Community participation in government community engagement programs do impact

The benefit of community participation in government community engagement programs can be seen behind the headlines in yesterday’s Advertiser “New Laws pave way for $200m in high-rise projects.

The report goes on to indicate that Adelaide is set to go sky high. The State Government has approved taller building height limits for eight hubs across the metropolitan area. Actually 8 specific sites would be a more accurate description. This means four sites in total were removed from the DPA, including one in Unley.

The community engagement on the Development Plan Amendment (DPA) covered twelve sites, 4 of which are in the City of Unley. The sites removed were all hotly contested by the relevant local community. That included our own site 7 at Unley Road Malvern.

 “I have not approved rezoning for the 4 sites where the community was strongly opposed to the rezoning, and where impacts on adjoining residents would be more difficult to manage,” Planning Minister John Rau said.

“The size and location of those sites meant that the interface with existing houses would be challenging.”

His observations of the impact of such development at Malvern are “spot on”.

Had it not been though for the community reaction of the local residents would likely not have been made. Truthfully, they are that obvious the sites should not have been considered in the first place.

 A victory therefore for people power. But only because they stood up and spoke. It is rare for the community to stand up at the DPA stage of the process. Rather the end of the process when an actual development is likely not at serious variance to the approved plan.

Cr Michael Rabbitt is to be congratulated for alerting the residents in this area. This is like Jennie and I did a couple of years back when DPA2 was on the books and with similar result.

It will be interesting to see how the local residents react when a development application is lodged at the other 8 sites, including the 3 in Unley.


  1. Cathy   •  

    Although I’m trying to follow what’s going on (or proposed to) at the Leader St Le Cornu site, I’m not sure that I really understand. I read the Govt planning documents and they talk of mixed residential/business as is obvious for the site. However, I also read a while back that it has been sold to Germans and will simply be an enormous warehouse style supermarket which seems like it will only detract from the area.

    I’d love to be better informed and I’m hoping you could comment on this!

    • Don Palmer   •     Author

      The DPA and the Kaufland proposal are two separate but overlapping events.

      The DPA is the minister’s attempt to make the site more amenable to redevelopment. Kaufland have a specific project they wish to seek development approval for.

      The current zoning is Light Industrial. The DPA will allow mixed use, which by definition includes the permission to include residential in any new development.

      Kaufland are proposing a retail only redevelopment as I understand it. In other words they are not seeking to take advantage of what could be developed on the site. This includes no residential and no multi storey if I have heard correctly.

      They have been waiting the DPA so they can submit their DA as doing so while the site is still zoned light industrial would have been time consuming and complex.

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