Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

Residents in Clarence Park Ward are witnessing that winning the war does not mean being happy with the result. I speak specifically of the recent Planning & Design Code victory.

Make no mistake, we won the recent Planning & Design Code war. There is no doubt about this. Many a blog post by me will attest to that. We managed to ensure the errors and omissions were corrected. Accordingly, our worst fears weren’t realised.

It was quite a war. A war that was focused on the numerical component of the plan. In other words, stopping densification of the neighbourhood the extent of which would have been overwhelming. We did this by ensuring the numbers did not grow beyond that which the previous Development Plan contained. A show of strength as it were that helped the Government see the folly of their ways. We fought hard, the Clarence Park/Black Forest community.

Notwithstanding this, there was a battle we were never going to win. A battle over the contextual component of development. This is because the original zones had no heritage overlays.

Many of you may remember another aspect of the new regime that I spoke of often in numerous public meetings. That being the introduction of Private Certifiers.  Certifiers who can approve developments in lieu of Council, that fit the deemed to satisfy provisions of the Code.

My concern. That Private Certifiers not familiar with our neighbourhood won’t have the empathy that Council’s Planners will have.

Development within our neighbourhood recently approved by a Private Certifier has vindicated this concern. A significant development I might add.

Every person who is aware of this project has advised me of their concern about the development. They all believe the development is not in keeping with the street it will occupy when built.

In other words, they believe that contextually it does not belong. I concur.

It is an example of what can occur if the Planner does not have empathy for the street.

What do you think?

Black Forest and the western part of Clarence Park are part of the suburban neighbourhood zone. Unlike the established neighbourhood zones in the City of Unley, contextual considerations will have way less consideration in future assessments.

Proof that winning the War does not mean being happy with the result.