When Is A Development Application Required?

An application must be lodged with the Council every time you wish to undertake some form of improvements to your property. "Development" is defined in the Development Act and can include a variety of activities which are related to the change of land use, land or strata divisions, building work, excavation or fill, advertising signs or displays, retaining walls greater than 1 metre in height and any other acts or activities which may alter a building, structure or parcel of land as declared by the Development Regulations.

Some forms of minor residential developments which are commonly undertaken by homeowners to improve their property and lifestyle may be exempt from Development Approval. However, certain conditions apply, for example the geographic locality of your property (i.e. flood prone areas). As a general rule, any structure that is within the prescribed setback distance, or more than 15m, greater than 2.5 metres in height or has a span greater than 3 metres in length or adjoins an existing building will require a Development Application.

To ensure that you conform to the Legislative requirements and the Council's Development Plan, please always contact the Council before undertaking any form of development/building work to determine if your improvements require a Development Application.


 What is Development Approval?

A Development Approval is a legal document that will allow you to undertake development on your land. The Development Approval will specify the design, documents or Australian Standards that the development must follow.

Development Applications can occur in a number of stages prior to you obtaining Development Approval from the Council. Development Approval can consist of one or various types of consent. The 3 major forms of Consent are;

  • Planning Consent
  • Building Consent
  • Land Divisions Consent

The Development Approval cannot be granted by the assessing authority until each of the different types of Consent that may be required have been obtained. The timeline to substantially commence on the Development Approval is 12 months, however if you are unable to meet this timeframe, then please feel free to write to Council's Planning Consultant at the Council office for an extension of time.


Planning Consent

Planning Consent Applications are assessed against the zoning, policies and controls of the Council's Development Plan and must not be "greatly at variance" with the principles and objectives of the Development Plan. The Plan and the Development Act also set out the provisions dealing with the design, site location or whether it may impact on neighbouring properties. The Assessment process will vary depending on whether the proposed development is "Complying", "Non-Complying" or "Merit" and whether it may require public notification.


Building Rules Consent

Building Rules Consent is applicable to all development where building work is involved unless it falls within the exempt category in accordance with the Development Regulations. All Development Applications are assessed with regard to technical conformity and these requirements must either meet the Building Code of Australia, The South Australian Housing Code, The Australian Standards and all other forms of relevant Legislation.


Development Approval Consent

In some cases Development Approval may consist of a combination of Planning & Building Rules Consent, with both forms of Consent having to meet separate Legislative requirements (Planning - Development Act & Building - Building Code of Australia).

Planning rules or decisions – who’s responsible?

 How Long Will Approval Take?

Approvals for Development Applications that are complying within the Council's Development Plan, or of a minor nature, will be assessed and a decision handed down by the Council staff within 2 to 4 weeks (providing the applicant has supplied all of the relevant information).

Land Divisions, Change of Land Use and other similar developments that are not of a minor nature will be assessed by Council staff, who will then provide a written report to the Elliston Council Development Assessment Panel (CDAP). Please refer to the section below for more information on CDAP.

Applications that do not fall within the guidelines may be submitted to the CDAP at the discretion of Council's Planning Consultant.

If your application does not comply with the Council's Development Plan or the Legislation, it may be deemed as a
Non-complying Development — Category 2 or 3 developments require the Council to undertaken public notification and it may take up to 3 months before Development Approval is granted. It should be noted that Non-complying does not have any time frames for a decision notification.

The Planning Institute of South Australia and the Local Government Association have developed planning factsheets as a resource for the community, developers, planners and Council employees. The factsheets explain the varying forms of development and why your application may require public notification however, please feel free to contact the Council office for further assistance.

These information factsheets can be downloaded in a PDF format. Please follow the link to download a free copy of the factsheets.

Planning SA - Facts Sheets


 Which Development Application Forms Do I Require?

Please ensure that you provide the level of information required at the time of submitting the application. If Council receives inadequate and poor quality plans and drawings, this could delay the application process and the assessment. It is in your best interest to get the application and the accompanying information to an acceptable standard from the very outset! (E.g. please do not present drawings in pencil and please ensure that all plans are to scale).

Development Application Form(85 kb)

Please refer below to the Environmental Health Page for information on waste control systems for your new dwelling or for upgrading your current system.


 Vehicle Access Point Approval Form

As a property owner you are now obliged to seek approval from the Council under Section 221 of the Local Government Act 1999, and provide documentary evidence with your Development Application that you have been granted approval for the proposed installation of a driveway across Council's road reserve.

Please Note:  You are required to now provide this completed form as part of your Development Application and the form will need to be signed by an Authorised Officer at the Council. You will be required to provide all relevant information and drawings of your proposal on the site plan and also with the Vehicle Access Point Approval Form.

Click on the link to download the form

Vehicle Access Point Approval Form


 Construction Industry Training Levy

The Construction Industry Training Board Levy is required if the development cost is greater than $40,000. The levy is calculated at 0.25% of the building or construction cost including GST. This includes fitout costs but excludes elements not integral to the structure i.e. loose furniture, removable items such as fridges, dishwashers, workstations, rugs etc.

The levy payment can be made by visiting the Construction Industry Training Board website at or by telephoning 8172 9500. (Training Levy in relation to the Second-hand Transportable Dwelling applies to transportation/installation costs only). A copy of the receipt must be forwarded to Council for the Development Application to be processed.