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Design Review

Design Review is a pre-lodgement service that supports high-quality design outcomes, improves access to independent design expertise and assists with informed decision-making during development assessment


Design quality of our built environment not only relates to the ‘look and feel’ of buildings and places, but how successfully they meet the needs of the people who use and experience them. High-quality design helps make our buildings and places better for people, the environment and economy.

Our new planning system enables greater emphasis to be placed on design quality, including how future developments contribute to the public realm, respect the surrounding built form and increase the availability of independent design expertise through the planning process.

One of the ways our new planning system will support high-quality design is by creating more opportunities to participate in Design Review.

Design Review is an independent evaluation process, where built environment experts consider the merits of a development proposal and identify opportunities to encourage high-quality design.

Design Review is most effective when undertaken early in the planning and design process, prior to a development application being lodged, where the opportunities to effect positive change are greatest.


Completed In progress Pending
  • Local Design Review Scheme operational

  • Minister endorses final Local Design Review Scheme

  • Update Local Design Review Scheme based on consultation feedback

  • Consultation on draft Local Design Review Scheme closes

    Completed August 2020

  • Consultation open on draft Local Design Review Scheme

    Completed June 2020

  • Office for Design and Architecture South Australia (ODASA) draft the Local Design Review Scheme in collaboration with local governments and industry bodies

    Completed May 2020

  • State Design Review criteria included in draft Planning and Design Code (via the Design Overlay) for public consultation

    Completed October 2019

State Design Review has operated successfully in South Australia since 2011. It is currently available to development proposals that will be assessed by the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) and referred to the Government Architect:

  • developments with a value of $10 million or more within the City of Adelaide
  • developments of five storeys or more in the:
    • Inner Metropolitan Adelaide Urban Corridor Zones
    • District Centre (Norwood) Zone (City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters)
    • District Centre (Jetty Road) Zone and Residential High Density Zone (City of Holdfast Bay)
  • developments with a value of $3 million or more in Port Adelaide Regional Centre Zone (City of Port Adelaide Enfield)
  • major projects and projects of state significance.

State Design Review will continue to be available to these development proposals in the new planning system, which are identified in the Design Overlay within the Planning and Design Code.

To learn more about State Design Review, visit the Office for Design and Architecture South Australia’s website.

State Design Review, Office for Design and Architecture South Australia

State Design Review, Office for Design and Architecture South Australia (image: Sam Noonan)

Consultation on the draft Local Design Review Scheme for South Australia is now open.

Local governments in South Australia are increasingly offering design advisory services to proponents in varying formats. The new Local Design Review Scheme will set out a consistent approach for the delivery of Local Design Review across the State and will support those councils who choose to offer the service within their communities, as well as independent Design Review providers.

The draft Local Design Review Scheme seeks to:

  • support high-quality design
  • improve access to independent and expert design advice early in the planning and design process
  • support consistent and informed planning decisions
  • facilitate collaboration between allied professionals that can positively contribute to professional development.

Consultation on the draft Scheme closes on Friday 21 August 2020.

Illustration of how Local Design Review could operate in the new planning system

Illustration of how Local Design Review could operate in the new planning system

OPEN: draft Local Design Review Scheme for South Australia

Consultation closes 21 August 2020


The Office for Design and Architecture South Australia (ODASA) has prepared the draft Scheme on behalf of the Minister for Planning in collaboration with the State Planning Commission, local government staff from across the State and representatives from peak industry bodies.

Feedback on the draft Scheme is now being sought from councils, industry professionals and any other interested parties. Please ensure you provide your feedback on the draft Scheme by Friday 21 August 2020 through any of the following channels:

A consultation guide has also been prepared to provide background information and should be read in conjunction with the draft Scheme.

Page last modified Friday, 26 June 2020