Development Information

Can I run a business from home?

It is possible to run a business from a home, as long as it does not disturb or detract from the enjoyment of the area for your neighbours and complies with the definition of a 'Home Activity'.

Do I need approval from Council?

If the business fits within the Home Activity guidelines, Council advises that you provide a written request to Council detailing the basic operation of the business. Should Council deem that the business is considered to be a Home Activity, then no development approval is required. It is a good idea to discuss your proposal with Council, to make sure you meet the guidelines.

For further information, contact Council on (08) 8733 0900, or write or email Council .

What is Council's involvement with fences?

Development approval is required for a masonry (stone, brick, terracotta, concrete block etc) fence that is higher than one metre and any other kind of fence (colourbond, galvanized iron, wooden etc) that is higher than 2.1 metres.

The height is measured from the lower of the adjoining ground levels. There are special requirements for front and side fences near corners. Please contact Council's Development Services Department on (08) 8733 0900 or email for further clarification on when Council approval is required.

Does Council get involved in fencing disputes?

Fences less than 2.1 metres in height and on a common boundaries between neighbours are subject to the Fences Act. Council has no authority in respect to the Fences Act and dealings between neighbours.

The Legal Services Commission provides useful information relating to Fences which contains the relevant information and forms required to assist in fencing negotiations and/or disputes.

For further information visit the Legal Services Commission website

The following information may not apply to properties which are State Heritage or Local Heritage listed. It is recommended that you contact Council on (08) 8733 0900 to discuss proposed development applicable to your heritage listed property.

Garages, Carports, Sheds and Outbuildings

What needs Council approval?

A detached outbuilding, garage, carport or shed does not require Development approval if:

  • The structure is ancillary to another building on the site (eg a house)
  • The structure is detached (eg not connected to the associated building)
  • The structure is located behind the ancillary building line fronting the primary street (eg behind the front line of the house)
  • The total floor area is less than 15m²
  • The total height is less than 2.5 metres

Can an outbuilding, garage, carport or shed be located on a boundary?

Outbuildings, garages, carports and sheds should be located no less than 600mm from the side and rear boundaries. If you wish to construct an outbuilding on the boundary, Council will conduct a merit assessment of the application and consider certain elements of the development including the size, height and location of the structure. Council may also request that the applicant provide written support from their neighbours.

How far back from the street does an outbuilding, garage, carport or shed need to be?

Council's set back policy requires an outbuilding, garage, carport or shed to be located no less than six metres from a primary street. The structure should also be no closer to the primary street than the associated building (eg behind the front building line of the associated building).

For structures proposed where a site has two street frontages, the building set-back from the secondary street should be at least 3 metres. NOTE: the road that forms part of the street address is considered the ‘Primary Street’, and if there are other street frontages then these will be considered the ‘Secondary Street’.

Pergolas and Verandas

Does a pergola or veranda need Council approval?

Whether attached to an existing building or not, Council approval is not required for a pergola if the structure:

  • does not have a roof (other than shade cloth)
  • each freestanding side is open
  • no part is higher than 4 metres above the ground
  • the pergola is behind the front of any part of the building line of the dwelling facing the primary street

Pergolas and verandas which are attached to an existing building and have a roof will require Development Approval regardless of the size.

For further information phone Council on (08) 8733 0900 or email


Does a deck need Council approval?

Council approval is not required for a deck if:

  • the deck is to be used in association with an existing dwelling
  • the deck is less than 500 millimetres above the natural surface of the ground
  • the deck will be at least 900 millimetres off a boundary

Water Tanks

Do rain water tanks require Council approval?

A water tank and any supporting structure does not require Council approval if:

  • it is a part of a roof drainage system
  • has a total floor area of 10m2 or less
  • has no part higher than 4m above ground level
  • located wholly above ground

New Houses & Extensions

Development approval is required from Council to build a new house or extend an existing house. See Building and Renovation for further information.

Land Divisions

A land division or sub-division is where an allotment is divided to create additional allotments or to adjust a boundary between existing adjoining allotments.

Land divisions are submitted to the Development Assessment Commission via EDALA and forwarded to Council for assessment and approval of Development Plan Consent. The Development Assessment Commission also forwards the application to other Government agencies, such as SA Water, SA Power and Transport SA for comment which will form part of the conditions of consent. It is advisable to contact a Certified Surveyor to lodge an application on your behalf.

What do I need to consider when subdividing a site?

It is recommended that you contact Council to discuss your proposal and enable Council to check the proposed land division against the requirements of Council’s Development Plan.

For further information relating to land division processes please discuss with a Land Surveyor or download the 'Guide for Applicants (Land Division Guide)'

Land Division applications may need to consider the following:

  • The setback of houses and garages from roads
  • The setbacks required from adjoining properties
  • Useable private open space
  • Covered areas and outbuildings
  • Car-parking
  • Energy efficiency design of houses
  • Stormwater disposal
  • Privacy
  • Driveway widths for rear yard development
  • Internal access roads
  • Significant trees

Phone Council's Planning Officer on (08) 8733 0900 for further information or email

Development to State Heritage or Local Heritage Properties

A State Heritage or Local Heritage listing provide various levels of protection that will ensure that developments carried out on these properties retain and enhance the original heritage character of the property.

Council's Development plan lists 31 State Heritage properties and 85 Local Heritage places. Development approval for works associated with Heritage listed buildings may be required.

The objectives of Council Development plans seeks the conservation of buildings, the provision for continued use/adaptive re-use that will supports the conservation of culturally significant sites and State and Local Heritage places.

If your property is State Heritage listed, the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources can provide advice on any aspect of development affecting a state heritage place.

For further information on development affecting a local heritage place, see the Local Heritage Fact Sheet

Beachport Heritage Survey

In October 2016, Council engaged Grieve Gillet Anderson to conduct a Heritage Survey of Beachport and surrounds. The survey is now available below.  The survey recommends properties and places for listing, however they cannot be formally accepted as a local heritage place until a Development Plan amendment is submitted and approved by the Minister for Planning.  Council is currently working through this process, affected property owners will be notified in due course.

Beachport Heritage Survey(4635 kb)

Asbestos dust and fibres are known to be hazardous when inhaled, and can be released into the air when products containing asbestos are incorrectly handled, removed or transported for disposal. Almost every home built or renovated before 1990 may contain some form of asbestos building material.

For further information, provides information on identifying asbestos and the safe removal of asbestos in the home or workplace. Asbestos removal does not require approval from Council.

Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms can help save lives by providing occupants with early warning about house fires. A smoke alarm can help you and your family leave your home quickly in case of a fire, especially if you are asleep.

All South Australian homes must be fitted with a working smoke alarm. Homeowners and residential landlords are responsible for ensuring a working smoke alarm is installed in the property.

The installation of smoke alarms is compulsory in South Australia. The type of smoke alarm you need depends on when you first purchased your home.

  • Home owned before 1 February 1998, a replaceable battery powered alarm is required;
  • Homes purchased on or after 1 February 1998, 240 volt mains powered or a ten year life non-replaceable, non-removable permanently connected battery powered is required;
  • Homes built on or after 1 January 1995 a 240 volt mains powered smoke alarm is required.

For further information phone the Metropolitan Fire Service on (08) 8204 3611 or visit the Metropolitan Fire Service website.

Lodging an Application?

Click here for further information: Development Applications