What is an encroachment?

An encroachment is:

Any structure erected or installed in, on, across, under or over Council land, including structures that straddle from private land onto public land.

When is feedback on the Draft Encroachment Policy due?

All written feedback should be submitted to Council by 5pm on 30th October 2017.

Council intends to finalise the Draft Encroachment Policy by early 2018.

How can I find out more information?

Please view the Information Sheet here.

Furthermore, you can view further information and obtain a copy of the Information Sheet at Council libraries and Community Centres as well as Customer Centre, 25 Pirie Street Adelaide.

If you'd like to arrange a time to meet with Council administration, please contact Amanda McConnell (Mon/Tue) to arrange an appointment time on the phone: 8203 7536 or via email at: a.mcconnell@cityofadelaide.com.au

How do I provide my feedback?

There are several ways in which you can provide feedback:

Feedback Form

Complete the Feedback Form which asks specific questions and provides an opportunity for general comments regarding the Draft Encroachment Policy.

Online/ Website

Council has a dedicated website that provides an opportunity for quick and efficient online feedback.

Visit yoursay.adelaidecitycouncil.com for information about the project and online ways to provide your comments.  Alternatively, comments can be emailed to yoursay@adelaidecitycouncil.com

Written Submissions

All written submissions must be received by 5pm on Monday the 30th of October advertised and should be addressed to:

Community Consultation
Encroachment Policy Review
GPO Box 2252, Adelaide SA 5001

Electronic submissions are available online at yoursay.adelaidecitycouncil.com, or alternatively comments can be e-mailed directly to yoursay@adelaidecitycouncil.com.

What happens to my feedback?


Council will consider your feedback and finalise the policy position.

All submissions received will be summarised and attached to the report to Council, at which time will be publicly accessible.

Once adopted by Council, you will be advised either by email or in writing when the Encroachment Policy will be made available on the website.

It is expected that the Encroachment Policy will be finalised and completed by early 2018.


How do I know my feedback has been received?

All feedback forms will be acknowledged either by email or in writing so that you know your comments have been received.

What is the Role of the Encroachment Policy?

The policy provides the basis for council to manage encroachments over and under public land with the aim of:

Creating a public realm that is welcoming and user friendly;

Cultivating a positive relationship between the private and public realms;

Strengthening the character and identity of our capital city.

How will the Encroachment Policy Work?

The Encroachment Policy allows a suite of small projections into the public realm to be considered minor encroachments.  These do not require an Encroachment Permit.

The Encroachment Policy contains specific criteria for encroachments such as architectural features, verandahs, balconies and signs that must be met to gain quick approval. If the encroachment meets the criteria an Encroachment Permit is issued at the same time as the Development Approval.

For encroachments that do not comply and are at variance with the policy criteria, the encroachment will be refused and the permit will not be issued.

Streams for Encroachments:

Minor encroachment. Does it comply with Encroachment Policy? Yes. = Encroachment Permit not required.

Encroachment complies with Policy guidelines. Does it comply with Encroachment Policy? Yes. = Permit issued with Development Approval.

Encroachment does not comply with Policy guidelines. Does it comply with Encroachment Policy? No = Permit not issued. Development Refusal. No guarantee of support.

How does the Draft Encroachment Policy Differ from Current Policy?

The draft Policy:

More clearly identifies encroachments that are considered “acceptable” and “not acceptable”;

Simplifies the requirements for balcony encroachments;

Introduces criteria for green facades and living walls;

Introduces criteria to manage temporary ground anchors and discourage permanent ground anchors; and

Revises and simplifies the fee schedule.

What Encroachments are Considered Acceptable?

The Draft Encroachment Policy clearly identifies what encroachments are acceptable encroachments. Provided encroachments comply with the relevant criteria the following encroachments are considered to be acceptable:

Architectural details, sunshades and hoods;

Green wall installations;

Verandahs, awnings and pergolas;

Balconies and verandahs at first floor level;

Advertisements; and

Temporary ground anchors.

What Encroachments are Not Considered Acceptable?

The Draft Encroachment Policy clearly identifies the following encroachments as unacceptable:

Built floor area;

Balconies above first floor level; and

Permanent ground anchors.

The recent increase in the number of balcony and built floor area encroachments into the public realm have raised concern about the multiple effect of this form of development detrimentally changing the character of our streets. Although Adelaide’s streets are wide, they have well-defined street edges which are being inconsistently eroded. As development intensifies it is important to provide consistent opportunities for all development.

Permanent ground anchors can permanently restrict the future use of Council land.

The policy encourages development to provide above first floor balconies and built floor areas within their own boundaries instead of relying on the use of the public realm.

What are Ground Anchors?

Ground anchors are an engineered tool designed to transfer anchoring to the ground. It consists of cables and rods that are connected to a bearing plate used for the stabilization of steep slopes.

Why do Annual Fees only apply to some Encroachments?

Council encourages encroachments that provide a public benefit and contribute to the creation of a liveable city. For instance, verandahs over footpaths provide weather protection for pedestrians and green walls cool the City and create pleasant spaces.  For these forms of encroachment Council will forgo annual encroachment fees.

Council also encourages heritage places to retain their original features. Council will forgo fees, to assist owners to retain and maintain their heritage buildings.

Does the Draft Encroachment Policy make changes to signs?

The Draft Encroachment Policy addresses ‘Under-Awning Signage’. All other signs are addressed in the “Objects on Public Footpaths Policy and Operating Guidelines, 2006”.

The policy proposes to change the depth criteria required for signs. Under-awning signs can have a maximum depth of 500mm and occupy up to 80 percent of the depth of the verandah or awning.

The draft Policy does not change the clearance distance between the sign and the footpath or the setback distance from the kerb edge and trees. The sign should be at least 2.5 metres from the footpath surface, set back at least 600mm from the kerb edge and have a clearance of at least 1 metre to a street tree or light pole.

Why does the Draft Encroachment Policy include a section on main entry porticos?

In recent years, commercial buildings and new residential buildings have incorporated new entry porticos into their design. Currently, the Policy does not contain guidelines for new entry porticos and as a result every application has been reported to Council for a decision creating unnecessary delays for applicants.

The draft Policy sets out criteria for entry porticos and allows for complying porticos to be issued with an Encroachment Permit at the same time as Development Approval, speeding up and simplifying the process.