The State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) is established by the State Planning Commission under South Australia's Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (the PDI Act).
The State Planning Commission has delegated its development assessment function to the SCAP.
Role of the SCAP
The responsibilities of the SCAP are to:
- assess and determine development applications where the State Planning Commission is the relevant authority
- act as the concurring authority for non-complying applications approved by a council or regional assessment panel
- assess and report on crown development and public infrastructure applications to the Minister for Planning and Local Government
- act as the lodgment authority for all land division applications.
Assessment and decision-making
The SCAP independently assesses and determines specified kinds of development applications in South Australia under the PDI Act, while also continuing to assess some applications lodged under the Development Act 1993.
Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016
The majority of applications the SCAP will assess and determine under the PDI Act include the following:
- developments in the City of Adelaide over $10 million
- where the proposed development is in the Inner Metropolitan Area and it exceeds four storeys
- where the proposed development is in an identified area of the City of Port Adelaide Enfield and is over $3 million
- where the development is a restricted category of development or a performance assessed category and a third party has expressed a desire to be heard by the SCAP
- where the Minister seeks for the Commission to act as the relevant authority.
As a guide, a proposed development may be restricted under the Planning & Design Code when it is deemed:
- to be highly complex
- to require a higher order of assessment
- the development is beyond an expected use and/ or scale (and therefore notification is required)
- the form of development might create an impact that may be unacceptable in the zone/locality
- the impacts are unknown or potentially significant
- the solutions to address impacts are unknown or require detailed investigation to determine
- referral to an external agency/authority is required (and the advice required is not addressed in the Planning and Design Code).
Development Act 1993
For applications lodged under the Development Act 1993, the SCAP will continue to assess and determine:
- certain developments of significant regional impact eg. new landfill facilities, railway infrastructure, commercial forestry
- certain types of development in key areas of the State, including the Hills Face Zone, the River Murray Flood Zone, the Adelaide Park Lands, various Conservation Zones and the Adelaide Hills water catchments, land within irrigation areas, Port Adelaide Centre Zone, Osborne Maritime Policy Area, Bowden Urban Village, the MFP (The Levels) Zone
- most Housing SA applications
- certain types of development by councils themselves or involving council land, and applications where the council requests (and the Minister for Planning and Local Government agrees) that the SCAP be the assessing authority
- Development in the City of Adelaide greater than $10 million.
In its decision-making role, the SCAP:
- operates under the same law and must apply the same Planning & Design Code policy or Development Plan policy as a council
- is subject to the same appeal provisions, and has the same enforcement powers as a council development assessment panel
- normally handles planning issues itself, but delegates building assessment to the relevant council.
Concurrence for non-complying developments
Under the Development Act 1993, the SCAP continues to have a role in dealing, together with councils, with applications specifically contrary to Development Plans. Where a council is of the view a proposal warrants approval despite it being ‘non-complying’ with the Development Plan, the council may grant approval provided the SCAP agrees.
Crown developments and public infrastructure
The SCAP assesses all applications for Crown development and public infrastructure development under the PDI Act and the Development Act 1993. It then provides advice to the Minister for Planning and Local Government, who makes the final decision.
Major Development applications lodged under the PDI Act will be assessed by the State Planning Commission, who provide advice to the Minister for Planning and Local Government as decision maker.
The SCAP however, may if delegated, act as the Minister’s delegate for assessing variations for approved Major Developments.