South Australia Approvals Management Process - Simple Site Plans

How it works

The approvals process in South Australia is based nearly entirely online. There is a state-wide portal system, which connects clients directly with the councils. We pride ourselves on knowing what you can and can’t do when building in South Australia, and we know this portal system like the back of our hand. Whether it be an Exempt Development, Accepted Development, or Code Assessed Development, we can manage this whole process from start to finish for you. Simple Site Plans lodges the approval for sheds, pergolas, garages, pools, decks, extensions, new homes, secondary dwellings, and granny flats. We complete forms, design structures, and draw all plans to suit your exact block’s specifications.

Step 1 – Request a Quote

The first step to getting your approval in South Australia underway, is to submit a request to us. Once we have received the request, we will be able to tell you discuss the specifics of your project with you, and let you know the best way to move forward. If you’d like to go ahead with us, we will send through a deposit invoice, request a few other bits and pieces from you, and start drafting.

Step 2 – Return Required Information:

The next step, will be for you to return the forms and information that we have requested. Some of the information that we will need returned includes surveys of your block, information about proposed structures, specific details you would like in the approval, remittance of payment, etc. For more information about these documents and where to find them, check our FAQ’s.

Step 3 – Lodgement of Approvals

We will return drafted plans for your checking very quickly. You can request any revisions or changes that you want, before we submit for approval. Once you give us the go ahead, we will then fill out all forms and lodge them to the online portal on your behalf. We monitor, and track the approvals process (if you would like us to do this part), and keep you up to date along the way.

Step 4 – Successful Approval

Once the approval is successful, we will send all of the completed documents to you, and you can get cracking on your building!

Most approvals are completed via Accepted Development or Code Tracked Development. If you are building a small garden shed, you might be exempt from development (see exempt development below).

The rough timeframe for approvals via the online portal system is 1-2 months. This can vary greatly, and depends on lots of factors. These could include anything from your specific block (size, sewer locations, existing structures, etc) to neighbourhood/council regulations. Having all of the documents completed correctly, saves heavily on time and cost. We specialise in this, and can manage this from start to finish for you!
You can find out if you need approval by checking the Plan SA website here, or by getting in touch with us.

You can also see what policies apply to your address by searching your address here.

Feel free to get in touch with us for further information specific to your project.

For some structures, you can actually build these without getting any development approval. This is generally for garden sheds, and other small coverings. 

General Rules for Exempt Development – Outbuilding (sheds/garages/etc):

  • – Less than 15m2 in side
  • – Overall height is less than 2.5m
  • – No span of the shed is more than 3m.

If you do not comply with these rules, you will need to submit for approval via either Accepted Development, or Code Assessed Development.

Accepted development is a more fast tracked process for getting approval in SA. It is for structures which have minimal impact. The process itself is similar to that of a Code assessed DA, however the council speeds this process up if you are within all of the rules set out for accepted development. Those can be found in the Planning and Development Regulations for SA.

General Rules for Accepted Development – Outbuilding (sheds/garages/etc):

  • – Must be detached from a dwelling
  • – Setback at least 5.5m from primary street boundary (and behind building line)
  • – Setback at least 900mm from secondary street (if corner block)
  • – Floor area is 40m2 or less
  • – Building Height 5m or less – measured from Natural ground level
  • – Wall height 3m or less (at eave) – measured from Natural ground level
  • – 10m maximum length along a boundary (unless the neighbour has something longer there already – you can match theirs)
  • – Total length of structures along a boundary to be less than 45% of the total boundary length, and shed can not be located within 3m of any other building along the same boundary.
  • – Total roofed area of all buildings on block to be less than 60% of the allotment.
  • – If outbuilding has a garage door facing the street, maximum width is 7m (or 50% of the width of street frontage – whichever is lesser).
  • – If the building is a garage – must be accessible via authorised driveway.
  • – No excavation or filling more than 1m in height.
  • – Can not clear any native vegetation

More information can be found by reading the South Australian Planning and Design Code or getting in contact with us.

Code Assessed development is for applications which are assessed on their merit against the Planning and Design Code. These applications can go down 2 different paths; “deemed-to-satisfy” development, or performance assessed development.

Simple developments such as small houses, sheds, decks, etc will usually be deemed-to-satisfy. Whereas a more complex application say for a multi storey building, will most likely be performance assessed.

The rules and regulations for this type of development vary depending on what you are building (i.e. a pool has different requirements to a shed).

Further information on assessment pathways can be found at
or by getting in touch with us.

Timeline roughly 1-2 months depending on council backlogs, how much information you have up front, etc.

Please get in touch with any pricing questions. On top of our drafting fees, there are also DA fees, and individual council fees associated with each project.


Enquire Now

    Office Location

    15/B Miranda House, New York

    What’s Approval Types Do You Manage