Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

Council can help you, as I indicated in my last blog post with certain issues that might occur on a development site next door to you.

What are the matters that Council is responsible for?

Any matters listed below that are the responsibility of the Council should be raised directly via our Customer Experience team at [email protected] or 8372 5111. Feel free to copy me in.

Authorised Officers will investigate matters in accordance with the City of Unley Compliance Policy. They will determine what, if any, action may be appropriate. These matters may take substantial time to resolve depending on the nature of the complaint and the gathering of evidence.

Dust concerns

Dust is the responsibility of the Council’s building officers to investigate.  Please note however that dust can and will occur. Particularly during warmer weather and the presence of dust does not automatically require action.

We need therefore to reasonably manage this. Reasonable management may include wetting the site down, matting or planting temporary vegetation.

Noise complaints

Construction noise is the responsibility of the Council. Our building officers will investigate any complaints received.

Not all noise complaints are the responsibility of the Council, however. Information on other noise complaints and who investigates them can be found via Neighbourhood nuisance | EPA

Hours of work

Council is responsible for policing the hours of work. It is covered by State Government legislation.

The legislation has established the hours of operation for building sites as follows.

  1. 7.00 am to 7.00 pm Monday to Saturday
  2. No work on Sunday’s and public holidays

Any work outside of these hours would need an exemption from Council before the event occurs. This would also be notified to neighbouring properties. Ongoing breaches may result in expiations or further action by Council.

This might include such things as a concrete pour, or work required to ensure work, health & safety.

Variances to the plans

The developer has a requirement to build in accordance with the approved plans. The Planning Compliance Officer at Council investigates such matters. They will determine if any changes to the approved plans have occurred that require consideration.

There are two courses of action if changes have occurred. The most obvious would be that the building would need to be modified to comply with the approved plans. There is an alternate course of action, however. That is, the developer may seek retrospective approval.

One of the council’s planners under delegation would assess any retrospective approval.  In the past, this has sometimes been subject to further public notification. This is less likely, I would suggest, under the new legislation.

Protection of regulated and significant trees

The council is responsible for assessing applications and enforcing any requirements relating to a significant or regulated tree. This includes tree damaging activities that may occur to a significant or regulated tree during construction without approval from Council.


Council’s building inspectors will respond to any overlooking issues raised by neighbours. They will check that if the approved plan has been adhered to. If they find that the approved drawings have not been complied with, they will require the overlooking to be addressed.

Council’s Planning Compliance officer investigates such matters. Council will not enforce privacy from construction sites however where workers are working from a height.

On-street parking during and post-construction

Council requires larger developments, like the recent Cremorne development, to provide traffic management plans which we need to approve. Smaller developments will not generally require a traffic management plan as there is legal parking available in the locality.

Our traffic team will review and approve these plans. They will review them again if there are additional impacts created during construction.  If this does occur, they will consider what, if any, action may be taken to rectify the situation.

If impacts are observed once a development has been completed, these can be raised with Council for investigation.

Damage to footpaths, roads, and Council trees

Council will investigate any damage to Council infrastructure including roads, footpaths and trees. If you see the damage let us know as soon as is practicable.