Planning & Development Advice

Products & Services / Planning & Development Advice
Planning Advisory & Pre-Development Service

Obtaining planning consent and ultimately development approval, can often be a long and stressful process without planning experience. This can be challenging for even the most experienced professionals with new regulatory requirements and unfamiliar rules in the new state-wide Planning and Design Code.

It’s best to know exactly what you can and can’t do with any given project right at the start to best position yourself for a smooth development application process without the costs and time delays associated with amendments. Master Builders SA is now providing a pre-application planning advisory service for members.

The more stringent documentation requirements are already proving challenging for many people in getting applications “verified” at Council. Many are also missing opportunities to have guaranteed approval in very short timeframes, simply because they don’t have their documentation to the standard required for the quicker and guaranteed “deemed to satisfy” or “accepted” assessment pathways.

Master Builders SA can review plans and ensure that they meet the strict legislative requirements and assist with lodging the application on the Portal. If there is a “deemed to satisfy” or “accepted” pathway available, we can connect you to our pool of CCP members that are accredited professionals in the new planning system, to conduct the certification and avoid Council altogether at the planning stage.

While Councils and Private Certifiers are unable to assist you in the design process due to conflict of interest, Master Builders SA can do this as part of the process –  we can identify Code shortfalls, highlight these and make suggestions to give you the chance to amend the proposal before lodgement, to make it a guaranteed planning consent in around 2 weeks! That sure beats 70 business days for a lot of “performance assessed” development!

Remember, the Council fees for performance assessed development are often much higher than DtS, so the small price for our service may well ‘pay you back’ in addition to saving you the hassle of trawling through the 8,000+ page Code and PDI Act!

More details regarding the service can be found here.

Download the Planning Pre-Lodgement Checklist here.

Complete the Pre-Development Application Planning form here.

Master Builders SA also regularly conducts workshops to provide our members with a greater understanding of the Planning and Development process. If you wish to learn more about the planning process, attend future workshops or have a general enquiry regarding specific planning issues our Development and Technical team can assist, give us a buzz on 8211 7466.

Technical Advice

The Development and Technical Team provides advice to members on a broad range of topics, including:

  • Technical;
  • Planning;
  • Environmental matters;
  • Legislative requirements for approvals and post-approval;
  • National Construction Code (NCC);
  • Australian Standards;
  • State and Federal Legislation;
  • New products; and
  • Current on-site practises.

Whether it is a dispute you are having with either your client or fellow colleagues, you are unsure how to interpret a part of the Code or a standard, or you a curious about how a particular system or material works, the Development and Technical Team can assist you in finding an answer.

As construction techniques and building designs continue to develop and challenge the boundaries of modern architectural and engineering concepts, Master Builders SA remains at the cutting edge of new methods of construction and regulatory requirements with the aim of keeping members informed with regular workshops, member updates and articles in our SA Builder Magazine.

The new planning system

In many cases there will be opportunity for applications to be able to be assessed in the “Deemed to Satisfy” or “Accepted Development” pathways. However, there is a critical difference with the timeframes and assessment processes if an application does not fall into these Assessment Streams.

The “Performance Assessed” pathway is the default assessment path for any application not fitting within the DTS, Accepted or Restricted streams.

Given the heavy lifting on DAs will be very much at the front end under the new planning system, with Councils likely to be very eager to hold up anything at verification stage due to limited timeframes for assessment, MBA intend to provide a form of pre-lodgement verification service and steer the pre-lodgement process to:

  • Identify any red flags and advise on possible opportunities / alternative solutions;
  • Enable Members to attend to any Planning and Design Code compliance issues;
  • Quality Assure documentation such that mandatory info per Schedule 8 can be addressed BEFORE an application is lodged formally in the Portal and sent to a Council / Accredited Professional (ideally the latter if we can channel a DA into DTS or Accepted streams).

The intent is to give members the best possible chance of avoiding the ‘performance assessed’ pathway wherever possible. The benefits are:

  • 5 day assessment times for Deemed to Satisfy (DTS) applications
  • Opportunity for Privately Certified decision (no Council involvement)
  • Guarantee of planning approval for DTS (or exempt in case of Accepted)
  • No public notification
  • No State Agency referrals
  • No Council Assessment Panel decision
  • Limited / No Conditions of Approval


Couldn’t find what you’re looking for? Need more information? Contact our Planning Team on 8211 7466 or via

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