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August 2019

From the Commission Chair...

Since the last Planning Ahead newsletter, the State Planning Commission has been busy hosting several workshops on important planning reform topics including retail, residential infill and building reform, plus reviewing the Planning and Design Code policy modules for Phase Two and Three prior to consultation commencing in October.

In terms of retail, South Australia has traditionally adopted a hierarchical approach to retail activity centres which have been one of the pillars of South Australia’s growth and development. The Commission convened a Retail Roundtable in August to explore how new planning policies in the Planning and Design Code can assist and support businesses and individuals in the retail sector.

The Retail Roundtable follows on from the Commission’s Productive Economy discussion paper, released in late 2018, that explored centres policy and retail investment with a view to linking people to jobs, goods and services.

The roundtable was an opportunity for more than 20 retail representatives to gain an understanding of how planning reforms will affect retail and centre development; share their knowledge of the current trends and issues facing the retail sector; and look at how planning can enable retail growth. Importantly, the group workshopped three key topics: policy innovation, centres hierarchy and ‘out of centre’ retailing.

There is no doubt that the changing structure of retailing is leading to different formats and methods for the distribution of goods and services. It also requires land to accommodate large-format retail outlets as well as the revitalisation of main streets and mixed-use precincts as part of broader urban renewal.

The Commission is committed to support an orderly, stable and predictable investment climate. There will be a range of zones in the new Planning and Design Code that will support existing and future employment activities, as well as planning controls that will allow new technologies and industries to emerge and grow.

Another area of interest is our industrial land consumption and supply. We have consumed approximately 616 hectares over the past 10 years and although we still have a healthy supply we need to carefully monitor the take up rate of land and the supporting infrastructure to facilitate this supply. The Commission has initiated the MGM program to consider industrial and employment lands as part of the process of managing our strategic land supply.

In other news, I am pleased to advise that the Commission will be releasing its long awaited People and Neighborhoods discussion paper next month. This paper has been developed in conjunction with Professor Emma Baker of The University of Adelaide, and will help inform the first and subsequent generations of the Code.

Michael Lennon
Chair, State Planning Commission

Message from the Executive Director

I’d like to open my column this month by acknowledging the work of the Office of Local Government in delivering a discussion paper and suite of videos to support the Local Government Act reform program. Well done to Alex Hart and her team.

Under the leadership of the State Planning Commission the consultation process on the Planning and Design Code is fast approaching. To inform the Code a number of workshops have been held on Code drafting directions. Once the fine tuning of the Code policy is complete and consultation materials are produced, conversations with all stakeholders will commence in earnest from October.

Our new Change and Engagement Manager, Kellie Furey is busy planning a range of engagement events and resources to ensure that all of you have plenty of opportunities to have your say on what the Code means for you.

The engagement plan will soon be made available on the SA Planning Portal and will include a series of face-to-face opportunities to speak with the State Planning Commission and Department. There will also be a range of written materials for those that appreciate detail and summary information for those that would like to understand the Code at a glance. Electronic tools will also be made available to make writing your submission easy and for us to respond in an efficient and effective way.

The three Statutory Advisory Committees will be meeting next week to provide input into the Community Engagement Plan. These Committees represent a range of key stakeholders including community, industry and local government. We look forward to their input into the Plan. If you have any ideas that you would like to share with us, please send through to our Engagement Team.

For those of you working in Local Government, we will continue to hold our LGA Briefings to assist you in understanding the new system. These briefings, held monthly, are a wonderful way for us to update our council colleagues on the latest reform news but also hear directly about issues or areas of concern. Our last session on engagement has been used to help frame up the engagement plan.

Finally, it's great to see the early take up of the Accredited Professionals Scheme with 110 planning and building professionals already fully registered and a further 50 applications in the system. This is a significant step forward in enhancing the flexibility, reliability and accountability in the way that development applications are assessed.

I thank you for your continued interest and input into the new planning system as we fast approach the July 2020 finish line.

Sally Smith
Executive Director, Team PLUS

Development Assessment under the new Code

With Phase One of the Planning and Design Code now live in the outback and coastal water areas of South Australia, DPTI’s Development Assessment team has already received nine development applications for verification and lodgement in the first six weeks. These applications stretch from Innamincka in the far north-east to the Great Australian Bight and cover a range of developments from consulting rooms and dwellings to solar panels and free standing signs. These early development applications are providing the DA team with an opportunity to test the Code and work through the new assessment processes before it goes live in regional and metropolitan council areas. Jason Cattonar, Development Assessment Team Leader, will provide an update about his team's early experiences with the outback Code in a future newsletter.

Planning and Design Code update

The Planning and Design Code Phase Two and Phase Three will now be released concurrently for public consultation in October 2019.

This will allow communities, councils and industry to see the whole of the Code for South Australia and how it will work. The consultation will seek to improve understanding of the new planning system and how it works, as well as to gain your feedback on how the new Code will affect you.

Given the work already undertaken with regional councils, we will be releasing the Code for Phase Two for two months of consultation. The Commission and Department is committed to spending October in the regions to assist communities and councils in understanding how the Code will affect them and support them in making a submission.

The Code will go live for Phase Two in April 2020 instead of November 2019. This provides more time for councils to become ‘business ready’ and ensures we can provide the support that is needed in this transition process.

Phase Three will have a longer period of consultation, given the technical complexity of these urban areas, and the volume of material that is being consulted on. The volume of development applications that is typically received from Phase Three councils is much higher than for previous phases and therefore requires more time set aside for proponents of development and councils to transition to the new system. The Code will go live for Phase Three in July 2020.

New local heritage places announced

Birdwood Institute

On Thursday 8 August, the Minister for Planning announced the approval of 40 new properties in the Adelaide Hills as local heritage places. These properties join 124 in the Mid-Murray region and 44 in the City of Charles Sturt that had already been given approval, bringing the total number of new local heritage places listed by the current Government to 208. Local councils interested in elevating the status of existing contributory items to local heritage places where they meet criteria have until December 2020 to undertake a heritage Development Plan Amendment. The Department has produced a Heritage in Transition Guide to assist councils with this task. To learn more, read the Minister’s media release or councils can contact us about undertaking a heritage DPA.

People and Neighbourhoods

As mentioned in the Commission Chair’s column a People and Neighbourhoods discussion paper is being progressed for release in September. This paper will investigate the makeup of South Australia’s population and the structure of our neighbourhoods. It will look at the trends and changes occurring in our suburbs, providing a snapshot in time of where we are now and an indication of what the future will look like.

In response to community feedback, the paper will also propose policy for inclusion in the Planning and Design Code to improve neighbourhood liveability, raise the quality of residential infill development and stem the loss of tree canopy through design quality, housing choice and sustainability outcomes. The discussion paper will be released in September and informal feedback can be sent to the Commission. Formal public consultation on the draft Code, including the Commission’s proposed People and Neighbourhoods discussion paper, will commence in October 2019.

Renewable Energy Policy Discussion Paper

In July, the Commission released a Discussion Paper on Renewable Energy Policy in the Planning and Design Code that proposes to update existing planning policies to ensure they keep pace with the rapidly changing technology that underpins renewable energy generation. Formal public consultation on the draft Code, including the Commission’s proposed renewable energy policies, will commence in October. In the meantime, informal feedback can be sent to

New Performance Scheme established

The State Planning Commission with the approval of the Minister for Planning has established the first Performance Indicators Scheme for the new planning system under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016. This new scheme will work in conjunction with the new state-wide ePlanning solution and will collect a range of data and statistics about the performance of our new planning system. Examples include timeliness of decision making on development applications or trends around types of buildings or land uses being approved across the state. The Commission will report on the findings of the scheme following the end of each financial year. The scheme is to commence operation from 1 July 2020, being the day that the new planning system will be fully operational across the state. The scheme is to commence operation from 1 July 2020, being the day that the new planning system will be fully operational across the state.

New Ministerial Building Standard

In July the Minister for Planning published a seventh building standard, Modifications to the Building Code of Australia 2019, under section 80(1) of the PDI Act 2019 which now forms part of the ‘Building Rules’ for buildings and building work in South Australia under the Act. The standard outlines modifications to fire hydrants, swimming pool signage and levels of bushfire attack. Further information on Building Reform is available on the SA Planning Portal.

DPAs on consultation

Two Development Plan Amendments have recently been released on public consultation via the SA Planning Portal. The first considers the revision of policy for over-height development in the Capital City Zone of the City of Adelaide and the second looks at rezoning in Devon Park.

A Development Plan Amendment (DPA) has been submitted to amend PDC 21 of the Capital City Zone of the Adelaide (City) Development Plan to remove ambiguity and improve policy expression for over-height development in the zone. This DPA has been given interim effect and is on consultation until the 19 September 2019 with a public hearing to be held on 3 October 2019 at 50 Flinders St, Adelaide.

The Devon Park Residential Development Plan Amendment (DPA) is currently on consultation, seeking to rezone an industrial site of approximately 8,000 square metres nestled within the residential suburb of Devon Park to support low/medium density residential development. The site is located closely to public transport services, parks, schools, shops and services. Consultation is open until 19 September 2019 with a public meeting to be held on 10 October 2019 at the Fitzroy Community Club in Renown Park.

Local Government Reform

The team from the Office of Local Government has released a discussion paper on Local Government Reform which aims to modernise local government legislation and practices and puts forward a range of models and proposed solutions for four key areas of reform, namely:

  • council member capacity and conduct
  • lower costs and financial accountability
  • efficient and transparent representation
  • simpler regulation.

Members of the community can complete a survey on the YourSAy website or access a range of videos on the DPTI website. The discussion paper is open for consultation until 1 November 2019.

Keeping up with the news

You can also keep up to date with the latest announcements from the State Planning Commission by following their page on social media platform LinkedIn. Simply search ‘State Planning Commission South Australia’ and hit the ‘Follow’ button.

Chair of the Commission, Michael Lennon was also recently featured in an article in the September issue of The Adelaide Review.

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Page last modified Tuesday, 13 August 2019