Development Assessment



The Development Approval Process

What is Development Approval?

Development approval is required for:

  • New buildings and structures
  • Alterations to existing buildings and structures
  • Changes to how a building or structure is used
  • Demolition of existing buildings and structures
  • Land division or boundary realignment
  • Modifications or painting to a State Heritage Place

A Development Approval is a legal document that allows you to undertake a development.  Development Approvals specify the conditions and other details that the development must comply with.

Development approval can be made up of one or more types of Consents including:

  • Development Plan Consent
  • Land Division Consent
  • Building Rules Consent

What is Development Plan Consent?

Development Plan Consent is assessed by a planner who considers the Development Application against the provisions of the relevant Development Plan and processes the Development Application in accordance with any procedural requirements set out in the Development Act 1993 and the Development Regulations 2008.

It is recommended that applicants refer to the Development Plan before making an application. 

What is Building Rules Consent?

Building Rules Consent is required to determine whether or not the proposal satisfies technical building requirements and will be structurally sound if built in accordance with the approved plans.  Assessment is made against the Building Code of Australia and other relevant Australian Standards.  Generally, this covers issues such as structural adequacy, fire safety, health, amenity, equitable access for people with disabilities and energy efficiency.

Building Rules Consent 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 Development Plan Consent and Building Rules Consent a fresh development application must be lodged.

What is Land Division Consent?

Development Approval is required to divide land into separate blocks or allotments or move boundaries.  See Development Information Guide - Land Division for more information.

How do I submit an application?

You will need to submit to Council the following:

  • a completed Development Application Form
  • the relevant documents/plans
  • pay the development application fee
  • a current (issued within 1 year) Certificate of Title for the land

If the need for further documents becomes evident during assessment, you will receive a letter requesting the provision of further information.  Assessment of an application cannot proceed until the complete set of required documents is provided.  If you do not provide the requested information your application will normally be refused.

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 1008, 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 Rural City of Murray Bridge endeavours to process all applications in the quickest time possible.  If the application must be referred on to other bodies, or additional information is require from the applicant, the decision will be delayed.  Thorough preparation before lodging your application will ensure efficient processing.  Complying development takes 1-2 weeks.  Merit applications typically take between 6-8 weeks depending on the complexity of the application.  Non-complying development requires the concurrence of the Development Assessment Commission and will therefore take longer to process.

Does my application need to be referred to an agency?

Some applications are required to be referred to and assessed by external statutory bodies (i.e. if you are near the river or adjacent to an arterial road, State Heritage etc.).

As a result of referrals, public notification or detailed requirements sought during assessment, the Council may seek further information from the applicant.  The Council can specify the time offered to provide this information.  this information is sought to enable the Council to better understand your application and increases its chances of being approved.  If you chose not to provide the information, or do not do so within the relevant timeframe, the Council may refuse the application.

Can I appeal the decision of the relevant authority?

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).  You have limited time to lodge your Notice of Appeal and it depends on what sort of decision you are appealing against.

Further information can be obtained form the ERD Court - T:  8204 0289

Environment Resources and Development (ERD) Court website link

Council's Complaint Framework may also assist you.


Can I build first then obtain my approval?

No. Under the Development Act 1993, a fine of up to $120,000 applies for undertaking work without Development Approval.  In some cases you may be required to remove the structure if it has been built without Development Approval at your own cost.

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

Depending on the type of application Council may be obliged to give people likely to be affected by development an opportunity to make comment (also known as a representation).

The Development Regulations 2008 and/or the Development Plan set out the types of development where people have this right available to them.  The extent of the notification is determined by the Development Act 1993.

See Development Information Guide - Public Notification for more information.


A duty planner is available to assist you with any queries during business hours.

Planning Officer

08 8539 1414


Development Assessment - Register of Applicants

pdf Development Decision - January 2019

pdf Development Decisions - December 2018

Back to top