South Australian Planning Reform

South Australia’s urban and regional planning system is currently undergoing its biggest reform in over 25 years.

The State Planning Commission is leading the change. The resulting planning system (that will be operational by 1 July 2020) will be underpinned by the new Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (SA) (PDI Act) which introduces a raft of new planning tools.

The new planning and development system will affect how development policy is formed and amended, and how development applications are lodged and assessed.

Planning and Design Code

A significant element of the planning reform involves replacing all 72 South Australian Development Plans with a single state-wide planning rule book, the Planning and Design Code.

On 1 October 2019, the State Planning Commission released the draft Planning and Design Code for public consultation. Consultation is open until 29th November 2019.

The Planning and Design Code will create changes that will impact every property in some way. This will include:

  • Changes to public notification of development applications;
  • Removal of you current right to appeal against most development applications on a neighbouring site.
  • Possible changes to your zoning
  • Likely changes to the policies which apply to your property.

Have your say

The Northern Areas Council encourages you to find out the impacts to your property and provide feedback to the State Government.


Call: 1800 318 102 (Department of Planning’s hotline)


If you would like to share your feedback with the Northern Areas Council also, please send to

Other changes to the planning system

Some of the other changes to the Planning and Development system include:

  • The establishment of the State Planning Commission as the state's independent, principal planning body that provides advice and makes recommendations on the administration of the PDI Act.
  • A Community Engagement Charter released by the Minister for Planning, which seeks to increase community influence in the policy setting stage.
  • Establishment of a professional accreditation scheme for planners and building surveyors to provide increased confidence for development applicants and communities that decisions are being made by qualified and experienced professionals who regularly undergo training and are audited for competency.
  • By 1 April 2020, the Planning and Design Code will be supported by an online system; so, the way applications are lodged and assessed will be through the SA Planning Portal in the future.