Do I need Development Approval?
In most cases council approval is required before you commence any kind of development work. This includes;
- Demolishing, constructing, adding or altering any building
- Erecting a sign
- Putting up a fence (certain fencing and zones impact approval requirements)
- Changing the use of a property
- Any type of work that will impact a regulated or significant tree(PDF, 155KB)
- Any external alterations (and in some case internal alterations) of a listed heritage item
- Division or alteration of the boundaries of an allotment
Some minor building projects at home, such as small garden sheds, fencing, or decks may not require Development Approval. You may like to visit SA planning Virtual House tool for more information on what may need Council approval.
We also encourage you to call us before you commence any kind of development work.
Before applying check your zoning
To find out the zoning of your property, which may impact your development approval, please refer to the Planning Development Map or State Government Map Viewer.
You can apply for Planning Consent and Building Rules Consent at the same time if you wish. However you will need BOTH Planning Consent AND Building Rules Consent to get Development Approval.
Development Plan consent (planning only)
A planning assessment involves assessing the impact of development, including:
- Potential impact of development upon adjoining buildings, properties and people (e.g. overshadowing, overlooking, and visual dominance)
- Size, shape, orientation and layout of new allotments
- Impacts to heritage buildings – this involves building work to a heritage building as well as works adjacent to a heritage building
- Impact to the character of existing buildings in an existing street or locality
- Appropriateness of certain land uses, dependant on the relevant zoning
Examples of other criteria considered during assessment are environmental sustainability, access and traffic, and public safety.
This assessment is undertaken against the principles and polices in Council's Development Plan with different requirements based upon what you wish to do and what area of the City you are located in.
Building Rules consent (building only)
After receiving a planning approval, a building approval is typically required. This involves an appraisal of the design of buildings to ensure the proposed works are in accordance with the Building Code of Australia and relevant Australian Standards; this includes items such as disabled access and fire and life safety systems.
A pre-application discussion with a Council Planning Officer by phoning (08) 8372 5111 will ensure you have considered all the relevant issues. We recommend you do this before you submit your application.
Providing Council with all of the plans and documents required for the type of development you propose is the quickest way to have your application assessed.
Development applications submitted without the correct information will face significant processing delays.
At a minimum, all Development Applications must contain each of the following:
1. Development Application Form
This form is to be completely filled out and signed.
2. Certificate of Title
To confirm ownership of the affected property and check boundaries.
3. Powerline Clearance Declaration
To confirm that your proposal satisfies the necessary setbacks from powerlines. Page 2 of the Development Application Form.
4. Construction Industry Training Levy Receipt
Required for all development applications with a value of work in excess of $40,000. Find out more about the Construction Industry Training Levy.
5. Plans & Drawings
Site plans and drawings will need to be provided for every Development Application. All plans should be numbered and dated accordingly.
Generally this is sufficient information for planning approval only.
If full development approval including building approval is sought, further information including specifications and engineering will be required.
You will need to provide:
- Site plan of a scale no less than 1:500 (1:100 or 1:200 is preferred)
- Dimensioned Floor Plans, showing both existing and proposed development if applicable
- Dimensioned Elevations of all sides of the building
- Various other plans dependent on the type of development you are proposing.
All development applications attract fees based on the type of development being proposed. To understand the cost of your proposed development, please view the Development Application Fees.
Each proposal is slightly different and may require many factors to be considered before lodging an application. We encourage you to read the information provided and contact a Council Planning Officer to discuss your specific requirements on (08) 8372 5111.
Development Fees 2019-2020(PDF, 224KB)
Submitting your application
Complete your development application online.
Or download and complete a copy of the Development Application.
Submit your application along with all the required documentation.
City of Unley
Development Assessment Team
PO Box 1
Unley SA 5061
Pobox1@unley.sa.gov.au for files up to 10MB.
For large files such as Building Rules Consent documents, please email us using the City of Unley File Transfer Service.
Unley Civic Centre from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
181 Unley Road, Unley.
Information about how your application is assessed
Council plays an active role in assessing all applications. The time taken to process development applications varies depending on the type of proposal.
The assessment process may involve some or all of the following processes, depending on the nature of the proposal.
Step 1 - Assessment of Plans against the Development Plan, Building Code and relevant standards.
Step 2 - Site Visit/Inspection
The Officer assessing the application may need to visit the site for a better understanding of the proposal.
If this is the case and access into a building or site is required, the Council Officer will contact you to arrange a suitable time.
Step 3 - Referrals
Your application may be referred internally within Council for expert advice.
If appropriate, your application may also be referred externally for advice – such as to the State Heritage Unit of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for proposals that affect State Heritage listed properties, or to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Expert advice received will be taken into consideration by the Planning Officer.
Step 4 - Public Notification Process
Some forms of development will require public notification. Public notification allows adjoining or nearby property owners the opportunity to look at a proposed development, consider the likely impacts the proposal may have on them, and provide comments about the proposal prior to a decision being made.
In these instances, Council will write to each property owner and allow 10 business days for comments to be made.
Notification of decision
A detailed report will be developed by a Planning Officer taking into consideration the outcomes of all of the above steps. This report will outline the recommended decision.
Over 90% of development applications are delegated to the administration for decisions. The remaining applications are determined by the Council Assessment Panel.
Building Rules Assessment
The Building Rules Assessment can be undertaken by either Council or a Private Certifier. The assessing officers ensure the proposed works are in accordance with the Building Code of Australia and relevant Australian Standards; this includes items such as disabled access and fire and life safety systems.
When the building officer is satisfied that the proposed works have been designed in accordance with the Building Code of Australia and are consistent with the approved planning documents, the officer is able to finalise the application and grant Building Rules Consent and in turn Development Approval.
Checking your application status
You can check the progress of your application at any time using our online tool.
Check the status of a DA
The Development Act requires people to notify us at certain stages during building work.
The notification of stages of building work (as specified on the mandatory notification notice issued at the time of development approval) requires one business day's notice.
The name of the licensed building work contractor, or the name of the person who is in charge of carrying out the building work, must also be provided to us at the time of each specified notification stage.
If construction commences and we have not received the mandatory notifications and details of the licensed building work contractor or supervisor as required, we're empowered to stop building work while the matter is rectified and could also issue fines or other orders as warranted against the person responsible for the work.
Select the relevant works type to complete online notification.