The draft Planning & Design Code is introducing some environmental initiatives or controls but there is no detail yet. At least I am struggling to find them.
Pilots licences aside, the author of the Code and now the Minister are on record as sprouting that the Planning & Design Code is introducing some environmental initiatives. Initiatives hitherto not incorporated in Planning legislation.
Initiatives such as:
- Identifying tree canopy cover as a planning requirement
- Providing for Deep Soil Zones
- Likewise permeable surfaces
- Regulated Tree Overlay
I am confused however by what I read in the Code concerning each of these initiatives.
Identifying tree canopy cover as a planning requirement
The City of Unley has been promoting for some time now the need to incorporate some form of development controls around ensuring tree canopy cover. The Government’s 30 year plan calls for an increase in tree canopy cover.
They have set a goal for Unley to have a 30% canopy cover by 2030. This cannot be achieved unless the are mechanisms to increase the overage on private property. The Code has an aim to do this.
The only references I find regarding trees on private property so far talks of planting trees at the front of development of 4 or more storeys. The only other reference I can find is for tree planting provided on public streets and public open space. Hardly an initiative of significance I would have thought.
Providing Deep Soil Zones
Again the only reference to deep soil zones is on multi storey development.
If I simply have not found the detail on both of these initiatives I trust the Minister will direct me to it. If it has been omitted then I trust it will now be included.
A number of references have been made in respect of carparking areas and/or driveways containing at least 50% permeable surfaces. This is encouraging but I would like to see a more general requirement for permeable surfaces on all properties. Too many properties are totally paved out or have fake lawn.
Regulated Tree Overlay
Sounds a lot like we now have areas where we wish to protect trees. Areas rather than focus on quantifying what constitutes a regulated tree. I believe I need assistance understanding what the legislators are trying to achieve here.
It seeks to preserve regulated trees listed as rare or endangered under the National parks & Wildlife Act 1972. Trouble is I don’t see any tree species listed in that Act.
This Overlay talks of trees within 20 metres of a building. It seems that the distance from a building within which trees do not need development approval for removal has been extended.
If I am reading this right, I trust it is in error. Otherwise the legislation is watering down restrictions.