The new Planning and Design Code is a fresh approach to creating planning rules that guide land use development in South Australia.
It brings a fresh focus on delivering developments with high quality design and encouraging developments that offer a mix of services and uses for the people who use them.
The Planning and Design Code is a central feature of the new, modernised planning system. It will be a single reference book of clear rules for any development assessment that enables:
The Planning and Design Code will transform complex, inconsistent planning rules into a single, easy-to-access set of rules that can be applied consistently across the State and will help ordinary South Australians trying to build a house or develop a business.
The Planning and Design Code will be written in plain language and will focus on performance outcomes and acceptable solutions that can be tailored to address local circumstances.
The Code will include a comprehensive set of planning rules for development assessment purposes classified into zones, subzones and overlays. It will also incorporate planning objectives from state, regional and local levels, as well as updated polices for assessing all forms of new development.
Use of the new Code will be supported by the provision of new Design Standards which will offer consistent standards for delivering basic infrastructure within public spaces. There will also be a set of Design Guidelines which will offer best practice guidelines and advice about elements of good design. Furthermore, Design Review Panels will provide specialist advice for larger projects on quality design outcomes as part of the development assessment process.
The new code will divide land into zones, within which various uses of the land will be set out as allowed. Further to zones, land can then be divided into subzones which may include additional rules for use of the land to protect local or special character. This will establish consistent zoning rules and give certainty to the local community and planners:
It will be supported by the new online SA Planning Portal so that planning information is easily accessible, including electronic lodgement of applications.
The State Planning Commission will be responsible for preparing and maintaining the Planning and Design Code and extensive consultation will take place with councils, industry and communities, in accordance with the Community Engagement Charter.
Preparation and implementation of the first generation of the Code involves the following key stages:
An understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges associated with existing policies contained in Development Plans will be the foundation of the Code library drafting process. To gain this understanding the Department has requested all 68 Councils across the State to undertake a Development Plan Review.
Development Plan Reviews will provide high level findings regarding:
Key findings from Development Plan Reviews will be fed into the preparation of Theme Papers.
Drafting the first generation of the Planning and Design Code is a significant and complex task. To achieve progressive certainty in this task a comprehensive set of high level directions that guide the Code library drafting stage are to be prepared. These directions are to be set out by a suite of Theme Papers.
Theme Papers will synthesise the findings of Development Plan Reviews, investigations into emerging trends and collaboration with practitioners and thought leaders across Councils and industry to:
Theme Papers will be the subject of engagement that accords with the principles of the Community Engagement Charter.
Preparation of the Planning and Design Code library involves drafting the content of the zones, subzones and overlays that will together comprise the Code.
Importantly, the existing South Australian Planning Policy Library (SAPPL) is to be used as the reference point for this drafting process. The SAPPL will be reviewed for this purpose to identify contemporary policy that can be converted into the Code.
The Code library will, upon completion, be the subject of engagement that accords with the principles of the Community Engagement Charter.
Spatial application of the Planning and Design Code library is the final stage of implementing the first generation of the Code.
This stage involves selecting zones, subzones and overlays from the Code library for application to land across the State. This process of selection will be undertaken in collaboration with Councils and will be the subject of engagement with affected communities that accords with the principles of the Community Engagement Charter.
It is envisaged that spatial application of the Code will be split into phases so that the Code is applied to certain parts of the State before others according to complexity of the selection process and other considerations.
The Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 requires that spatial application of the Code to the entirety of the state be completed by 1 July 2020.