Council's Development Plan

What is a development plan?

Development plans are the principal documents used in South Australia to guide development and against which development applications are assessed. Both a council and the Minister for Planning may amend development plans, but the Minister is ultimately responsible for their content, structure and layout.

Planners use development plans to assess development applications. Each council area has a development plan specifically related to that area. The detail in each development plans differs between councils to reflect local circumstances.

Role of the development plan

Development plans:

  • inform the community about how an area is expected to be developed
  • inform neighbours about the kinds of development they can expect in their neighbourhood
  • inform applicants about the type of development that is encouraged in an area, therefore the type of information that may be required in a development application
  • provide the basis against which development assessment decisions are made
  • provide the basis upon which any appeal decisions are made.

Development plans separate land within each council area into a number of different zones, including commercial zones, residential zones and industrial zones amongst a range of others. This aims to ensure that the lifestyle needs of residents and business can be achieved in the most beneficial manner. Development plans outline what land uses are envisaged in a zone and those uses which are not contemplated.

Development plans contain objectives, principles, desired character statements and policies that will control and affect the design and location of proposed land use activities. These policies cover a range of social, environmental and economic matters and have been established to support the longer term direction of the State’s Planning Strategy.

For more information on development plans, refer to the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure Guide to Development Plans and Development Plan Amendments or the webpage for Development plans and their use.

View the City of Onkaparinga's Development Plan*

* If you have any difficulties downloading the Development Plan, please contact We are aware there are some issues when viewing this document in Google Chrome.

For information on the Council’s Development Plan, please contact our Development Policy team on 8384 0546 if it relates to potential policy changes, or our Development Services staff on 8384 0666 if it relates to assessment of a development proposal.

Changes to the planning system

From July 2020 onwards the Development Plan will be replaced by a state-wide Planning and Design Code.   For more information on the Planning and Design Code refer to the SA Planning Portal.