Development FAQ's


Private property The following categories of fencing do not require Council approval, unless located within one of the areas listed below:

  • Colorbond, chainmesh, zincalume or similar, not exceeding 2.1 metres in height
  • masonry (brick/stone) walls not exceeding 1 metre in height
  • fences not exceeding 1 metre high within 6m of the intersection of two boundaries facing a road.

All fences exceeding the above requirements require development approval from council.

In addition, the following types of fencing also require development approval from council:

  • swimming pool safety fencing in conjunction with an application for a pool/spa or where being constructed in relation to a pool/spa approved on or after 1 July 1993
  • brush fencing (Building Rules Consent only).

All fences in the following areas require council approval:

  • Hills Face Zone Historic
  • (Conservation) zones or Historic Township Zone
  • State or Local Heritage Place
  • Regional Centre zone

Applying for council approval

If you need council approval, you will need to fill in an application form, provide plans of the proposed fence, and pay the relevant fees. Please refer to our information sheet on how to make a development application or please contact Customer Service on (08) 8384 0666 for a booklet.

Fences and your neighbour(s)

Whether you need Council approval or not you should consider your legal obligations as well as the convenience and safety of your neighbours if you are building a fence on a common boundary. It is always best to speak to your neighbour before undertaking any fencing work. There may be legal requirements to notify your neighbour, and to share costs of the fencing. These responsibilities lie between neighbours and are not subject to Council approval or control. Information on your rights and obligations under the Fences Act may be obtained from the:
Legal Services Commission of South Australia
helpline 1300 366 424

Encumbrances and easements

If your property has an easement and your fence proposes to cross it, you may need the approval of the authority in which the easement vests. Encumbrances can also sometimes apply to a lane which may restrict the type, size and location of fences. Encumbrances are enforced by the Encumbror (usually the original developer) and not by Council. It is recommended you check your Certificate of Title for any restrictive easements or encumbrances.

Adjoining council property

If you wish to erect or repair a fence that shares a boundary with council property, a notice can be served on council requesting us to share the cost.

Note that council will not contribute towards the costs associated with fencing if the property:

  • adjoins a walkway
  • adjoins a reserve which is over 1 hectare in size
  • is a drainage reserve
  • adjoins a public road or road reserve
  • is a buffer reserve



Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material, which has been mined in Australia & overseas from several types of mineral rock. Asbestos has the potential to cause lung disease if inhaled.

Removal of asbestos from domestic premises

  • Generally asbestos products left undisturbed do not present a significant health risk provided the material is in a reasonable condition.
  • A homeowner may remove asbestos from their own property without a license provided they follow the safety control measures described on the Safe Work SA webpage.
  • Once asbestos waste products have been safely removed, packaged & labelled, they must be transported to an EPA licensed landfill or waste transfer station.
  • Some renovation or demolition activities may require planning/building approval, please contact our development team on (08) 8384 0869 before the commencement of any work. 

Further information

Swimming pools & spas

Development approval for a new pool

Development approval is required for a new swimming pool, spa pool and safety fencing. We will check:

  • the details and location of safety barriers
  • the safety of the pump
  • the adequacy of structural support for the swimming pool or spa pool.

Fencing must be installed before a new pool is filled with water.

For more information please call the Duty Builder on 8384 0666.

Above-ground or inflatable pools and 'portable' spa pools

If the swimming pool, including an inflatable pool, or spa pool has a filtration system you will:

  • need to get approval for it to be placed and/or constructed on your land.
  • ensure safety features, including a swimming pool safety barrier / fence are in place.

The sides of an above-ground pool can be a suitable safety barrier if:

  • they are non-climbable and are at least 1.2 metres high, and
  • a barrier is placed around the ladder (even if it is removable), and
  • a barrier is placed around anything else that can be climbed on.

Further information on pool and spa safety can be found on the South Australian government web site.

For more information please call the Duty Builder on 8384 0666.

Public swimming and spa pools - inspections

The council’s environmental health team conducts routine inspections and complaint investigations of public swimming and spa pools in the council area to ensure their compliance with the South Australian Public Health Act, 2011. Please refer to the Department of Health web site for further information and standards relating to public swimming pool and spas in South Australia.

Private swimming and spa pools

It is the responsibility of the owner of the pool or spa to ensure it is properly maintained. If a pool is not properly looked after, it may become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and other organisms that may cause serious illness.

The correct use of appropriate chemicals and good management of disinfection, filtration and recirculation will keep the pool water clean, safe and in a hygienic condition.

Please refer to the Department of Health website for factsheets on private swimming pools and spa pools or contact the council’s environmental health section on (08) 8384 0628

Regulated/significant trees and native vegetation

In the City of Onkaparinga, the state government’s native vegetation legislation applies, and can take precedence to regulated and significant trees. Generally, the native vegetation legislation needs to be considered first and the relevant authority is the Native Vegetation Unit within the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) and the Native Vegetation Council. If the vegetation is exempt from needing clearance approval under the Native Vegetation Act and Regulations, then the regulated and significant tree provisions of the Development Act and Regulations may apply (not both).

Regulated and significant trees

In November 2011, the state government introduced changes to the Development Act and Regulations, and also the Development Plan, for regulated and significant trees.

A regulated tree is any tree with a trunk circumference of 2.0m or more (measured at a point 1.0m above natural ground level). In the case of trees with multiple trunks, regulated trees are those with trunks having a total circumference of 2.0m or more and an average circumference of 625mm or more (measured at a point 1.0m above natural ground level).

A significant tree is a regulated tree with a trunk circumference of 3.0m or more (measured at a point 1.0m above natural ground level). In the case of trees with multiple trunks, significant trees are those with trunks having a total circumference of 3.0m or more and an average circumference of 625mm or more (measured at a point 1.0m above natural ground level).

Some trees may be exempt from regulated and significant tree controls either because of their location or their species.

Regulated and significant trees must not be damaged without development approval. Tree damaging activities include:

  • removal
  • killing or destruction
  • ringbarking, topping or lopping
  • severing of branches, limbs, stems or trunk
  • any other substantial damage to a tree including its root system.

Maintenance pruning does not require development approval if:

  • it is not likely to affect adversely the general health and appearance of a tree
  • it does not remove more than 30% of the crown of the tree and it is required to remove dead or diseased wood, or to remove branches that pose a material risk to a building or areas frequently used by people.

For more information, including exemptions to these controls, please read the information sheet from the Department of Planning and Local Government or contact our Development Services staff on (08) 8384 0666.

Technical Services Standard Details

The following Technical Services Standardl Details have been provided to assist in the preparation of documentation for Civil Engineering works within the City of Onkaparinga.

  • It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that they are using the current version of these drawings. The City of Onkaparinga accepts no liability for issues arising from the use of superseded drawings.
  • These drawings may not suit all applications. Any proposed alterations to these drawings should be referred to the City of Onkaparinga for approval.
  • Any inconsistencies or omissions in these drawings should be brought to the attention of the City of Onkaparinga for clarification or amendment.
  • Electronic versions of these drawings are available for viewing or download below in PDF format.
  • Printed copies of these drawings are uncontrolled.
  • For further information contact the City of Onkaparinga at or phone (08) 8384 0666.

To download a PDF version for viewing or printing click on the relevant link below:

stormwater management design guide(PDF, 569KB)

technical_services_standard_details_full_details.pdf(PDF, 1MB)

NBN infrastructure in new developments

Developers are responsible for providing telecommunications infrastructure in their developments. To provide this infrastructure, you need to contract a carrier to install telecommunications infrastructure in your new development.

Developers can choose any carrier to service their development. If they don’t choose another carrier:

  • nbn is the Infrastructure Provider of Last Resort for larger developments (100 lots or more) and for all developments in areas where nbn is rolling out.
  • Telstra is the Infrastructure Provider of Last Resort for smaller developments (less than 100 lots), until the nbn rolls out in the area

View the nbn™ roll out map.

Developers are asked to apply at least 6 months before the required date of service, to ensure a connection is ready when residents move in.

If you have a new or recently approved development application lodged with the City of Onkaparinga please visit nbn’s website to register your development and ensure it is nbn™ ready


Request a copy of your house plan

Please use council's information access form(PDF, 145KB) to request a copy of your house plan (fees apply). Completed forms can be emailed to

Built Heritage

Built heritage within the City of Onkaparinga comprises heritage places of national, state and local significance. Please visit council's built heritage pages for more information on listed properties, history of European settlement and initiatives to protect our built heritage.