Council Assessment Panel

The Council Assessment Panel (often referred to as CAP) meets to assess and make decisions on certain development applications.

It is a mandatory independent planning authority under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (PDI Act).

On this page: About the panel / Meetings / Agendas & minutes

About the panel

The Council Assessment Panel is responsible for assessing development applications using the provisions of the Planning and Design Code to determine if consent is granted for particular, delegated development applications.

In accordance with our Delegations Policy, and the requirements of the PDI Act, these applications are limited to those that:

  • Have been publicly notified and where a valid representation has been received; or
  • Are subject to a review against a refusal by Council's Assessment Manager; or
  • Are subject to an appeal in the Environment Resources and Development Court.

The Council Assessment Panel are autonomous and are supported only by Council’s Assessment Manager. There is no correlation, direction or guidance from Council to the Council Assessment Panel.

Certain procedures must be followed by the Council Assessment Panel, set out in our Terms of Reference and Meeting Procedures as outlined in the PDI Act and associated Regulations.

Terms of Reference Meeting Procedures

Our Council Assessment Panel has 5 regular members: 4 independent members and a Council Member.

  • Nathan Cunningham, Independent Presiding Member
  • Aaron Curtis, Independent Member
  • Paul Mickan, Independent Member
  • Susan Giles, Independent Member
  • Ian O'Loan, Deputy Independent Member
  • Cr Carmine Di Troia, Council Member

Council Assessment Panel members are determined by Council. The inclusion of a Council Member is optional, but provides a balanced view with both local and technical expertise.

All members must adhere to the Assessment Panel Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct prohibits members from talking with representors or applicants about a development application that is to be considered by the panel, prior to the meeting.

With the exception of the appointed Council Member, all members are required to be accredited under the Plan SA Accredited Professionals Scheme to ensure that they are appropriately experienced and qualified. Our Council Assessment Panel members are experienced professionals who have worked in development related fields including planners, architects, engineers, heritage experts, environmental experts and lawyers. This is to ensure educated decisions are made by the panel.

Council Assessment Panel decisions are generally final, remain independent of Council, and are not endorsed or ratified by Council.

Where the panel makes a decision on a development application, appeals are generally limited to the applicant if they are unhappy with e.g. a refusal, or a condition of approval.

A third party, such as a representor, may be able to appeal the decision to the Environment, Resources and Development Court depending on the nature of the application, the type of development application, and the decision made – however this is very limited.

Further advice on lodging an appeal should be directed to the Environment, Resources and Development Court via the Courts Administration Authority of SA.


Meetings are held when required, at 5:30pm on the first Wednesday of the month, at various locations.

Sometimes when there are no applications to be considered, there is no need for the panel to meet. If you are interested in attending a meeting, please contact us.

Anyone can attend our meetings to observe in person. You do not need to register to attend in advance.

Please do not attend meetings if you are unwell or have any cold or flu symptoms.

Representors are people who submitted a response to a development application during a public notification period.

Applicants are people or businesses who have lodged a development application and are seeking approval.

Representing at a meeting means that the Council Assessment Panel will hear representors explain the key points of their submissions in support of, or against, the proposed development.

Applicants can respond to any concerns and explain why the development should proceed.

Representors and applicants are each given 5 minutes to speak.

Council Assessment Panel members may ask questions of representors or applicants for clarification, or to satisfy outstanding concerns or further information raised.

All comments are made to the Presiding Member. The rulings of the Presiding Member and Council Assessment Panel are final and are to be respected by all parties.

Agendas & minutes

Agendas are a list of topics that will be discussed at a meeting. We publish them together with the reports that contain background information on each topic for panel members. Agendas for Council Assessment Panel meetings are published 5 days before the meeting. Agendas for special Council Assessment Panel meetings are published as soon as possible after notice of the meeting.

Minutes are a record of the decisions made at a meeting. We publish draft minutes after a meeting. The minutes are adopted at the next Council Assessment Panel meeting.

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Last updated 5 July 2024

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