Assessment Process

The State Planning system is currently in the process of significant planning reforms.  As of 1 July 2020 Renmark Paringa Council will be transferred to the Planning and Design Code under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016. The Planning and Design Code will replace the current Development Plan. Therefore, some areas may see shifts in the principles governing development in their area.  

From 1 July 2020, the development application lodgement and assessment process will change. All development applications will need to be lodged electronically through the e-Planning portal and not submitted to Council.

Further details in relation to the Planning Reforms can be found at

Assessment Process

If you intend to carry out any form of development, you must first receive development approval.

To receive development approval, you must lodge a development application (DA) with the Council (with the exception of land divisions).

A development approval is made up of development plan consent (planning consent) and building rules consent (building consent).

Once both planning consent and building consent are granted, the Council is able to issue a development approval.

What is Planning Consent?

Planning assessment is the first stage of the development approval process. Applications are assessed against the provisions of the Development Plan, which is the policy document administered by Council to ensure development occurs in an orderly manner.

The planning assessment process ensures that development:

  • Results in the appropriate use of the land within a particular zone
  • Enhances or is in keeping with the appearance and surroundings of the area.

For further zone specific related enquiries on various development types within the Renmark Paringa Council area you may wish to view the Development Plan here.

Planning assessment is generally carried out under delegated authority by Council Planning Officers. However, some complex applications require referral to the Development Assessment Panel or Development Assessment Commission for a decision to be made.

What is Building Consent?

Building rules assessment is the second stage of the development approval process and involves the assessment of building plans for compliance with the Building Code of Australia, various Australian Standards, the South Australian Housing Code and other relevant Council and state requirements.

Building rules assessments involve the surveying of plans for compliance with the following matters:

  • Structural adequacy
  • Fire safety
  • Health and amenity
  • Energy efficiency
  • Access for people with disabilities.

Building assessment may be undertaken by Council or by a Private Certifier. However it is important to note that consent from a Private Certifier does not automatically guarantee Development Approval, if changes have been made between Planning Consent and Building Consent a fresh development application must be lodged.

What are the different types of assessment processes?

For Planning Consent, each development application will fit into one of three classes which affect the way that the application is processed:

Complying– if the proposed development meets the criteria listed as complying in the Development Plan or specified in the Development Regulations, 2008, Development Approval must be granted.

Merit– if the proposed development is not specified as either complying or non-complying, it is individually assessed on merit having regard to the relevant Development Plan policies.

Non-complying– if the proposed development is listed in the Development Plan as being a non-complying form of development, only in circumstances where the proposal does not compromise the intent of the Zone, the Development Act provides an opportunity for the assessment of an application. See Development Information Guide - Non-complying Development.

How long does it take to get Development Approval?

There are set time limits in which councils are obliged to make decisions. The Renmark Paringa Council endeavours to process all applications in the quickest time possible.

Assessment times vary depending on the form of development proposed and the completeness of the application. Statutory time frames are:

Application typeTime limit

Planning assessment (Development Plan Consent)

Complying – 2 weeks

Merit – 8 weeks

Building assessment (Building Rules Consent)4 weeks
Land Division12 weeks

Complex applications involving referrals and/or public notifications take additional time. In the case of referrals, the statutory time limit increases by six to ten weeks, depending on the referral agency.

The time limits can be suspended if Council or referral agency asks the applicant to provide additional information. Generally, 12 weeks is allowed for more information to be provided. The assessment 'clock' restarts when the information is received.

Does my application need to be referred to an agency?

Some applications are required to be referred to and assessed by external statutory bodies (e.g.  if you are within the River Murray Flood Zone, Department for Environment, Water & Natural Resources).

Can I appeal the decision?

Yes, an applicant has the right to appeal to the Environment Resources and Development Court against a decision made by Council, or a condition attached to an approval (other than in relation to non-complying applications). Such an appeal may be lodged with the court within two months of the application decision being made.

Do my neighbours need to be notified of my development application?

Some types of development will require Public Notification. Public Notification means that neighbours and other interested parties must be advised that an application for development has been lodged and that they have the opportunity to comment on the application.

There are several categories of public notification that apply to different types of development. The Development Act 1993 and Development Regulations 1993, and some Council Development Plans list types of development for each category of Public Notification.

The key elements of each category are:

Category 1

  • does not require any form of public notification.

Category 2

  • a letter notifying of the proposed development must be sent to an owner or occupier of each piece of adjacent land.

Category 3

  • a letter notifying of the proposed development must be sent to an owner or occupier of each piece of adjacent land and any other owner or occupier of land which the relevant authority believes should be informed.
  • an advertisement is also placed in the newspaper to inform anyone who is interested of the development.

Additional fees are required for Category 2 & 3 public notification.

Any person wanting to make a representation for or against the proposal must do so in writing within 10 business days. The applicant will then have an opportunity to respond to the representations.

The decision regarding some Category 2 & 3 applications will be made by the Development Assessment Panel. A person who has made a representation may be given the opportunity to address the Panel before a decision is made.