Cremorne Plaza Redevelopment gets Approval in spite of Community Opposition

A week ago now the State Government’s Development Assessment Commission approved the controversial development proposal for the Cremorne Plaza Site notwithstanding significant community opposition to the proposal.


Cremorne PlazaApproval was granted according to the minutes of the DAC meeting because the development was not SERIOUSLY at variance to the City of Unley Development Plan.


Many in our community will dispute this by focusing on the development being a 7 storey development in a 5 storey zone.

Some have argued during the debate before and after the approval was granted that it would not have been approved had Council been the approving body.

Whilst the development was approved by a state government body (DAC) rather than a council body (DAP) I wonder what the result would have been had it been determined by us. 7 stories on the face of it does seem particularly at variance with a zone calling for 5 storey. That is a 40% variance.

I ask though is the number of storeys a relevant parameter. If it had been a 5 storey development not many would have argued because it would have seemingly complied. That would be irrespective of how high the building which no-one has focused on during the debate on the development.

How many people would have spoken up had the building been the same height but 5 storeys. I will examine this further in a subseuent blog post.

On a positive note I understand the Developer and DAC did listen to Council and we saw some improvement in the number of carparks amongst other things.

Assuming the development does proceed then we will see in a few years time an increased population in Unley that can only be a good thing for those who serve the community, be it businesses with increased turnover and profits or community clubs with increased memberships.


Higher Density Development on the way in Unley

The first development application for higher density development as encouraged by the recent approved Corridors DPA has been lodged with the Development Assessment Commission.

Higher Density Development in Unley

For those of you who can remember the corridors DPA, which was completed and approved prior to the recent development plan amendment still under consideration by Council. In that plan Greenhill and Unley Roads were earmarked for addressing the Governments 30 year plan focus for higher density development along the major transport corridors.

Well,…. the first application has been lodged with the Government’s Development Assessment Commission for a mixed use development on Unley Road. The site is 244-248 Unley Road, Unley Park. This is the site between Opey Avenue and Hart Street.

The new Unley development plan allows for higher density development up to 5 storeys along this section of Unley Road. The plan assumes land with a depth of only 50-60 metres and a zone within which the development can be built within a zone of 30 degrees from a height of 3 metres on the boundary.

This development is 7 storeys which in theory is in excess of the plan. This site is closer however to (from memory) 76 metres deep which allows the extra storeys.

The key to this development proposal for higher density development is the inclusion of a 2 storey townhouse development incorporated at the rear of the site. By doing this the developers have looked after residents living to the west of the development site. They will amazingly not see the 7 storeys behind the 2 storey town houses. This is due to the 30 degree buffer zone proposed and fought for by the Unley Council and which the Government reluctantly approved early last year.

The 30 degrees was a strategy we promoted to avoid the straight up and down developments that can be seen around the world and more recently in Mawson Lakes and Northgate. Higher Rise Developments  that residents in Unley and in neighbouring councils have been concerned would turn their neighbourhoods into ghettos. Although 7 storeys this development, thankfully fits into this restriction.

Thankfully also this development has been classified as a category 2 public notification development. This means those residents and businesses that live within 60 metres of the development site do still (as they have previously) get to provide a representation to the Commission.

I encourage everyone who is within this zone and indeed everyone else who cares about the future built form of the area of the City of Unley to come along to a public meeting organised by your local member of State Parliament David Pisoni. By doing this you can be better informed about the impact of the development allowing you (if you so choose) to make informed representation to the Development Assessment Commission.

This meeting is scheduled for 7.00 pm on Thursday 5 February at the Unley Community Centre. Please come along and be informed.

I ask you finally,whether you see this development as a positive or negative development in Unley, to recognise that Unley Council is not the authority and that the plan, whilst in our name, is not our plan. The plan belongs to the minister and the panel assessing the application is the government’s panel, not ours.

DPA 3A submission to Minister closer

In my post of a few minutes ago I talked of the working s of our new Development, Strategy & Policy committee meeting as they dealt with DPA 3A.

Two months ago this committee heard submissions from members of our residents and businesses. I posted on this at the time.

The committee sat to review these responses this week and to contribute their own thoughts. It was an active meeting with all members contributing, both elected and independent. Even absent independent member Tim Horton (not allowed to attend as he had to attend his surprise birthday party) contributed .

We heard also from Cr John Koumi the presiding member of another of our committees, UBED, about their concerns regarding the economic impacts of the development.

In the end all the input from this meeting will be forwarded onto Council for them to make their decision as to what to put to the Minister for Planning to consider. We then await his blessing on what I believe to be the best result we could have hoped for.

The mood of this committee I believe will be matched by council. In other words we remain on the same page we have always been on in respect of issues DPTI have previously indicated were non-negotiables. Issues such as having a 30 degree envelope not 45 degrees and that public notification be permitted I am sure will be endorsed by Council.

We also have rejected the concept of providing incentives that might allow the overall height to be increased.

Unley and the South Parklands

As the City of Unley grapples with the limited open and green space within it’s borders (the least by a mile of any local council area in the greater metropolitan area). As the City of Unley grapples with addressing the State Governments 30 year plan to increase the density of housing stock.

I have long pondered the relationship Unley has with the adjacent parklands to its north, the other side of Greenhill Road.

There has been much talk during public consultation of our DPA 3A that how are we going to find extra open space which will become more precious than it is now as our density inevitably increases.

Enter the South Parklands.

And enter this article by David Penberthy n Adelaide Now this morning. Yours to read and love to hear your thoughts on the observations he has raised and how Unley might better utilise the Parklands (in partnership of course with the City of Adelaide).

Talking Corridors and Envelopes rather than Place to create a new generation of White Elephants

Borrowing two statements from residents at tonight’s public meeting namely we have started taking a new language of corridors and envelopes and forgotten about creating place from one resident, and the current push by the Government for higher density will create this generations White Elephants.


That sums up tonight’s first ever meeting of the new City of Unley Development Strategy and Policy Committee.

As promised a few days ago I am now reporting on the first meeting of the new Development Strategy and Policy Committe, of which I am a member. And our first meeting was a public meeting, called to hear from those who have provided representations for the Boulevard and High Streets Development Plan amendment (otherwise known as DPA 3A).

This was a productive meeting and was well chaired by Cr Michael Hewitson. We have been charged with the responsibility to decipher the public response to DPA 3A and make recommendation for Council to consider in our submission to the Planning Minister in response to the Government’s 30 year plan.

Those who took the trouble to make representations I congratulate. They presented well thought out presentations and by and large I believe they back up many of the arguments that Council has already put to the minister.

Some of the detail I will post in the next day or two.

Suffice it to say that if we don’t get this right we will create this generations white elephants to go with previous generations stand alone developments like the ETSA building just down the road from us and the old Highways Department in Walkerville.

Another Reminder on DPA 3A

This is just another reminder that representations on the current development plan amendment DPA 3A close on 22 February. That is just 12 days away.

Judging from the observations made at a recent forum hosted by the Friends of the City of Unley Society (FOCUS) you have similar views to those we at council have expressed to the Minister. These include items that DPTI on behalf of the Minister are saying are non-negotiable.

This includes but is not limited to the angle determined to establish the envelope within which a new building can be built (45 degrees compared to council’s preferred at 30 degrees), set backs, and notification restrictions.

I again encourage you to check the plan out and make representation if you have any concerns.

In so doing you will be able to attend the public hearing for representors to be held by Council on the 18 March 2013.

When to have a say

Making representation about planning matters is better when Councils are considering development plan amendments than after they become as Paul Keating used to say “LAW”.

As a member of the Development Assessment Panel of the City of Unley.I often feel for people making representations on a development that is an issues they don’t like but which the Development Plan allows. We had that yet again at our last meeting on Tuesday night of this week..

Issues were raised on all the developments being considered, some relevant and items that the panel should consider. Many were not relevant and matters that we could or should not take into account unfortunately. This is so frustrating for the respondent, even more so if they get the feeling that we have not listened to their concerns.

And now to my point.

The City of Unley is undergoing right now a public consultation on one of many development plan amendments they MUST do to address the Governments 30 year plan. It concerns medium density development along Greenhill Road and Unley Road.

The plan will allow if and when approved by the Minister of Planning John Rau up to 7 storey development along Greenhill Road and up to 5 storeys on Unley Road.

The best opportunity you have to influence things you have concern with such as having entrances to Greenhill Road properties off Greenhill Road and not the road or in some cases lane at the rear of the property this is your chance. It will be too late once approved by the Minister.

This very issue was raised on one of the applications on Tuesday.

As I have reported in previous posts on this blog DPTI are not prepared to negotiate on some aspects of the plan that we at Council wish to see incorporated. If the public of Unley had similar views to elected members this might give weight to our argument.

Follow the link below, which provides not only an opportunity to have a say but provides further links to information about the amendment.

A public hearing for representors will be held by Council on the 18 March 2013.
I also refer you to previous posts on this blog site for my thoughts on this.


DPA 3 comes back to Council from the Minister for another public consultation.

Further to previous advice regarding the draft DPA 3A, it is confirmed the commencement of next round of public consultation will commence next Tuesday, the 4 December 2012, with notices to appear in the print media (including the Eastern Courier).  Advice in the Eastern Courier will be repeated during the consultation period.
The Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) are coordinating the release of a package of similar inner metro rim Council and Ministerial DPAs, including a link to a DPTI web-site to explain the broader context.  The minimum 8 week consultation period will be extended with a closing date for submissions on the 22 February 2013.  A public hearing for representors will be held by Council on the 18 March 2013.
There will be information on our web-site (Have Your Say) including the DPA, an explanatory brochure, a fact sheet about the new zone, background documents and community forums will be held on the 31 January and 3 February 2013, in accord with the engagement plan approved by Council in February 2012. 
This is your final chance to have input into the planned changes to the Development Plan.

30 Year Paln Update

The DPTI response to our draft submission on DPA 3A, as I reported back on the 8th September, seems to be one of do as we say, with them indicating there are a number of non negotiable as we go to the Minister for approval to go back to Public Consultation.

We agreed (reluctantly) to accept these non negotiables at our last Council meeting (Monday of this week) in order to get the draft to the Minister. In so doing though your Councillors unanimously agreed to let the Minister know that we have reservations about the DPTI approach.

The motion that was passed included the following item:

The Minister for Planning be advised that before Council finalises its position in regard to several matters in the Development Plan Amendment, it wishes to consider feedback from the local community during the consultation process, as there are still matters where the Council has reservations about the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure requirements.

I would presume the Minister will do his due diligence and send it back to us so that we can again go out to our community. At that time our residents and rate payers will get another opportunity for input into the plan before finalisation.

You can then determine and advise whether the DPTI version is acceptable to you, whether you prefer council’s attempts for a softer result, or indeed other options.

30 Year Plan Update

Following changes to the planning framework for the Adelaide CBD DPTI has, on behalf of the Minister for Planning, commenced re-engaging with us and providing feedback on the various draft DPA’s we have before the Minister on the 30 Year Plan.


It would appear to me that progress we thought we had made in protecting your City may have been ill founded. I report as follows:


Village Living & Desirable Neighbourhoods Development Plan Amendment (DPA) Stage 2 – Residential Character and Growth Areas and Council-wide Policy Review

An initial DPTI yield analysis suggested the growth potential of our proposal was inadequate to achieve the growth targets of the 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide. The assumptions for the modelling, precinct density, site suitability and local factors were reviewed and a re-assessment is currently being undertaken.  

When DPTI is satisfied the modelled yield potential satisfies the growth targets, and fundamental zoning changes are not required, further detailed feedback on the policy content and provisions will be provided. The DPA 2 is not the first priority of DPTI however and is likely to take further time to resolve.

Village Living & Desirable Neighbourhoods Development Plan Amendment (DPA) Stage 3A – Main Road Corridors, Centres and Living Vitalisation (Greenhill and Unley Roads)

DPA 3A remains the DPTI first priority. DPTI re-engaged with the inner metropolitan rim Councils, in late June 2012. Through subsequent meetings, detailed feedback has been discussed in an endeavour to resolve inconsistencies with the State’s directions and the module template policy.
A limited number of issues were raised by DPTI and most are believed to be able to be resolved to mutual satisfaction. There are some more fundamental issues however that may be of concern, and will require Council to consider its position, and our ratepayers to be aware of, such as:
ü limitations to public notification, which I presume to mean you will get far less say on 5 storey buildings next to you than you do now with a 2 storey building.
ü increase in shop floor area allowance on Greenhill Road
ü more flexibility on incentives regarding additional building height, whatever that means
ü a 45 degree zone interface building envelope allowance along Unley Road in lieu of what we thought was a responsible 30 degrees.

It is anticipated that Elected Members will be briefed on these fundamental issues in September 2012 and a formal report be considered by Council in October 2012.

Drafted public consultation material will continue to be refined, and coordinated with DPTI, in preparation for the anticipated release of the inner metropolitan DPAs later in 2012.

Local Heritage Places Development Plan Amendment (DPA)

The updated Local Heritage Places DPA, and all of the DPTI final requirements, has been addressed. The DPA is now being considered by the Minister for Planning prior to approval for release and public consultation. Although approval is anticipated to occur shortly, there is no certainty with the Minister’s consideration.
Preparation of draft public consultation material has been undertaken in readiness to proceed with public notification when possible



What is happening to DPA 2 and DPA 3

Progress on Council’s Development Plan Amendments is noted below:

Village Living & Desirable Neighbourhoods Development Plan Amendment (DPA) Stage 2 – Residential Character and Growth Areas and Council-wide Policy Review

The request for consultation approval by the Minister for Planning was lodged in December 2011. The State Government focus has been on the Adelaide City Council, but with the Capital City Ministers DPA coming into interim effect on 28 March 2012, the attention of the Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) is shifting to the inner metropolitan rim Councils and feedback on DPA 2 is expected in the near future.

In the interim, preparation of the suite of associated draft public consultation material has been undertaken.


Village Living & Desirable Neighbourhoods Development Plan Amendment (DPA) Stage 3A – Main Road Corridors, Centres and Living Vitalisation (Greenhill and Unley Roads)

The draft DPA 3A was submitted for consultation approval by the Minister for Planning in September 2011. As advised above, the DPTI is beginning to re-engage with the inner metropolitan rim Councils. It is understood the DPTI has reviewed the suite of submitted plans and will initially pursue negotiations for revision for consistency between the Council proposals and the state policy template.

Once again draft public consultation material is currently being drafted to aid preparation for anticipated release later in 2012.


Local Heritage Places Development Plan Amendment (DPA)

The updated Local Heritage Places DPA, including the Brownhill Creek stone lining in the Orphanage Park, is waiting the approval of the Minister for Planning for release and public consultation.

Preparation of draft public consultation material has been undertaken. Although approval is anticipated to occur shortly, there is no certainty with the Minister’s consideration.

The State Heritage Place provisional listing of the Brownhill Creek stone lining in the Orphanage Park was considered by the Heritage Council in March 2012. The State Heritage Place provisional listing was removed.