Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

This is the consensus of the majority of the responses we got to the recent survey on the draft Village Living and Desirable Neighbourhoods Development Plan Amendment-Residential Character, Growth Areas and Council Wide Residential Policy Review.

Council has now received the submissions, numbering 285 with many coming from the Goodwood South Ward. 68 of these have indicated a wish to speak at the public forum on Monday 16th at the Unley Civic Centre.

This will be a long night with each representer allowed 5 minutes to speak, and the panel being able to ask questions of that representer. If there are no questions and the speakers all take their 5 minutes we are looking at 5 hours and 40 minutes of verbal submissions.

It will commence at 5.00 pm with a half hour break at 6.30 pm to accommodate this number. The comments we will receive on the night will naturally echo what has been put in writing.

What we have already heard is that many streets have been singled out for change without any apparent justification. The common theme for those areas marked for residential regeneration is people have read the criteria that was used to justify their street being included and in most cases the evidence from their perspective is their street should have, under that very criteria, been excluded.

Those who have their street in the new Residential Zone are concerned about the potential for 3 storey development, which could occur with amalgamation of properties with a developer purchasing from the current owners multiple properties.

Still others observed that their properties were going to border the regeneration zone but that their own property was having the reverse treatment, increasing in size form 350 m2 or 400 m2 per building to 700 m2 or 800 m2 per building creating a large disparity between zones that limit or stifle their chances for redevelopment while not providing a buffer between medium density zone and the sparse zone being created.

Many observations followed the strategy that residential regeneration should be focused on the main traffic routes and interestingly many of these remain untouched by this plan. Except that short length of South Road at Everard Park that allows access to properties for vehicular traffic coming only from the north….that section of road adjacent the Gallipolli underpass.

A number of respondents correctly chastised us for a poor presentation of the facts. The brochure provided in the post was confusing at best. And I agree totally. As someone well familiar in my business and as a member of our Development Assessment Panel with Development Plans I found it confusing at best. The extent of those surveyed admonished us also for not including in the survey those indirectly affected that were not originally consulted.

As always you get the simply negative I only want to argue against it with no considered rationale why. You always get those that simply want to accuse the Council of not listening without saying anything else. And we got those that figured this was a wasted exercise because we will not listen.

These were few and far between on this survey thankfully. The vast majority of respondents were well researched and well thought through. Their observations are well worth taking on board.

Well guys and girls.

Here is one Councillor who is listening and I can safely say my co-Councillor is too. And I am aware of others who have heard what is being said.

I congratulate every one of you who did participate because you are truly helping to shape what your neighbourhood will look like in the future. I have found myself on many an occasion promoting to respondents who are complaining against something in an individual development next door to them that the then Development Plan allows, at a Development Assessment Panel meeting that the time to raise the issues they are raising is at the time of a Development Plan Amendment.

This you have done and your comments will be listened to by Council.

I attended an “on the couch session” last Friday with the Minister for Planning John Rau and the Opposition Spokesperson Stephen Griffith being interviewed. I was heartened to hear that the minister say he was full of praise for the way in which Unley has handled the process of DPAs up until now. I take this to mean he too will listen if we believe this particular DPA is flawed and we have to make major changes to it meaning it will have to go back out for further public consultation.

As this exercise is of prime importance to my neighbours I will expand on some of the issues touched on in this blog post in subsequent posts. So…..Watch this Space!