Policy planning


About Land Use Policy Planning

The land use policy (or zoning) for an area sets the vision for the type of development that will take place in an area and may even specify building setbacks and building heights which distinguish the character of an area. These details guide decision-making for any development proposed in the area- and effectively form a checklist against which the development is assessed.

The process of developing land use planning policy considers a broad range of information disciplines and interests and is required to include consultation with the relevant affected community. Ideally, when formulating new land use policy, the policy writers, attempt to balance environmental, social and economic interests to achieve optimal outcomes in each of these areas. Even small policy changes can impact the environment and everyday living or contribute to changing demographics and respond to community aspirations.

Development may be small or big, simple or complex.

Examples of development in West Torrens range from:

  • a simple carport addition on an existing dwelling in a residential/neighbourhood zone;
  • a new shop in a commercial area/Centre Zone;  to;
  • a complete multi-allotment master planned redevelopment of underutilised contaminated industrial land.

Strategic Land Use Planning in South Australia

Strategic Land Use Planning seeks to set a vision for, and regulate, land use in South Australia. There are four distinct but interrelated parts, these being:

Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 and Regulations

Overarching framework for South Australia's planning and development system, including the Principles of Good Planning

State Planning Policies

Sets out the overarching goals for the state and requirements for the planning system

Regional Plans

Provide the long term vision for regions or areas about the integration of land use, transport, infrastructure and public realm

Planning and Design Code

Sets out the policies, rules and classifications for the purpose of development assessment and related matters for the state

Source: https://plan.sa.gov.au/

Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (PDI Act) and Regulations

The legislative framework establishing the planning and development system and setting out its statutory procedures is provided by the PDI Act and its associated Planning, Development and Infrastructure Regulations. The PDI Act is the core legislation enacted by the South Australian Parliament to establish the planning and development system framework and many of the processes required to be followed within that framework (including processes for assessing development applications). The Regulations provide more details about the framework and may be updated from time to time by the Governor (on the advice of the Minister for Planning). 

State Planning Policies (SPP)

The State Government's broad vision for sustainable land use and the built development of the state is outlined in the State Planning Policies (SPP). The SPPs represent the highest level of policy. They outline matters of importance to the state in land use planning, development and design and provide a state-wide framework that aims to enhance our liveability, sustainability and prosperity.

Importantly, the policies consider changes to how and where South Australians live and work; current and future trends in population growth; climate change; and other social and economic drivers.

As a statutory instrument under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016, the State Planning Policies outline the planning and design ambitions for South Australia and will guide both regional and metropolitan planning and development into the future.

Under the Act, all designated planning instruments are required to comply with the objectives and policies prescribed by the relevant SPPs during both the initiation and amendment phases of Regional Plans and the Planning and Design Code (the Code). 

Regional Plans

Regional Plans set the long-term planning vision for a region or area, including the integration of land use, transport, infrastructure and the public realm. They must be consistent with all relevant SPPs as they provide direction for local level planning and development and establish a framework for the management of regional infrastructure and the public realm. They also make recommendations about the application and operation of the Code for specific areas. Where SPPs apply to a specific locality, these state interests should be spatially mapped within Regional Plans.

Planning and Design Code

The Code is a single document which applies across the State. It is a 'designated instrument' under the Act, containing the rules against which development applications are assessed. The Code sets out a comprehensive suite of planning rules for development assessment comprised of spatially referenced Zones, Sub-zones and Overlays. The rules set out in the Code are required to reflect and align with the SPPs as they provide the strategic framework on which the principles of Code policy are based.

What it means for you

When you submit a Development Application it’s assessed against the Planning and Design Code. The policies set out in the Code determine if your proposal is likely to be successful (or not) in gaining approval.

Find out if development approval is required.

Find about more about development assessment.

To find out more visit www.plan.sa.gov.au, email DPTI.PlanSA@sa.gov.au or call the  PlanSA Service Desk on 1800 752 664. Alternatively, Email the City Development team or contact 8416 6333, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.