Are Unley Council and their residents working together to design the future or not? I trust and hope that they still are. We will find out during the next month or so.
Council has been working on a series of Development Plan Amendments (DPAs) over the last 10 years or so. These DPAs have systematically been working through changes to our development plan to accommodate the State Governments 30-year plan.
Legislation requires us to develop and adopt development plans that are in accord with the State’s overarching development plan. If we fail to do this the Government, through the Planning Minister, can do it for us.
Throughout the 10 years we have consulted widely with our ratepayers. When the process began we and our community where clearly of one mind. That was to prevent our heritage conservation zones and our streetscape zones from being highjacked in the name of development by the Government. We were also of the same mind in avoiding wholesale 2 for 1 development throughout our suburbs.
My understanding is that our community understood that there was a price to pay for these protections. I was not on Coucnil back then. The price was that there would be high rise development potential made possible in the major corridors and in what we call Unley Central.
We won those protections. The State Government is therefore placing their trust in us to deliver as promised. To date our commitment has been partly met. The development plan now caters for higher development in the two main corridors. That is namely Unley Road and Greenhill Road.
The next step is to deliver on Unley Central. Are Unley Council and their residents working together on Unley Central?
I implore our community to remember if the Government is not satisfied with our recommendation they can amend the plan. They will do that in a manner of their choosing. We won’t get a say in it.
That could be to not change the unlimited heights possible now and simply facilitate development by allowing mixed use. Mixed use I suggest is the element that has probably prevented any redevelopment in this area to date.
No-one other than the Government (oh and developers) would want this option to win the day.
During March, Council will have three meetings at which the Unley Central DPA will be discussed. All three will be open to the public to attend and watch us go through our deliberations. Watch as we power our way through the results of a recent public consultation to determine what recommendations we put to the minister and his government.
Without pre-empting the result, I am sure that Council have listened. Adjustments are bound to be made to the draft plan. Heights will surely be reduced in some areas.
Whatever changes are or are not made I trust our community will respect what we do.