State Government Planning Reform

State Government Planning Reform

The planning system is currently undergoing significant change, initiated by the State Government. These changes will impact Council and our community in a number of ways, including:-

  • the introduction of a single planning rulebook, called the Planning and Design Code, for the whole state which will replace existing individual Council Development Plans;
  • a more standardised approach – the Planning and Design Code will substantially reduce the total number of planning zones across the state;
  • less opportunity to comment on planning applications that might impact you – the community is being encouraged to participate at the policy setting stage;
  • Council will no longer be a decision-maker in developing and applying planning policy, but rather will be an influencer of State Government;
  • the SA Planning portal will be a “one-stop-shop” for information, online services (including lodging applications) and community participation in the planning system – this will be managed by the State Government; and
  • new development assessment pathways will be introduced, with the aim of streamlining the assessment process.

Council is working hard to understand and address the implications of the reform for the City of Mitcham.

Planning and Design Code

The State Government released a suite of draft documents, information sheets and mapping tools on 1 October 2019 for public consultation purposes. These documents form the basis of the proposed ‘Planning and Design Code’ which will replace every Council’s Development Plan in the first quarter of 2021.

This new Code will bring significant change to the way new development proposals are handled and the type / scale of development that is allowed in certain areas.

The Planning and Design Code is a State Government initiative. Consultation on the draft Code ran from 1 October 2019 to 28 February 2020.

The State Planning Commission is seeking feedback on a revised Draft Planning and Design Code as part of another round of state-wide public consultation. City of Mitcham residents are invited to have their say on changes to the Code before 18 December 2020. To explore the revised Code and lodge a submission, visit, contact or call 1800 752 664.

Key information / contact details include:

NOTE: The process of change to the planning system is under the control of the Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure (DPTI) and the State Planning Commission. The draft Code is just that, namely a draft, for consultation, subject to correction at any time, and no-one, including the Council, can at this stage say what its final form will be. Anyone wanting to comment on the Code must contact DPTI and/or the State Planning Commission, not the Council.

Council's Submission

The City of Mitcham has submitted a submission to the State Planning Commission that details Councils comments in relation to the Code. Comments contained within the submission relate to:

  • General zoning policy and proposed translation from Council's current Development Plan
  • Heritage and State Heritage Areas
  • Protection of the Mitcham hills environment
  • Residential in-fill policies
  • Retention of trees and vegetation
  • Hazard mapping and associated policies

A copy of Council's submission on the draft Planning and Design Code can be viewed here: City of Mitcham - Submission to Draft Planning and Design Code - February 2020

Key Dates

The Code was scheduled to commence operation on the 1 July 2020. The State Government have recently advised that they will delay the implementation date of the Planning and Design Code following feedback from Local Government, the community and industry bodies.


If you have any questions about information on this page, please contact us on 8372 8888 or email with ‘State Government Planning Reforms’ written in the subject line.