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Character Preservation Acts Review

The Character Preservation (Barossa Valley) Act 2012 and the Character Preservation (McLaren Vale) Act 2012 were recently reviewed as required by legislation.

This legislation provides that the special character of the two districts is recognised, protected and enhanced while providing for the economic, physical and social wellbeing of the communities within the districts. It restricts the creation of additional residential development in the rural areas of the districts to halt urban sprawl to the north and south of Adelaide’s built-up area, thereby seeking to provide for continued viable farming and primary production activities.

The scope of the review involved an assessment of:

  • the family, social, economic and environmental impacts of the Act
  • the impact of the Act on the Councils within the district
  • any changes to the district as a result of the Act
  • any actions that have may have been undertaken to address any negative impacts of the Act.

The Department developed a discussion paper (PDF, 2584 KB) in consultation with affected councils and State Government agencies. Public consultation on this paper closed at 5.00 pm on 28 February 2018.

A total of 30 written submissions and 10 online feedback forms (PDF, 18349 KB) were received during the 4-month consultation phase from the local government sector, members of parliament, peak bodies, industry groups and individual community members.

Review Outcomes

As a result of the review and consultation process, four main recommendations are made. These are:

  1. Retain the legislation for the protection for the character preservation districts.

    The majority of people engaged in the review supported the legislation and its intention to protect the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. The report therefore recommends that it is retained.

  2. The State Planning Commission investigate the merit of the proposed amendments to the character preservation districts in the context of Greater Adelaide’s growth.

    A number of the submissions received during the consultation process proposed amendments to the boundary of the character preservation districts. While many of these proposals have merit, most require additional consultation with the community, further investigation, or in some cases a rezoning prior to any amendment to the legislated boundary. Accordingly, it is recommended that the State Planning Commission review the proposed amendments to the character preservation districts in the context of Greater Adelaide’s growth. Such a review could be completed in around 12 months and inform the Planning and Design Code and future land supply decisions.

  3. Introduce a statutory review process that provides for amendments to the boundaries of the character preservation districts.

    The character preservation districts are defined in both Acts by the plan deposited in the General Registry Office. As such, any amendments to the preservation district boundaries require an amendment to the relevant Act. This is different to the way the Environment and Food Production Areas (EFPAs) are reviewed under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (PDI Act). It is considered appropriate that amendments to both the character preservation district boundaries and the EFPA follow the same process. A Bill could be developed following a completion of a review by the State Planning Commission.

  4. Provide for greater consistency and clarity of policy within the character preservation districts in preparing the Planning and Design Code.It is recommended that the Commission seek to improve policies and processes as part of the Code development process, in particular, provide further clarity on the envisaged/desired primary production value-adding and tourism activities in the character preservation districts.


No immediate changes to the Acts will be pursued until the Commission has led a proper review and investigation into boundary adjustments, policy refinements and improved process to make such amendments.

The Review Outcomes Report (PDF, 1481 KB) is available here and was tabled in Parliament on 19 June 2018.


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Page last modified Tuesday, 22 October 2019