About SCAP

The State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) is established under South Australia's Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

The SCAP has assumed the functions, powers and duties of the Development Assessment Commission, as delegated by the State Planning Commission.

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 lodgement authority for all land division applications.

Assessment and decision-making

The SCAP independently assesses and determines specified kinds of development applications in South Australia. These are prescribed in the Development Act and Development Regulations and include:

  • 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 addition, the SCAP acts as if it was a council for planning and building approvals in areas of the state outside a council area (such as the Far North of the state, and many off-shore islands).

In its decision-making role, the SCAP:

  • operates under the same law, and must apply the same Development Plan policy as would a council development assessment panel
  • 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

The SCAP also has 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 Commission agrees.

Crown developments and public infrastructure

The SCAP assesses all applications for Crown development and public infrastructure development, providing a report to the Minister for Planning and Local Government, who makes the final decision.

View the fact sheet on this process (PDF, 753 KB)

Major projects

The SCAP has a role at the start of the Major Development proposal assessment process under the Development Act 1993.

The SCAP reviews the initial development application, sets the level of assessment required and determines the Guidelines for the assessment of the project.

The SCAP can also act as the Governor’s delegate for assessing variations for approved Major Developments.


In addition, the SCAP can - either on its own initiative or at the request of the Minister for Planning and Local Government - report to the Minister on matters relevant to the development of land and make recommendations as to regulations that should be made under the Development Act.