Planning changes

On Friday, 19 March 2021 a new planning and development system for all of South Australia will come into affect.

For further information please refer to the Plan SA website for general enquiries please call: 1800 752 664 or email

From 19 March 2021, a new planning system will be in place across the entire state of South Australia.

This new system is fully electronic, providing online development assessment and processing via a modern ePlanning platform.
Everyone living and working in South Australia can submit and track development applications from the comfort of their home, office or whilst on the go using their computer or mobile.

It will consolidate South Australia’s 72 Development Plans into one clear planning rulebook, improving certainty and consistency in decision-making and assessment. It’s South Australia’s biggest reform of planning in 25 years and represents a whole of system transformation that will deliver contemporary policies via a modern digital system.

Clear and consistent planning policies relevant to your area are easily accessible and will help shape your community, both now and into the future.

South Australia’s new planning system will help you to:

  • Search zoning for your property
  • Review development rules
  • Lodge and track an application online
  • Track major projects and development activity
  • Find an accredited professional.

A series of community webinars will be conducted to help support the community with the launch of the new planning system.
These sessions will explore how to use the new planning system, how to access South Australia's online Planning and Design Code and how the Code applies to your property.
For more information visit EventBrite or the PlanSA events calendar.

Important Information: Certificate of Occupancy

In South Australia a Certificate of Occupancy is required for all new buildings such as detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings or group dwellings approved and built under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (the PDI Act), excluding Class 10 structures such as sheds, carports, verandahs and the like.

  • The requirement of a Certificate of Occupancy now extends to Class 1 buildings (houses) under the PDI Act. This is a key change under the new system which owners, councils, certifiers and builders need to be aware of.
  • Class 1 developments completed after 1 July 2020 but approved under the Development Act 1993 do not require a certificate of occupancy. All other classes of buildings (Class 2-9) completed after 1 July 2020 do require a certificate.
  • For developments approved after 1 July 2020 under the PDI Act, the Certificate of Occupancy will be issued via PlanSA, from 8 October 2020.

Development Overview

There are approximately 300 development applications lodged with the Town of Walkerville every year. These range from simple extensions to residential homes through to land division applications.

Each of the following activities require a development application:

  • A change in the use of land or buildings
  • The creation of new allotments through land division
  • Building work (including construction, demolition, alteration and associated excavation/fill)
  • Cutting, damaging or felling of a significant tree
  • Specific work in relation to State and Local Heritage Places
  • Other acts or activities as declared by the Development Regulations

If you are unsure if your proposal requires approval contact Council on 83427100 and ask to speak with the Duty Planner

or email

Assessment Process 

The assessment of your application begins with us first checking that your application requires approval and all the required information is included. If not, then you will be advised of what further information is needed.

Next, depending on the type of development and/or its location, we may undertake public notification of the proposal (see separate information sheet) and refer the application to other government agencies as necessary.

The Development Regulations specify the circumstances when this consultation is necessary. Agencies are given a time frame within which to respond with a report. The reports may contain mandatory directions (to the council) or advice only and once they have been considered a decision can be made.

Either the council or the state Development Assessment Commission is responsible for undertaking development assessment. In certain cases, the Minister for Urban Development and Planning (in the case of Crown developments) or the Governor (when an environmental impact statement or a major project is declared under the Development Act) may also become involved in the decision.

Applications for Development Plan consent are assessed against the zoning policies and controls in the Walkerville Development Plan. The assessment process will vary depending on whether the proposed development is determined to be 'complying',      'non-complying' or 'merit' (see below), and whether it requires public notification (see below).

There are time limits within which planning decisions need to be made depending on the nature of the development. Applications for routine developments can generally be dealt with in a short period of time, approximately within eight weeks (two weeks for complying developments). If an application is required to be referred to a government agency, the time limit increases to 14 weeks and for land divisions the time is 12 weeks.

Decisions are made on the basis of the planning policies contained in the Development Plan, and a decision is made accordingly. Consent cannot be granted if the authority believes that the proposal seriously varies from the plan’s policies. We determine the suitability or otherwise of development proposals in terms of what the plan says. The Building Code requirements must be fulfilled in respect to the Building Rules assessment.

Applications for building rules consent are assessed separately as this involves an assessment of the structural details of a building.

Once the necessary consents have been granted for both planning and building stages, the Town of Walkerville can then issue the final Development Approval. The building work can then proceed.

Complying & non-complying development

The Walkerville Development Plan outlines what sort of development may or may not occur in different zones. This is done through council-wide and zone-specific policies, principles, objectives and standards, and also through lists of complying and    non-complying kinds of development within each zone.

Where a land use or activity is defined as non-complying, it will generally not be granted approval. This is because it is a kind of development that is not considered to be appropriate in that zone.

Public Notification - Category 1, 2 or 3 developments

There are three categories of public notification. Category 1, Category 2, and Category 3 forms of development.

Category 1

Category 1 covers 'development' which is exempt from public notification, and usually relates to uses that you would expect within a zone. Examples might include:

  • Detached dwellings in residential zones
  • Development of a specific form which is encouraged within a specific zone (ie shops within a Centre Zone)

Category 2

Category 2 covers 'development' which requires limited public notification to owners or occupiers of land adjacent to a proposal. Examples include:

  • Development on land which abuts a different zone boundary
  • Significant trees (if Council is undertaking the development)

Category 3

Category 3 developments require that a public notice is placed in a newspaper and any person can make a representation on the application. Persons who make representations in relation to Category 3 must be heard if they request it as part of the submission. A representation to a Category 3 publicly notified proposal has an appeal right against the decision.


Appeals against decisions on development applications are heard by a specialist Environment, Resources and Development Court.

If you require any advice on development within the Council, contact us on 8342 7100 and ask to speak with the Duty Planner or email