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August 2018

Message from the General Manager

Sally Smith Sally Smith

Since our last newsletter, I have been involved in a number of really interesting discussions, including the role of planning in opening up opportunities for economic growth, our ageing population and a changing dialogue about what older people want and expect, as well as discussions with council staff about the importance of local context in policy drafting and decision making.

This shows what a diverse range of issues we get involved in and how important it is to reflect on the everyday impact we have on communities, the environment and the State’s economy. This is reflected in the range of stakeholders that have a genuine investment in the outcomes of the planning reform and the importance of communicating with a wide range of people.

This kind of understanding and empathy was front and centre at the Retirement Living Seminar held on Monday 20 August, where the State Planning Commission and SAMHRI partnered to bring together a number of fantastic speakers to talk about the impact and opportunities that our State has as our population ages. There was a lot of goodwill to take forward immediate reforms and to better understand what older people want as they move into semi-retirement, including changing the old dialogue and assumptions about their needs and to make changes immediately.

With less than two years to go until the Planning and Design Code needs to be fully operational in an ePlanning framework, the Department and the Commission continue to release draft tools and discussion papers, this includes the release of a suite of material about the new Assessment Pathways, the Accredited Professional Scheme and the Performance Indicator Scheme.

While the Department is super busy working on developing our new planning system, we are not neglecting the current system. We remain very busy supporting the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP), rolling out building reform in response to Federal recommendations, as well as working with the Minister through his Development Plan Amendments (DPAs) and those led by local government. There has been much talk about DPAs and that the Department is not accepting them. I want to reassure you that this is not the case and never was. We are however cautious that there is less than two years until we have a new Code which will replace all Development Plans and ongoing DPAs. Should there be a real need for a DPA, and there are no other suitable paths, please consider new DPAs with the following criteria in mind:

  • Address local issues that cannot wait for the Code
  • Demonstrate clear economic benefit
  • Use the SAPPL to expedite transition
  • Identify and resolve infrastructure issues
  • Where there is sufficient time
  • Demonstrate that policy change is the most effective option.

In closing, we will be at the Royal Adelaide Show for 10 days from 31 August to 9 September talking to the community about State Planning Policies and the reform, with a focus around what they love about their suburbs and community and what might need improvement. If you are at the Show please pop into Jubilee Hall and say hi. You can find us at stand H62 near the ABC stage.

Sally Smith
General Manager, Planning and Development

From the Commission Chair...

Janet Finlay - Acting Chair, State Planning Commission

While our illustrious Chair, Tim Anderson (QC) has been enjoying a well-earned break over the past month, Commission members have continued to be busy - out and about, consulting with and listening to many groups and community members about planning reform activity and progress.

We’re excited about the planning reform going on in South Australia: done well, planning has infinite potential to enhance the way we live, work and play. We understand that we are taking on a mammoth task: the reform taking place will be the biggest step-change in planning ever undertaken in South Australia. With this change comes opportunities – a chance to examine some of the big issues facing communities today.

Members of the State Planning Commission are dedicated to working with all the stakeholders and communities who have an interest in the State’s planning system.

To this end, we’ve had a busy time attending and presenting at a range of forums. For instance, earlier this month, architect and Commission Member, Matt Davis, addressed a Planning Institute of Australia breakfast alongside the Minister for Planning, Stephan Knoll. Prominent themes raised were the bipartisan approach to planning reform – taking the politics out of planning – and the integral role of local government and infrastructure planning in achieving good urban design. Matt also presented to Design Lab, an event put together by the Australian Institute of Urban Studies to gather input for their submission on the State Planning Policies. The closing date for submissions on these policies has been extended to 21 September, in response to stakeholder feedback.

Other stakeholder engagement undertaken by Commission members over recent weeks includes:

  • attending and presenting at meetings of the Regional Development Australia boards, Natural Resources Management boards, Heritage Council, and the Native Vegetation Council
  • a one-day Commission-hosted event on Retirement Living at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, which highlighted the need for planning to take account of an ageing demographic with different aspirations to previous generations
  • a briefing for local government elected members and CEOs, addressed by me and fellow Commission member, Michael Lennon.

We recognise the importance of partnerships in this transition period, and appreciate the contribution and investment of time and resources by many groups in providing constructive input and ideas. As you’ll read elsewhere in this newsletter, several documents have been released for public comment over recent weeks. Please take a look via the SA Planning Portal and Have Your Say.

Janet Finlay
Acting Chair – State Planning Commission

New tool to assist with development assessment

A new online tool has been developed by the Planning and Development ePlanning team which will help the public to understand assessment processes in South Australia’s new planning system, particularly for simple home additions, such as fences, water tanks and small sheds.

‘Virtual House’ is a graphic illustration of an average family home, with a number of interactive elements that an online user can click on and receive planning information and answers about for simple property renovations they may be considering.

Virtual House provides an introductory glimpse of how the new planning assessment system works and gives the user helpful tips about what the next steps are, including whether they should contact their local council for advice or assistance.

Visit the SA Planning Portal to explore Virtual House.

ePlanning council workshops

Over the past two months the ePlanning team has been holding fortnightly workshops with 13 councils from across the State. These workshops cover the online single solution and process modelling for the assessment of applications in the new planning system.

Working with councils is pivotal in constructing the electronic solution to ensure it is not only of high quality, but can deliver quicker and easier outcomes during development application assessments for all involved. These workshops also enable collaboration between councils in developing the single solution based upon the findings and experiences of councils who already have electronic systems in place.

The workshops have provided the ePlanning team with a number of areas requiring further analysis and consideration. The outcomes of the workshops will be posted on Council Connect to facilitate further discussion and involvement from every council in the development of the ePlanning solution. All councils are urged to get involved via Council Connect.

State Planning Commission Conversation - Planning for a new retirement future

On 20 August 2018, the State Planning Commission together with SAHMRI brought around 65 people from across the aged care and retirement sector in South Australia to identify issues and potential solutions to improve planning processes and policy on aged and retirement living in South Australia.

Attendees heard from key note speakers covering a range of challenges, trends and opportunities informing the contemporary narrative around aged and retirement housing as follows:

  • Dr Mike Rungie, Director of the Global Centre for Modern Ageing, Member of Aged Care Financing Authority - The Purpose of Longevity… and how to how to house it
  • Dr David Panter, Chief Executive at ECH - No Place Like Home - The importance of home and neighbourhood to ageing
  • Ms Julianne Parkinson, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Centre for Modern Ageing - Modern Ageing Sector - Innovations that are occurring and the role the Global Centre for Modern Ageing plays.

Through the interactive panel sessions and short facilitated workshops, many opportunities, challenges, policy and regulatory ideas were discussed and shared. A summary of what was heard at this event and next stages of this conversation will be released soon.

Planning for a new retirement future is part of the State Planning Commission Policy Conversation Series to inform the People and Neighbourhoods Discussion Paper. Please refer to the Planning and Design Code on the SA Planning Portal.

What we have heard on land use definitions

Following a comprehensive review of current land use definitions, we have now released a What We Have Heard Summary on Land Use Definitions and Classes in preparation for our new Planning and Design Code.

This summary outlines the feedback received from planning and development professionals on how existing land use definitions can be improved and where there are gaps to be filled. It also highlights the opportunities for land use classes, which is a new concept in the planning system.

This feedback is being used to inform updated land use definitions and support the introduction of land use classes, which for the first time will be housed in the new Planning and Design Code instead of within legislation. This will make it easier for definitions and classes to keep pace with contemporary planning practice.

Residential land development activity report released

Thanks to our Planning Research and Analysis Team, an important piece of work on residential land development has now been completed. The six monthly Residential land development activity report provides information about activity levels for different stages of the land subdivision process in South Australia. It captures details of proposed, approved and completed allotments in land divisions as well as dwelling approvals.

Some interesting statistics from the report include:

  • There were 7,074 new allotments created across South Australia in 2017/18, about 6% below the 10 year average of 7,505.
  • The proportion of completed lots in the Greater Adelaide region has increased over the past decade, from 75% in 2008/09 to 92% in 2017/18.
  • The proportion of dwelling approvals for houses has fallen 11% over the past decade to 67% in 2017/18. This has been offset by a proportional increase in approvals for flat units and apartments over the same period of time.

Community engagement under the Act: steps and requirements

The State Planning Commission has issued a new practice direction related to the new PDI Act that addresses Consultation on the Preparation or Amendment of a Designated Instrument.

In our new planning system, it is a requirement of the Act that the community is consulted on the preparation or revision of any designated instrument under the Act, such as State Planning Policies, the Planning and Design Code, Regional Plans or Design Standards.

The new practice direction sets out the requirement for an engagement plan which must be submitted to the State Planning Commission for approval. It also describes the information and publishing requirements for the engagement report, which must be submitted to the Minister for Planning and include an evaluation of the effectiveness of the engagement.

Further advice on how to prepare a community engagement plan is available in the Guide to the Community Engagement Charter.

We’re talking with the Community

We are keen to hear the views of all South Australians on the State’s new planning system. This month you can take the opportunity to share your opinions and ideas with us at the following events:

Royal Adelaide Show, 31 August – 9 September
Come visit us at the Royal Adelaide Show! Pop by the DPTI stand near the ABC Radio Stage in Jubilee Hall and have a chat to one of our knowledgeable team members about all things planning reform including the draft State Planning Policies now out for community consultation. Take our poll on what you love about your suburb, enter the draw to win a metroCARD or family movie voucher, check out our new Virtual House tool on the big screen or take a look inside a driverless car. There’s also free stickers and magnets as well as colouring-in for the kids.

Community Engagement Panel, 8 September
We’re looking for people who have had little or no experience with the planning system but are interested to learn more and help shape South Australia’s future. Register for our Community Engagement Panel and join us for a full day workshop on Saturday 8 September to consider the draft State Planning Policies.

Drop In Sessions, 7, 14, 21 & 28 September
Every Friday from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm, a senior member of the planning reform team is available at 50 Flinders St, Adelaide to chat about our new planning system. Due to the popularity of these sessions it’s best to book a 15 or 30 minute appointment, but you can also just drop in.

Assessment Pathways/Performance Indicators Workshops, 25 & 26 September
To support the release of the Assessment Pathways and Performance Indicators Discussion Papers, we are holding two workshops - one for planning professionals and one for community members - to discuss the proposed changes and how they will work in practice in the new planning system. For those not in metropolitan Adelaide, both workshops will also be available via livestream.

Regional Tour, October
Our planning reform transition team is planning to visit council areas across the state next month 
to meet and chat with regional council planners as well as residentsKeep an eye on our Consultation Events calendar for dates and locations.

Email for further details and bookings.

Have your say!

The following documents are currently on consultation:

  • Draft State Planning Policies – the State Planning Policies will set a clear vision and priorities for our State’s future. Consultation has now been extended to 21 September 2018.
  • Assessment Pathways Discussion Paper - new assessment pathways will improve the way all applications are assessed to facilitate faster approvals, better design, more consistent development outcomes and greater investment in South Australia. Consultation is open until 17 October 2018.
  • Performance Indicators Discussion Paper - new methods of capturing data will improve the way development applications are monitored across the State to enhance access to useful information about the planning system. Consultation is open until 17 October 2018.
  • Accredited Professionals Scheme Draft - the new Accredited Professionals Scheme will enhance the professionalism of decision-makers to ensure they are appropriately qualified and experienced to undertake development assessment. The Scheme’s regulations, together with the skills and qualification requirements, and a code of conduct have now been drafted following feedback received from the Accredited Professionals discussion paper earlier this year. Consultation is open until 17 October 2018.
  • Integrated Movement Systems Policy Discussion Paper – this paper considers policies relating to our transport networks - how we commute to work, travel for leisure and transport goods and services. Consultation is open to 3 December 2018.
  • Natural Resources and Environment Policy Discussion Paper – this paper examines policies relating to our ecosystems and natural assets as well as the impacts of climate change. Consultation is open to 3 December 2018.

Additional documents to be released on consultation before the end of this year are:

  • Productive Economy Policy Discussion Paper
  • People and Neighbourhoods Policy Discussion Paper
  • Design in the Planning System Discussion Paper.

You are invited to provide feedback about these important planning reforms via the Have Your Say page of the SA Planning Portal. Planning professionals can also make submissions in response to specific questions in the discussion papers.

Planning Reform in simple terms

To keep you informed of current changes to South Australia’s planning system, a number of new fact sheets are now available on the SA Planning Portal.

These fact sheets help break down the big areas of reform into digestible pieces, and include:

  • three new fact sheets on the Accredited Professionals Scheme: one that addresses the needs of private sector planners and allied professionals; one that addresses the needs of council employees; and one that addresses the needs of building professionals
  • a new fact sheet on the scope and impact of the current building reform program
  • a new fact sheet on how the ePlanning system will work, along with updated FAQs.

With so much large-scale reform taking place across the planning and development sector, these fact sheets and information tools offer an important way of staying abreast of the changes that will impact the planning and building professions now and into the future.

Additional fact sheets on the new planning system are available from the resources tab on the SA Planning Portal.

University news

DPTI’s Planning and Development division are actively engaging with local universities to influence the future of planning degrees available to South Australian students and the content of these courses for planners.

To help students learn more about the new planning system, senior members of the planning reform team recently met with students from UniSA. Another workshop is planned in October with the University of Adelaide’s Masters of Planning, Policy and Regulation course. Students are also invited to join our Community Engagement Panel to ensure their views are heard as we progress towards July 2020 and the delivery of the new planning system.

Reform Calendar

Lastly, we wanted to let you know that we have recently updated our Planning Reform Calendar on the SA Planning Portal. This calendar gives a high-level overview of the various elements of the reform program and their broad drafting, consultation, approval and operational phases.

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Page last modified Tuesday, 13 August 2019