Will the Local be put back into Planning in SA post the State Elections

The Minister for Planning John Rau, the Shadow Minister Vicky Chapman and MLC Mark Parnell were interviewed by Mike Smithson of Channel 7 at a lunch hosted today by the LGA.

The Mayor & I attended this luncheon to hear what each had to offer in the Planning arena and their views of Council involvement.

Readers of this blog would be well aware that the Minister has overseen two planning initiatives in the current term of Government. They are the various development plan amendments to accommodate the Governments 30 year plan. The other is an overhaul of the Planning assessment regime.

For those of you interested in your built neighbourhood please read on.

The Minister was quite clear in determining that Councils should have a role in the Policy making of Planning, the development of the Development Plans but not in the assessment of individual application against that policy.

Vicky Chapman on the other hand felt it was up to Government to set policy and that Council is best served to carry out the assessment function.

Clearly a stark contrast between the two.

This hopefully gives readers a guide on which way to vote if you have a passion about how your street should look now and into the future.

Here’s my take to remind you what I have said in previous posts.

John Rau says we should be involved in policy but not in assessment.

In truth under his watch we have been the mechanism through which he conducted public consultation on what at the end of the day was his plan not ours on the various Development plan amendment we have participated in during my item on Council.

In my opinion what this did was focus anger from the public toward councils in the early days, until they woke up and understood it as his plan.

Quite frankly, while Unley finally won a number of major concessions, it was the Ministers plan not ours, although we did get a say. This to me means he agrees pretty much with his counterpart Vicky Chapman, that the State sets Policy, which I presume limits Local Government involvement. So I struggle to see that they vary on this important issue.

On the question of assessment Vicky Chapman has undertaken that a Liberal Government will put assessment of buildings 4 storeys and above back in the hands of Local Government after having recently been stripped from us.

John Rau is of the opinion that elected members presence on the councils DAP compromise the process as they have a conflict of interest. His approach, using a central Development Assessment Commission (DAC) filled only with professionals is the best approach.

Once again I disagree. A DAC has no local knowledge of the nuances of a given suburb or street. They are more likely to make a clinical decision which I suggest is poor process.

My take then is State Governments should take advantage of having a Local Government involved in both the Policy area and the assessment arena. Only Local Government is close to their community. Only Local Government has an understanding of the impact of development on transport, parking, the impact on the infrastructure. They should be at the core of both Policy and of assessment.

So where to from here?

You may or may not agree with my take so over to you. The choice is yours on March 15, one month from today.

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



A Heads Up on the Greater Adelaide Plan.

The Development Plan Amendments addressing the governments Greater Adelaide Plan will be coming back to Council shortly for more public consultation. Another chance for you to input.
The Minister, through the Department of Planning and Local Government (DPLG), is anticipated to address the suitability and potential approval of the DPA’s for consultation as follows:
LHP DPA March 2012 . This is the local heritage protection
DPA 2 March/April 2012. This is the areas other than the corridors.
DPA 3A May/June 2012. This is the corridors.
The draft DPA’s, if approved as suitable by the Minister, must be released for public and agency consultation for a minimum of 8 weeks. Council considered at our recent City Strategy & Policy Meeting three options for what extent of public consultation is to be adopted when each of the DPA’s return to us from the Minister’s desk.
Whilst we have determined to adopt a more comprehensive approach than we are legally required to I am not happy that we are going far enough. I will blog separately about this shortly, particularly in reference to DPA 2 which impacts on the Goodwood South Ward.