At its first official Council meeting following the recent Local Government elections, the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters has unanimously voted to provide a submission to the State Government’s Planning System Implementation Review.
In March 2021, the State Government’s Planning Design Code and the Planning Portal was introduced for metropolitan Adelaide, resulting in limitations and frustrations for Local Government and the community.
Mayor Robert Bria said the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters welcomed the Malinauskas Government conducting a review of the Code and the opportunity to provide robust and frank feedback to the Expert Panel, led by Presiding Member John Simson.
He said the current arrangement of the Code had led to widespread frustration from the Council, residents and developers.
“Fundamentally, the planning system framework, which anticipates a single State-wide policy, limits the ability for Council to effect policy change in a way that reflects the built form of our City,” Mayor Bria said.
“While the Council understands that this formed part of the State Government’s objective, the Council is of the strong opinion that this “cookie-cutter” approach – which often leaves little room for a more nuanced application – has not worked.”
Mayor Bria said negotiating or influencing policy change to be undertaken by the State Government is very difficult for Councils and highlighted the following key areas:
- the replacement of 72 Development Plans with one State-wide Code has resulted in a substantial loss of local policy;
- under the former NPSP Development Plan, the Character and Historic Zone and Policy Area policies were more specific, instructive and tailored to the local area and locality;
- the Council’s former Character Zones contained detailed policies relating to the location and form of acceptable land division and these were not transitioned to the Code;
- the addition of the Affordable Housing Overlay is of concern to the Council as it includes additional building height; and
- despite being more complex, the Code is not considered to deliver the same level of detail or clarity as former Development Plans.
Mayor Bria said in relation to both character and historic areas, a simplified policy framework with more specific and instructive policies would provide a greater level of clarity and consistency for both the development industry and the community.
“The City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters is home to some of the most stunning heritage buildings in South Australia, and is committed to the protection and enhancement of its built heritage.”
As part of this commitment, the Council has delivered a five-year Built Heritage Strategy which can be read here: www.npsp.sa.gov.au/bhs