSDP Committee members to clarify matters pertaining to the policy under consideration before their next meeting (also open to the public) on 14 March at 7pm, where the Committee will make recommendations to Council regarding the DPA.

    The March Council meeting on Monday 27 March will then consider the Committee’s recommendations and make a recommendation to the Planning Minister regarding the DPA. 

  • Public Meetings

    Interested members of the public are welcome to observe the following upcoming meetings where Council and Members of the City Strategy and Development Committee will review matters associated with the progress of the Unley Central DPA:

    Informal Committee and Council Briefing
    6.30pm, 6 March 2017
    Gallery open to the public
    Unley Civic Centre

    City Strategy & Development Committee
    7pm, 14 March 2017
    Gallery open to the public
    Unley Civic Centre

    Council Meeting
    7pm, 27 March 2017
    Gallery open to the public
    Council Chambers

  • Previous Consultations

    The most recent consultation closed 18 November 2016.

    Copies of all submissions received during the recent public consultation were available for inspection at the Council office, from 23 November to 6 December 2016. (Only respondents’ surnames and suburbs were displayed).

    A Public Meeting was held on Tuesday 6 December at the Unley Civic Centre, before the Council’s City Strategy and Development Policy Committee.
    A hands on stakeholder workshop to explore potential options was conducted on 13 April 2016 and the outcomes of this were considered by the Committee and Council in April 2016
    Further extensive community consultation also took place in November 2015.  During this process, Council received valuable and constructive feedback on subjects such as:

    • land use
    • building height
    • transport and parking
    • amenity and
    • the environment

    This feedback was considered by the Development Strategy and Policy (DSP) Committee and by the City of Unley Council in February 2016. A further hands on stakeholder workshop to explore potential options was conducted on 13 April 2016 and the outcomes considered by the Committee and Council in April 2016.
    All feedback obtained during this workshop was reviewed and considered by the Development Strategy and Policy (DSP) Committee and by the City of Unley Council in February 2016.


  • What is the Unley Central Precinct Plan?
    The City of Unley and the State Government hold the long-term goal of revitalising the heart of Unley by generating new activity, more retail, and increased residential living opportunities in the Unley Central area. To aid in visioning what the nature of this rejuvenation might entail the City of Unley set about developing the Unley Central Precinct Plan. The goals and visions set out in the Precinct Plan cannot be actioned without first amending the Council’s Development Plan for the area.
  • What is the Unley Central Precinct Development Plan Amendment (DPA)?

    The Development Plan is a plan required under the State Government’s Development Act to help guide new development.
    Council needs to ensure that its Development Plan delivers what is needed for the future growth and prosperity of the City, without destroying its unique character through the process.
    To achieve the goals of the Unley Central Precinct Plan, Council will need to amend its current Development Plan.
    The DPA will encourage residential development not currently possible, and set a height limit for the area while providing for progressive reductions in height at the perimeter of the zone. Currently the Unley District Centre Zone has no specific height limit.

Proposed Development Plan Changes

Our Planning System is facing fundamental change under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015.

Council will be contributing to the Local Government Association response document.  When that has been submitted to the Government, a copy will be made available through this website.  In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, they can be submitted to

Council remains committed to the view that local residents should have a say as to how their neighbourhood is developed. This includes involvement in both policy setting, and in development applications where the development is inconsistent with the planning policy.
  • The Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015

    The Draft Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015 has been introduced to the South Australia Parliament. The Bill must pass through a number of stages before becoming an Act of Parliament. The aim of the Bill is to deliver a number of changes to the planning and development process undertaken by Councils. Unley Council is working closely with the Local Government Association to identify and address aspects of the Bill that affect the development and planning process in the City of Unley.

  • What is the background to this Bill?
    In 2013, the Minister for Planning announced the appointment of the Expert Panel on Planning Reform to undertake a review of South Australia’s planning system and the Development Act, the legislation that forms the basis for South Australia’s planning system.
    In August 2014, the Expert Panel presented their report to the Minister for Planning. The Review focussed on many issues the property development sector had raised including:
    • the involvement of Elected Members on Development Assessment Panels
    • the inability to have land rezoned and the time taken in this process, and
    • the complexity of Development Plans and rights of appeal. 
  • What changes will the Bill deliver? What will remain the same?

    It is anticipated that the provisions in the Bill will be introduced over a period of between three and five years.  Many aspects of the Bill are complex and the exact impact on the City of Unley is yet to be determined.

    The Bill will deliver a number of changes to the planning and development process. These changes are planned to include:
    • Removing Elected Members from the Development Assessment process
    • Replacing current Development Plans with a state-wide Planning and Design Code 
    • The potential reduction in the number of applications subject to public notification.
    • The Introduction of an online planning portal

    Applicants will still be able to appeal against a condition of approval or against a refusal. There will still be a Development Assessment Panel appointed by Council but it will not contain Elected Members.

  • Where to find further information

    Details of the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015 and fact sheets are available on the DPTI’s Planning Reform webpage.