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June 2019

Message from the Executive Director

Each month we get closer and closer to delivering a new planning system for South Australia. This month, we are putting the finishing touches to the Phase One Code for ‘Land Not Within a Council Area’, which covers South Australia’s outback and coastal waters.

Over the next few weeks we will prepare a report for the Minister that recommends policy changes to the draft Phase One Code based on the feedback we received during the public consultation period. This feedback has been extremely valuable, not only in helping to refine the outback Code prior to its implementation on 1 July 2019, but as we continue our work on developing the Code for both Phase Two in regional council areas and for Phase Three in metropolitan council areas.

Upon approval from the Minister, we will have implemented the first of three phases of the new Planning and Design Code. This is a tremendous milestone and one that is worth celebrating. It means we will be one step closer to providing a single set of planning policies or ‘rules’ across the state, and a fairer, simpler planning system for us all.

Of course there is a lot more happening both inside and outside of the planning reform space including the release of six new State Planning Policies; work on residential infill; visits to regional SA and the UK; plus some well-deserved recognition for two of our top planners. I hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter and I look forward to catching up with those of you attending the PIA State Conference on 14 June 2019.

Sally Smith
Executive Director, Team PLUS

Over the past few weeks we have been busy meeting with many individuals and groups to outline our proposed new heritage framework. I am delighted to say that the feedback has been very positive with most people able to see the benefit in bringing consistency, transparency and fairness to the state-wide treatment of heritage and character. What has become clear is a significant degree of mis-understanding of the role and protections afforded these items at present.

My video this month explains how the Commission plans to protect the vast majority of Contributory Items under a new Local Heritage Area Overlay and offer councils the opportunity to have Contributory Items recognised as Local Heritage Places via an 18-month heritage development plan amendment process. The Adelaide Review has also put the spotlight on heritage and character this month with a full page article that explores the introduction of the four new heritage overlays and one character overlay. The article highlights how the Commission is advocating for higher and more consistent standards of heritage assessment and retention across the state, with the aim of creating a balanced and reasonable planning system that looks to the future needs of the state, as well as defending its past.

Michael Lennon
Chair, State Planning Commission

New State Planning Policies support South Australia’s environmental priorities

The Minister for Planning has established a suite of six new State Planning Policies for Special Legislative Schemes, which are now available from the SA Planning Portal. These State Planning Policies address specific legislation that is of significant environmental importance to the state, including the River Murray Act 2003; Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary Act 2005; Marine Parks Act 2007; Arkaroola Protection Act 2012; Character Preservation (Barossa Valley) Act 2012; and the Character Preservation (McLaren Vale) Act 2012. These new State Planning Policies complement the original suite of 16 State Planning Policies that were released earlier this year.

What the community told us about new planning tools

The Department has recently published two What We Have Heard Reports that summarise key themes of community feedback received on Phase One of the Planning and Design Code and the draft Development Assessment Regulations for the new planning system.

Together these two public consultations received a total of 234 submissions from councils, industry bodies, government departments, the community and planning consultants. This collective feedback will be used to refine the Phase One Code and Development Assessment Regulations as well as contribute to the ongoing development of South Australia’s new planning system. The Department is grateful to all those who participated in the engagement process and lent their voice to current planning reforms.

Commission hosts Residential Infill Forum

The State Planning Commission has established a Residential Infill Forum consisting of a range of industry representatives who are involved in the design and development of infill housing projects across metropolitan Adelaide. The first forum in May, chaired by Commission member Craig Holden, discussed the range of design challenges associated with infill development to assist the Commission to develop policy for the new Planning and Design Code. The forum acknowledged that the policy approach in the Code needs to distinguish between master-planned developments and small-scale infill projects. Five key focus areas for policy improvement were discussed - garaging and its streetscape impacts; lack of landscaping; articulation and overall design quality; site coverage and impervious surfaces; and providing functional private and communal open space. The next forum will be held in late June.

Demolition control in the heritage system explained

In response to community concern around heritage protection in the new planning system, a handy guide to demolition control is now available that illustrates how current heritage protections will transfer from the old system to the new system. South Australia’s new planning system will continue to provide robust demolition controls to protect our valued heritage sites while introducing greater fairness to the way heritage matters are addressed across the state. Further information on proposed planning policy to support heritage and character protection is available from the SA Planning Portal.

Transition teams visit regional councils

Since early May, the Department's Transition Team has been out and about visiting regional councils. These visits are helping councils to transition their Development Plans to the new Planning and Design Code format, and discuss any council-specific policy issues or gaps that may need to be addressed in the Code. The discussions with council staff have been highly valuable and the team is looking forward to completing the remaining visits in June and using the feedback to improve the content of the Code for regional council areas before it is released on public consultation.

Urban Design for Wellbeing and Mental Health – case study of Adelaide

The Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health has published case studies from cities across the globe, examining how different cities apply the key principles of urban design to benefit wellbeing and mental health for their citizens. The case studies provide insight, spotlight innovation, and highlight opportunities to apply population mental health lessons to other cities. Leading the way, the case study of Adelaide has been published online by lead author Trish Hansen, alongside studies of Hong Kong, Las Vegas and Tokyo. The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure is a proud partner of this project and is committed to improving urban design outcomes for South Australians.

Inspiring UK study tour

In April, Planning Reform Manager Anita Allen was fortunate to join the Minister for Planning on a study tour of London, Manchester and Glasgow – cities which are experiencing significant change in relation to immigration patterns, population growth and economic diversification. The Commonwealth Games, which brought great opportunity to these cities, is a real-life example of how an unmoveable date brings focus and commitment - something we are experiencing right now with just over a year to run to July 2020 when our new planning system will be fully operational. Reflecting on the tour, Ms Allen commented that, "all cities are changing, influenced by local and global conditions. If this change has a good strategic framework, set on strong vision and an ongoing program of ‘place-making’ that builds on the ambition of its citizens, it can create truly distinctive places that set one city apart from another.”

Two top planners

Two of the Department's own have been recognised at the Planning Institute Australia Awards for Excellence 2019 held on the Gold Coast, having won the prestigious National President’s Award. Anita Allen received her award for commitment to driving state-wide planning reforms. Kym Pryde, who recently joined the Department on secondment from the EPA for 18 months, was recognised with the same honour for her position as PIA SA Division President and for working with Anita to bring the Department and PIA together to drive reform. Congratulations to both on an outstanding achievement and gaining well-deserved recognition on the national stage.

PIA Conference

Join State Planning Commission Chair Michael Lennon and the state’s most senior government planner, Sally Smith, ‘in conversation’ at the PIA Conference on 14 June 2019. Be inspired to make your personal pledge to contribute and deliver a new and better planning system for all South Australians whilst hearing from some of the country’s most recognised and knowledgeable planners.

In the meantime take a minute to watch PIA’s latest video, What is Planning?

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Page last modified Tuesday, 13 August 2019