​A significant proportion of the cases that come before the ERD court are appeals against decisions relating to development applications.  Many of the appellants who choose to appeal don’t retain lawyers. A Step by Step guide to running an appeal (concerning a development application) has been developed to provide assistance.  For others, the guide may be useful in providing information of how the court deals with matters and how it progresses through the various Court processes.

Two important preliminary issues

Before you use this guide you need to be aware of two important limitations.

  1. This guide is just that - a guide.  It is not comprehensive or definitive.  The Court has Rules and Practice Directions that set out in detail how the Court operates.  Because each case is different, Court procedures may vary from case to case.  It is impossible to deal here with every possibility.  It is the Judges and Commissioners who decide how each case is to be dealt with and it is their direction that you must follow.
  2. This is a guide for the ERD Court process only.  If you are going to represent yourself, you will need to understand not only the Court process, but you will also need to understand and be ready to argue the substance and merits of your case.  This guide does not deal with substance and merit arguments.

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View information videos to learn more about the ERD Court appeal process.

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Step by step guide to lodging a development appeal

An appeal lodged in the ERD Court will be listed for a preliminary conference normally about four weeks after lodgement unless a request is made on your appeal form. At the preliminary conference the matter will be placed into one of three tracks: pending, conference, or hearing track.

Pending Track

In the Courts experience, parties often want to amend proposal plans after they lodge an appeal with the Court. Amended plans are still required to be assessed by the relevant authority under delegated responsibility or by the Development Assessment Panel. The pending track allows negotiations to occur between the parties providing time for amendments to be made and amended plans to be considered by a Development Assessment Panel. Matters assigned to the pending track will be listed for another preliminary conference at a time suitable to the Court and parties taking into consideration when the assessment will be completed.

See Preliminary Conference for further information.

Conference Track

If your matter is assigned to the conference track it will be listed for an hour long conciliation conference. The conference track allows parties to have time to talk freely about the issues in confidence and in an informal way with the aim of finding a resolution yourselves, whilst being assisted by a member of the Court. The conference will be convened by the Court and usually will be chaired by a Commissioner. If the parties resolve the matter during this stage, the parties are required to consent to a draft order, normally prepared by the Council. After the Court receives the consent of each party an Order of the Court concludes the matter. 

See Conciliation Conference for further information.

Hearing Track

If it is clear to the Court at the preliminary conference that there would be no useful purpose in convening a conciliation conference or further preliminary conference the Court will close the conference and refer the matter to a listings conference or a Directions Hearing to set a timetable for a formal court hearing.

See Listing Conference, Directions Hearing and Preparing for Hearing for further information.

The development appeal process is explained in more detail - simply click on the boxes in the flowchart below or select the relevant menu options.


To access additional information for the appeal process, click on the relevant box below

Diagram of the Development Appeals process


Lodging an AppealApplications to JoinPreliminary ConferencePending TrackHearing TrackConference TrackDirections HearingAttending a ConferencePreparing for a HearingAttending a HearingGetting a JudgmentAppealing to the Supreme Court 

Forms, Fees and Rules

Related Links

Contact Us

For further information, contact the ERD Court:
p: +61 8 8204 0289
f: + 61 8 8124 9898
Lower ground floor
Sir Samuel Way Building
241- 259 Victoria Square
Adelaide, South Australia, 5000
Postal Address:
The Registrar
ERD Court
GPO Box 2465
Adelaide, South Australia, 5001

Opening Hours

9:30am to 4:30pm
Monday – Friday
Excluding public holidays