Development / Building Information


Council approval is required for a masonry (brick, cement etc.) fence higher than one metre and any other kind of fence (colourbond, galvanized iron, wooden etc.), higher than 2.1 metres.

The height is measured from the lower of the adjoining finished floor levels. There are special requirements to front and side fences near corners. Please contact Council's Planning Officer for further clarification on when Council approval is required.

Please be aware that when fences are less than 2 metres in height and on a common boundary, disputes 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 produces a useful pamphlet "Fences and the Law" that contains the relevant information and forms required to assist fencing negotiations and/or disputes. Please contact the Council office for a copy of this booklet.

Garages, Carports and Verandahs

Most building work requires development assessment and approval. "Exempt development", however does not.

The exempt development list includes minor residential matters which are commonly undertaken by homeowners to improve their property and their lifestyle. Information regarding exempt development is available from here.

The list of exempt development includes:

  • Small sheds (must be ancillary to a dwelling)
  • Pergolas
  • Decks
  • Small shade sails
  • Solar panels
  • Small water tanks
  • Fencing
  • Retaining walls

All these types of development are subject to conditions, including conditions related to their location. Please check with Council to determine whether your development is an exempt development prior to purchasing your materials and commencing work. It may be that the development requires approval under the Development Act 1993 before you commence work. For further information, please click here.

New Houses and Extensions

Development approval is required from Council to build a new house or extend an existing house.

An application for planning consent is assessed against the Berri Barmera Development Plan, which is the policy document used by Council to ensure development occurs in an orderly manner. Matters assessed are as follows:

  • Location of the house or extension on the block
  • Its relation to adjoining properties
  • Its impact on the streetscape
  • The amount of private open space provided
  • How much of the site will be covered with buildings
  • Setbacks from the front, rear and side boundaries

Before designing your new house or extension, Council advises you to find out from us what zone your property is located in and ask for a copy of the relevant policy.

An application for building consent is assessed against the technical requirements of the Building Code of Australia or the South Australian Housing Code and other relevant standards to ensure:

  • Structural adequacy
  • Fire safety
  • Health and amenity of the building

Further information regarding dwellings and extensions is available here.

Swimming Pools

A swimming pool is classed as any structure capable of being filled with water to a depth greater than 300mm and primarily intended to be used for swimming, wading or paddling. All new pools must have a continuous safety barrier which is maintained by the pool owner and which restricts access by young children to the pool and the immediate pool surrounds.

Please click here for information about swimming pool fencing.

Sub Divisions

When you consider subdividing a site, you are encouraged to prepare sketch drawings and consult Council prior to lodging a development application. At this stage the sketches will be checked against the requirements of the Development Plan and comments will be provided to assist with and speed-up the development assessment process.

Any changes to be made can be done at the early sketch stage more easily and economically than at the final submission stage. Here are a few factors for your consideration:

  • 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

Council strongly suggests that you contact a surveyor to discuss your proposed sub-division, and to assist you with preparing the required plans.

Further information regarding land divisions is available from Planning SA at or by following this link.