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Planning and Design Code

A single, clear rule book encouraging high quality development


The Planning and Design Code will be a central feature of South Australia’s new planning system, becoming the state’s single planning rulebook for assessing all development applications. It will transform complex, inconsistent planning rules found within the 72 Development Plans 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 enables:

  • the consistent, high quality design of large developments
  • improvements to our public streets, squares and spaces
  • innovative approaches to development creating flexible spaces and places.

Consultation is now open on the Natural Resources and Environment (PDF, 1505 KB) and the Integrated Movement Systems Policy Discussion Papers (PDF, 1752 KB) which will inform the Planning and Design Code and all interested parties are invited to provide their feedback via the Have Your Say page or the YourSAy website until 3 December 2018.

There are supporting summary and background documents available for both papers in the policy series tab below.


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:

  • Working with Councils – review of current development plan policies
  • Policy Discussion Series
  • Technical Discussion Series
  • Preparation of the Planning and Design Code library
  • Spatial application.

The program of implementation will accord with the principles of the Community Engagement Charter.

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 is working with all 68 Councils across the State to undertake a Development Plan Review.

Development Plan Reviews will provide high level findings regarding:

  • opportunities to consolidate existing duplicated policy
  • challenges and issues associated with existing policy
  • policy that works well that should be considered for inclusion within the Planning and Design Code
  • gaps within existing policy that need to be addressed to guide new and emerging forms of development.

Key findings from Development Plan Reviews will be fed into the preparation of Discussion 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 Discussion Papers encompassing both a Policy and Technical approach.

Discussion 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:

  • define the scope of the first generation of the Code
  • establish guiding principles for the content of the Code
  • identify potential zones, subzones and overlays for inclusion in the Code
  • identify policy and procedural directions and options for zones, subzones and overlays
  • detail relationships between the Code and other instruments created under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

The Blueprint for South Australia’s Planning and Design Code introductory paper (PDF, 6588 KB), provides the outline to the Code and sets the scene for ongoing conversations with planners, developers, local governments and the community to actively engage in its preparation. It provides a foundation for a series of policy and technical discussion papers that together will underpin the Code.

A factsheet on the Blueprint for South Australia’s Planning and Design Code introductory paper (PDF, 2742 KB)’ is also available.

The Natural Resources and Environment (PDF, 1505 KB) and the Integrated Movement Systems Policy Discussion Papers (PDF, 1752 KB) focus on important issues which will inform the creation of the Planning and Design Code which will guide all development in our state.

The papers consider our unique environments and natural resources, and our transport and travel networks in South Australia, and explore how they impact, and are impacted by, planning decisions.

Two of the following links are short summary snapshots of the discussion papers; the background papers are more detailed documents containing research data which may interest professional audiences:

All interested persons are invited to complete short surveys on either or both papers via the Have Your Say page or the yourSAy website, send individual submissions by email to DPTI.PlanningEngagement@sa.gov.au or post to GPO Box 1815, Adelaide SA 5001 by 3 December 2018.

Please note the remaining two Policy Discussion Papers, People & Neighbourhoods and Productive Economy, will be released shortly.

The Technical Discussion Papers will focus on the technical aspects of the Code:

  • Land Use Definitions and Classes Review
  • The Planning and Design Code: How will it work?
  • Assessment Pathways: How will they work?

Consultation on the technical discussion papers, Introduction to Technical Discussion Paper - Future Land Use Definitions and Classes (PDF, 312 KB) and The Planning and Design Code: How will it work? (PDF, 1445 KB), has now closed. You can read the community feedback we have received to date in the What We Have Heard Summary on Land Use Definitions and Classes (PDF, 2099 KB). A summary of community feedback on The Planning and Design Code: How will it work? will be published on the portal in due course

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.

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.

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:

  • tools will be available to address common issues that apply across different zones and subzones such as flood or bushfire risk and there will be the ability to include performance requirements and recommended design techniques
  • developments will be assessed will be clearly linked to public notification requirements and a register of local heritage and significant trees will be made clear.

It will be supported by the new online SA Planning Portal so that planning information is easily accessible, including electronic lodgement of applications.

 
StatusMilestone
June 2020 Minister for Planning adoption of spatial application of the Planning and Design Code library
April 2020 State Planning Commission approval of spatial application of the Planning and Design Code library
August to December 2019 Statutory consultation on spatial application of the Planning and Design Code library
June 2019 Minister adoption of the Planning and Design Code library
May 2019 State Planning Commission finalisation of the Planning and Design Code library
February 2019 Commencement of statutory public consultation on the draft Planning and Design Code library
December 2018 Collation of the draft Planning and Design Code library
March to December 2018 Drafting and testing of Planning and Design Code library content

March 2018
Comments sought on landuse definitions

March 2018
Release of Introductory Paper

March to July 2018
Release of Planning and Design Code Policy Discussion Papers
 

Contact

To learn more about the Planning and Design Code please contact us at DPTI.PlanningReform@sa.gov.au.

Page last modified Friday, 28 September 2018