DPA2 Galvanises Community

The community of Clarence Park and Black Forest has been inundated with Government & Council intrusions that have tested many recently but also galvanised us and help to build a stronger community than the one we believe we had before the train corridor upgrade.

Never before has this one small community had to deal with so much over a prolonged period and its still happening. I trust this is not my ding because it has coincided with my time on Council. Maybe this is why I was lured into taking on the role, to be there with my community to get the best deal we can from all being thrown at us.

This time it is Councils DPA2 that is galvanising the community. When I say Council’s DPA I really should say the State Government’s DPA via the Minister for Planning.

Anyhow, we (Council, acting on behalf of the Government to achieve accommodation for the expected population growth in the 30 year plan) have received numerous submissions. There have been many resident meetings and Jennie & I have met with many.

As a member of the committee that will receive these submissions I am expecting a lot of reading. I expect too a long night on the 16th June at the Unley Civic Centre when we hear verbal submissions in support of the written submissions received.

I have seen one or two submissions already be having been copied into them. And what i can say tho those who prepared them, well done. They have been well researched and they have been constructive and helpful to finding solutions.

There is one thing that I am keen to find out as we move toward that public hearing and that is what population numbers will this plan provide the Government. During this whole period of public consultation I have not seen what the numbers are that we are trying to accommodate.

I will be looking to find out how many the new R zone in our Ward will generate. Separately I will be looking to find out what numbers the RR zones might generate.

I don’t know about you but I quite frankly suspect this DPA will make very little contribution to the Governments targets . The more I look at the R zone the more I wonder how much the DPA is different enough to create the numbers, particularly when the reverse has occurred in part of Black Forest where property ratios have actually increased.

Interesting times ahead as this one moves forward to maybe a conclusion before Council goes into Care taker mode before the next election.

A better Public Transport System

There has been much debate recently about the 30 year plan for Adelaide and high (sorry higher) rise development not being accompanied by a commensurate public transport plan.

How man of you out there can remember the trams. Well head off to the following web site.


It even has a picture of a tram under the Goodwood Road underpass.

One of my colleagues has been championing trams back on Unley Road and even King William Road.


Granny Flats as part of 30 year plan?

The article below is worth reading as the writer questions the pros and cons of granny flats as investment opportunities.


Certainly it re-raises a question I have put previously of the value of families in the inner suburbs staying together rather than the kids head off to the outer suburban reaches of metropolitan Adelaide.

It also expands on the suggestion of Unley’s Parkside Ward Councillor John Koumi and widely accepted in planning circles and that is the concept of lane way housing.

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.

30 Year’s plan is for an increase in density in the inner rim council areas

Following on from my post this morning regarding the truth in the population projections here is the other side of the story.

Also gained from the Census is a study conducted by the daily electronic news media of Adelaide, In Daily. It can be seen at this link http://www.indaily.com.au/?iid=76361&sr=0#
This makes interesting reading as the Government expects the council area with the highest density to grow by some 20%. That is 7,000 more people than the current population of 37,500. Mind you the target population is still lower than the 47,000 people we had back in 1947, albeit in approximately the same housing stock as now.

30 Year Plan population figures still being questioned.

I still get people arguing that the State Governments projections for population growth are unfounded, notwithstanding the growth of the last 40 years, as depicted in my recent post on this blog site dated 28 March.

And while this is happening I hear on the radio this morning that (would you believe) at 9.27 pm tonight we are expected to reach our new milestone. We will pass the 23 million mark at this time, just 3 years after reaching the previous milestone. 1,000,000 more people in Australia in just 3 years, the same as the previous 3 years after taking 4 years for the previous 1,000,000.

By my calculations that is (on a liner scale) 10,000,000 increase in 30 years.

What would be South Australia (or Adelaide’s share of that)?

A quick look at the Census web site and we see that Adelaide had a population at the last Census of 1,225,235. that is 5.6% of the then Australian population. In the previous 5 years Australia’s population grew 8.3% according to the Census website, and South Australia by only 5.4%.

So if we have just 5% of the population in 30 years, by my calculation, we will have to house 500,000.

There is that figure again.

What about Unley? …… watch this space for another slant on this question of population growth.

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).


Is the 30 year plan necessary update

I revealed in a post on this blog site back on the 4th of this month evidence that would support the projections of population growth in this great city of ours.

Today I read a summary on the Federal Governments 3rd Annual State of Australian Cities report of December 2012. It made once again for interesting reading.

Some highlights from this include:

Ø  Australia’s population in 2011 was 22,485,300, having increased by 2.95m between 2001 and 2011, an increase of well in excess of 10% in just 10 years. The majority of this increase was albeit in Sydney & Melbourne, with many areas noted as having grown by 2% and more in the same time.

Ø  There was a sharp increase in the proportion of the population living in the capital cities of most states and territories between 2001 and 2001

Ø  The gap between population and housing supply is now the largest and most sustained in a century.

Ø  Housing occupancy rates, on the decline over the previous decades has now stabilised at around 2.57 people per dwelling (an increase from 2006).

Ø  New houses in Australia, as has been the case in my time on the planet, have become the largest in the world, although there has been little or no growth for a decade and unit size has fallen.

There is clearly an issue moving forward that does need addressing.

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.

Is the 30 year plan necessary?

Many people believe that the 30 year plan is the Governments way to pay back large developers who have contributed to their election funds.  A number of people are also sceptical of the projections of an additional 500,000 people living in this lovely city in the next 30 years

Is the 30 year plan is a question being asked many of these people, who doubt the need for the plan. Let’s face it a half a million people is a mind blowing number. And let us not forget that Adelaide has not grown that much in the last 30 years.

Being aware that Unley had 47,000 people in 1947 and we now only have 35,000 I have done some research to see if I can justify this.

This research has revealed that Adelaide in 1970 had a population of 792,000. This is close to my memory of our population when I started work in December of 1969. The population in 2010, just 2 years ago was 1,125,000. I must admit I thought it was closer to 1.3 million.

At 1.125m this is an increase in population of 42% by my calculation. Wow! 42%. Does not seem feasible.

Here is the bottom line, if our population grows in the next 30 years, or 40 years, that equals 473,000. This is close to what Deputy Premier John  Rau was saying the demographers have predicted last Friday at the AIUS monthly luncheon.

Back to the real question then, how do we accommodate these people, many of whom will be our sons and daughters, grandchildren or great grandchildren.

Let’s hope we get it right.

Attorney General Puts His Side of Storey

The Attorney General, Mr John Rau addressed the February monthly meeting of  the Australian Institute of Urban Studies (AIUS) this week defending the 30 year Plan and the Inner Rim strategies. Not happy with the nature of the public debate he was nonetheless pleased that the community is finally talking about how to house the future population of this City.

It was important we have this discussion he said but he was not happy with much of the discussion as it was ill informed. His Government he proclaimed commenced the debate with their 30 year strategic plan and the inner rim strategies to deal with the projection of demographers for the population numbers likely in 30 years time.

The demographers have predicted a growth of some 1/2 million people in that time.

He noted that if they have overstated the increase then the more visionary aspects of the plan will not be needed. If we overshoot it however he promoted that we would be in trouble. Worse yet he indicated is with no plan we will have left a legacy for future generations that will paint this generation in less than favourable light.

Defending the Inner Rim strategy he noted (as has been oft reported in the press) that we cant keep growing outwards with single storey development. Greenfield development is way more expensive than Brownfield development; twice as expensive he claims. Having said that he acknowledged there was still much Greenfield development possible in the next 30 years, in the Playford, Two Wells and Virginia area but that there was limited on no opportunity any more in the south.

Responding to claims that his strategies will harm heritage areas in the Inner Rim council areas he said that current planning policies were the biggest threat to heritage because it allows large blocks to be carved up into smaller blocks, including hammer head developments. The TOD “higher” density development proposition is allowing greater protection of heritage precincts and that this had been built into the development plan amendments being negotiated with various councils.

In fact he said that the process was one of give and take and that they (the Government) was giving more than taking by protecting heritage areas better than in the past.

I know this to be true in the case of my council in Unley.

Finally he confirmed he was not looking at wholesale 10 to 12 storey residential development and that he was looking generally at 4 to 5, which he saw as “higher” density not high density. People claiming skyscrapers were going to rule our city was patently wrong and were ill informed.

When questioned later why he was encouraging 10 to 12 storey development he became quite agitated and indicated that the person asking this was proof of his observation about ill informed people sabotaging the debate (my words not his). Seems that person did not hear his previous comments OR did not believe them.

The other side of the storey

Whilst the focus in recent times has been on opposition to increased density in the inner suburban areas the City of Unley be co-operating with the Government has protected it’s heritage.

As the article (click on the link below) from The Eastern Courier explains, as a trade off for working with the Government to selectively increase the housing density within our borders we have double the number of heritage places.


We would hope we have managed to strike a fine balance between new development and protection of our heritage.

DPTI to Landscape with Council approval

As a spectator for the first half hour of last nights Community Action Group meeting I gained an understanding that DPTI will remain responsible for the landscaping of the rail corridor.

Council will have a role in that, approval for the final design will need to be obtained from council. Council will also provide a short list of suitable species from which selection can be made.

DPTI will be engaging with the residents of each affected street in turn to gain their input into what would be preferred. A Council arborist will attend these meetings, to occur during March, to further advise on what species would be suitable in this environment.

So if you live in a street bordering the rail corridor you will be getting an invitation soon to be involved in this process.

With the information obtained a plan will be produced that will go back out to you at a community open day (of which I previously have had no knowledge) for further comment before being finalised some time in April.

This is great news. It has to be the best solution, rather than Council getting  involved as a principal player as, after all said and done, this is a DPTI project not a Council project.

On another note I gained a further impression that if the legislative restrictions concerning electrical safety are not an issue that the bike path MAY yet be able to go into the corridor along Cromer Parade. The proviso here is that residents will get to choose between bike path and vegetation of there is any conflict over the space they both need.

Clearly there is more to follow on both these topics.

PS    I was impressed at the co-operation evident at the meeting and felt a sense that everyone appreciated the situation of the others at the meeting and that we should see communication improve as these projects roll on.

Medium Density, Not High Density AND a TRANSPORT Plan


The following is a extract from the daily e news service “In-Daily”.

Worth a read if you are interested in what is or is not happening with the 30 Year Plan.
THE South Australian Liberals have promised to produce a State transport plan if they win government next year.
The Liberals’ have also indicated support for “medium density” development in the inner-city rim suburbs with increased public transport, including a ring-route service around the inner city.
Labor’s long-serving former transport minister Patrick Conlon refused to produce a transport plan and new minister Tom Koutsantonis says he agrees with Conlon’s view that a special transport plan is not needed.
Liberal deputy leader and transport spokesperson Vickie Chapman told Indaily that the Liberals would take a promise to develop a transport plan to the next election.
She said the transport plan should have 10-year and 30-year goals for South Australia’s transport system.
The government argues that its 30-year Plan for Greater Adelaide is sufficient, despite the fact that it’s essentially a technical land-use planning document – not an overall vision for transport in South Australia.
“You can’t just have a planning document,” Chapman said. “It’s like saying you’re going to have a roof on a house without detailing what’s going to be in it.”
Chapman said the Liberals’ plan would be publicly available, regularly reviewed and open to public comment.
The advantages of a transport plan included giving the community more information about future services in an area, which would allow people to make decisions about where to invest or live.
“There aren’t guarantees in it,” Chapman said. “But at least you have some idea of a direction.”
Chapman, who also has responsibility for planning, said there was a “strong case” for increased housing density in inner-suburban Adelaide, but she believed a maximum height of three to four storey buildings in defined precincts would be sufficient.
She stressed that any increase in density would have to be accompanied by improved infrastructure, including better public transport, and floated the idea of an inner-city service using a ring-route around the city.
There has been controversy, particularly among Chapman’s own constituency in the Burnside Council area, about a government proposal to increase building heights on some sections of major inner-suburban roads.
Chapman believes that the top section of Port Adelaide, where the Coke factory and the West End brewery are located, would be the logical first place to look at increased density.
Medium density housing there, she believes, would be particularly attractive to single people and professionals.

Planning in SA in state of Flux

While the Inner rim councils have been working through and/or fighting the Minister for Planning in amending their development plans moves are afoot from the building industry.

As any reader of this blog site will know I have posted a number of times about the pending development plan ammendments and how the public need to speak now before the proposed changes become permanent.

The link below from Adelaide Now details the pressure being placed on the Minister from the Building Industry.


This makes interesting reading. As I read it residents, via their councils, are being targeted here for not showing sympathy for needs of the Greater Adelaide.

Having been a builder for my entire adult life I understand the problems that can be faced getting development approval. There are councils I have experienced unrealistic times to obtain approval. This needs correcting.

As an elected member and a lover of the built history of this town I also recognise that a one size fits all is not the solution.

I for one reckon, as an elected member of Unley Council, that we have worked hard to set up a platform for the future (with our current development plan amendments) that is workable, that does provide opportunity for inner suburban infill and which protects the heritage of the area in which we live.

A balance must be achieved and that means compromise on all sides. I trust that we (the people of the inner suburbs) will get to contribute.

FOCUS on medium density housing

Council’s Principal Policy Planner Mr David Brown will be addressing a meeting organised by the Friends of the City of Unley (FOCUS) about Amending Unley’s Development Plan.

FOCUS has organised an opportunity for residents and rate payers to get an understanding of the proposed changes to the development plan to match the State Government’s 30 year plan.

It is a special opportunity to meet David and hear how the City of Unley has negotiated to meet the State Governments objectives of the 30 year plan.

David will provide insight into:

        The background to the proposed amendment of our development plan
        Investigations informing Council’s decisions
        Principle Provisions of the amendments
        Importance of Community Input

The session will be held at the Unley Citizens Centre in Arthur Street on Thursday 7th February commencing at 7.30pm.

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.


Transport the Buring Question in the 30 Year Plan

Concerns expressed in the media in the last 12 months that not enough attention is being given to transport in the 30 year plan is being expressed in a different form right now courtesy of the RAA.

The RAA has published findings of  a traffic survey and surprise, surprise they have found that traffic has slowed significantly in Adelaide in the last 10 years. And surprise, surprise Belair/Unley Road has been found to be the worst, adding three days to the work year of the commuters using this road. Goodwood Road features in the top ten too, making commuters travelling through the City of Unley the biggest sufferers.

And don’t forget little suburban streets like East Avenue (Clarence Park, Millswood, Black Forest), off which I live which leads into Leah Street, Forestville (a street narrower than most outer suburban dead end streets).

Spare a thought though for those that live in the City of Unley. They have to try and get into that traffic flow in the morning and then as we saw on TV a few nights back accused of stalling the southern rat runners by wanting to turn right to get into the street where they live and holding up those who live further south.

The people have been telling the government that they should be putting more effort into solving growing transport problems before coming up with 30 year Development Plans, particularly for the Inner Rim Councils.

An interesting observation this considering the one real positive legacy this state government can pin their hats on is transport. Their focus has been on both public and private transport even though criticized endlessly on both including for buses etc running behind time.

The Government have been busy on both the Northern and Southern Expressways and (is it called) the Superway at the top end of South Road. Then there is the link from the Northern Expressway to Port Adelaide. Earlier they created the Gallipoli underpass at the Anzac Highway and South Road intersection (Remember “not happy Rann”) and created an overpass for the trams at South Road, Black Forest.

Opposition Leader Izzy has come out and flagged they will concentrate more on private transport than public at a time when the trains are down, the Noarlunga (now Seaford) line for 8 months as they (the government) electrify the line.

I heard in the RAA storey about a need to revisit the ring route around the City.

An absolute necessity and maybe the Liberals have an answer to that. Looking forward to what Izzy might come up with because Unley needs breathing space, particularly as the housing density grows.

In the meantime I say be thankful for what the Government is doing (notwithstanding the pain us locals are suffering right now as documented in many posts on this blog site) with the public transport system. If we can get more people on the trains this must help the roads.

If there is a ring route answer for Adelaide’s car drivers even better.

The next 15 months of electioneering by both Major Parties should be fascinating. Whichever party makes it in March 2014 I trust they will work closely with the likes of the City of Unley to find the best solutions. Solutions that work for those commuters who have lost 3 days of their year and those who once lived in quiet suburban streets but now find themsleves living on a thoroughfare.

This is the challenge.

DPA 3A Reminder

This is a reminder that the closing date for submissions on the Development Plan Amendment for Greenhill and Unley Roads 22 February 2013

Your opinions are valued amd we look forward to hearing from you. Whilst we have gauned a number of concessiins on the Government’s initial proposals, including limiting the height of builkdings along Greenhill Road from 7 -10 storeys down to 5-7, and from 5-7 along Unley Road down to 3-5.
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.Here is the link.
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.

30 Year Plan-hear from the Mayor’s of Prospect & Unley

The announcement of the regarding John Rau’s announcement of the Inner Metro Growth Project going back out to public consultation has restarted the conversation.

A number of views have been posted on the Adelaide Now website.


And Sonia Feldhoff interviewed Prospect’s Mayor David O’Laughlin and our very own Mayor, Laughlin Clyne and the audio is available on the link below

Unley took the view form the very beginning that we wanted to influence as much as possible what the end result would be. It is important to note that a Development Plan is,at the end of the day, the Minister’s Plan. He can make changes without consulting us if that is the way he feels. We cannot in reverse; if we want a change we need his approval.

Had we not worked with DPTI then we would have likely had a DPA that we or our residents did not want.

As a result of this co-operation we are comfortable with how it is progressing as our Mayor indicates in the audio above.

There is still some fine tuning we would like to see and I am sure you would too. To that end, please take advantage of making  your representation, falling my suggestions in my earlier post of this week.