In my mere 4 years on Council I have found it quite amazing how Council is perceived on a number of fronts, least of all the process of development plan amendment and the likelihood of multi storey buildings in the City of Unley.
Often I find we cannot win, no matter what the topic and whatever we do or don’t do.
For instance it does not seem that long ago that residents in my Ward were complaining that Council were focusing their attention of achieving the governments push for Inner City higher density development in the poorer west of the City and leaving the middle alone. This of course was ill founded criticism in that we had already gone through the process for Unley Road, as evidenced by the recent Cremorne Plaza development application.
That application to DAC, for a 7 storey development, has now angered those living near it and once again we are accused of not consulting enough with our community. The development plan amendment for this area was in progress when I joined council in late 2010 and was signed off by the minister only late last year. During this time there was extensive consultation with a number of public forums.
We are told that we don’t care about those who will live near any such development.
I wonder how many of these people participated in the lengthy public consultation that occurred to get a plan that I believe worked for everyone as well as any we could have negotiated, notwithstanding I actually voted against it. If they had they may be aware that the Government was proposing 9 storey development along Unley Road.
They would also be aware that we got consensus for development from those in the community who did participate for between 3 and 5 storeys. And that was by involving our community and working with the government rather than focusing on arguing with them. They would also know the government relented on a number of key issues only at the last minute, maybe influenced by the then upcoming election.
Watch out for my next blog where I make similar observations about the process of dealing with the Cremorne Plaza development.