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Changes planned for SA’s development process

To help unlock investment and speed up development, the South Australian Government is seeking community feedback on how development applications are lodged and assessed.

The changes will form part of the state government’s biggest modernisation of its planning and development system in 20 years.

Updates to the development system will also mean that simple and expected proposals will no longer require an assessment, timeframes will be shortened and will include new ways to tailor an application process to suit the applicant.

Publicly-notified development will also require site signage under the new system, to enable the community to see what will be proposed in their neighbourhoods.

Minister for Planning, Stephan Knoll, said the proposed changes will unlock investment, and enable desirable development to happen more quickly.

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“The improvements will ensure every development application undergoes an assessment process that is commensurate with its complexity, freeing up simple development and ensuring that complex development undergoes appropriate due diligence,” Knoll said.

“Crucially, planning authorities will be required to process development applications within set timelines, creating more accountability in the system. This will mean that applicants who do not receive a decision from their planning authority within the required timeframe will be able to apply for automatic consent.”

Chair of the State Planning Commission, Michael Lennon, said the current development assessment process has become unnecessarily complex and confusing for applicants.

“The changes bring common sense into the planning and development system and ensure proposals that have a higher profile and interest for the community are the focus of professional and rigorous assessment,” Lennon said.

Changes to the way development assessment is done in SA will be introduces in outback areas from mid-2019 before commencing in regional council areas in late-2019. Metropolitan councils are expected to receive the changes by mid-2020.

From late-2019, applicants will be able to prepare, lodge and track their applications through the SA Planning Portal.

Regulations that will guide the new development assessment system are open for public consultation until 1 March 2019.

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