Planning services

Planning to develop or divide land in the City of PAE? Find out how to lodge your application, what kind of developments need approval and how to get council guidance before submitting an application.

Are you planning to develop or subdivide land in the City of PAE?

South Australia’s planning and development system changed in March 2021, which means that all development applications need to be lodged through PlanSA.

You’ll need to lodge a development application for any activity that’s defined as development under the Planning, Development and Infastructure (PDI) Act 2016.

The PlanSA website will help you determine if you need approval, and will guide you through the process of lodging an application.

Need guidance before submitting a development application?

Before you lodge an application, you may want to seek preliminary advice or general guidance on more complex proposals, such as multi-residential, major commercial, heritage or industrial developments or large subdivisions.

When you submit a request for preliminary advice, you’ll need to include supporting documentation, including architectural plans, specific details of the proposal (such as hours of operation) and general business activities.

What we can tell you when we give you pre-lodgement planning advice:

  • We can give you guidance about the proposed development and the information you have submitted
  • We can tell you about any issues that we think need to be addressed during the development assessment stage

What we won’t be able tell you during pre-lodgement planning advice:

  • We won’t be able tell you whether any variances from the Planning and Design Code provisions will be supported in an application
  • We can’t advise you about issues that might arise during the final design of the development
  • We can’t give you formal approval or refusal

Planning a heritage-related development?

Some buildings and land in the City of PAE have cultural and historical significance. If you’re planning to change them in any way, you may need to follow extra steps and processes during the development application process. Learn more about heritage conservation in PAE.

A Heritage Advisor is available every Tuesday to provide advice about heritage related development.

Planning and development application FAQs

Types of development that usually need approval include building work and construction, changing land use, and altering land boundaries. If you're planning to undertake development, you may need approval before you get started. Some typical projects at home such as garden sheds, fences or decks don't always need approval.

Visit the PlanSA website and enter details about your proposal to find if you need approval.

If your development needs approval, you’ll need to create an account and lodge your development application through the PlanSA website.

You can check what policies apply to an address at the PlanSA website.

The information that PlanSA will ask for depends on your proposed development. Visit the PlanSA website for more information about the forms, plans and documents you will need.

To lodge a development application in South Australia, you must create an account and lodge your application through the PlanSA website.

If your application ID number begins with 21xxx, log into your account and amend your application at the PlanSA website. If it begins with different numbers, please contact us for further assistance.

General development FAQs

You may not need approval to set up a home based business. Visit the PlanSA website and enter details about your proposal to determine whether or not you need approval, or read more about how we support business in PAE.

If you’re building a new swimming pool or spa, renovating an existing pool or installing safety fencing, you’ll need to apply for development approval. Visit the SA Government Pool and Spa Safety website or PlanSA for more information.

Get in touch with Dial Before You Dig – they will be able to help you access records related to stormwater or sewer pipes.

The cost of a development application will depend on the type of development you are planning. Read more about development application fees at PlanSA.

Asbestos-containing materials were commonly used in house construction before the 1980s. Visit the SA Government Asbestos website for more information.

Public notifications, documentation and records FAQs

Some development applications need public notification as part of their assessment process. Visit the PlanSA website to see what’s currently on notice.

A statement of compliance is a document signed by the owner and building work contractor. The statement certifies that building work has been carried out to relevant building standards and according to the specifications and plans approved by the relevant authority before development began. Statement of compliance templates are available on the PlanSA website.

For information about Building Notifications for applications assessed under the PDI Act 2016, visit PlanSA. For information about Building Notifications for applications under the Development Act 1993, give us a call on 8405 6600.

To access development records, you’ll need to complete this form and email the completed form to service@cityofpae.sa.gov.au. You can find guidelines for the application process on the back of the application form.

Land use zoning is determined by the Planning and Design Code, which overseen by the state Minister for Planning. The South Australian Property and Planning Atlas is an interactive map that shows the zoning for all land in the state.

Different areas of PAE are zoned for different uses, such as residential, industrial, or conservation. Each zone contains a set of development policies or rules. The policies explain what types of land uses are encouraged, and design features like the maximum building height, carparking, and landscaping. To find out the development policies for any address, enter an address into the Planning and Design Code webpage.

The planning system also allows landowners to change the zoning of their land, if they can meet the legal requirements of the Planning Minister. This is commonly called a ‘rezoning’, with the formal process being known as a Code Amendment. For more details on this process, visit the State Government’s Code Amendments page.

Fence FAQs

A land surveyor will be able to determine your exact boundaries. You will need to arrange this service privately.

Fence placement along property boundaries falls under the control of State Law. Some types of fencing may also need Development Approval. To find out if your fence needs approval, please visit Plan SA.

If you want to build a new fence or replace your existing fence, and your fence also shares a border with land that we own (such as a park, walkway or building), you’ll need to tell us in writing before you start construction. In some situations, we will contribute up to 50% of costs.

To find out if your fence is eligible for financial reimbursement:

  • Read the Fencing Cost Reimbursements Policy to make sure you comply with the guidelines
  • Tell us that you want to build a new fence, or repair or replace an old one. Make sure that you include two written quotes for the work you want to do
  • We’ll be in touch to let you know the outcome

If you’re not eligible for financial reimbursement, you may still be able to carry out the work but you’ll need to cover the cost yourself.

If your fence isn’t eligible for financial reimbursement:

  • Tell us you want to build a new fence, or repair or replace an old one
  • We’ll be in touch to let you know the outcome

Boundary fencing is usually a civil matter between neighbours, but before you start building, it’s always a good idea to check with PlanSA, as you do not always need to gain council approval.

The rules of boundary fencing are governed by the Fences Act 1975, which sets out the duties and rights of landowners when considering fencing on shared boundaries. Answers to common questions on shared fencing are available from the Legal Services Commission of South Australia.

The PDI Act 2016 states that all backyard swimming pools must include appropriate safety fencing. Approvals for pool fencing can either be issued by council or a private certifier. Visit the SA Government Pool and Spa Safety website or PlanSA for more information.

Read the roaming dogs and secure fences fact sheet to help you ensure that your private property fencing is secured to prevent roaming dogs.

If you notice graffiti on a fence or building within the City of PAE, you can request for that graffiti to be removed.

Building and development compliance

Council Development Compliance Officers regularly investigate alleged breaches of the Planning, Development, and Infrastructure (PDI) Act 2016 ('the Act’). For example:

  • Development without authorisation
  • Breach of conditions of an authorisation
  • Unauthorised change of land use

Where a breach of the Act poses risk to public health and safety or to the environment or where it significantly detracts from the amenity of an area, we’ll take reasonable and proportionate enforcement action against those who act unlawfully.

If you want to report a breach of the Act, give us a call on 8405 6600 or email service@cityofpae.sa.gov.au