The City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters has welcomed the State Government decision to include Contributory Items in the draft Planning and Design Code, as announced last week by Minister for Planning and Local Government, Vickie Chapman.
Mayor Robert Bria says, “The Council is proud to have taken the lead on this important issue and recognises the great work and lobbying carried out by Community Alliance SA and other local community members who have been in support of the cause”.
“The Council took a very professional, considered and evidence-based approach to ensure that our voice continued to be heard and taken seriously.”
Mayor Bria said that the Council’s approach included writing to all Members of Parliament; conducting a survey of owners of Contributory Items in the City in order to ascertain their views about the current level of protection from demolition and the value they place on owning a Contributory Item; as well as making two presentations to the Environment, Resources & Development Committee of Parliament.
One quarter of the 1,463 owners of Contributory Items responded to the survey.
“We know that more than 80% of survey respondents were either happy with the current policies or wanted the protections strengthened.”
Mayor Bria says that two presentations given to the Environment Resources and Development Committee of Parliament in September 2019 and February 2020 were particularly important in raising awareness of the issue with Members of Parliament on all sides of politics.
“Those presentations provided the Council with the opportunity to explain in detail the importance of protecting Contributory Items,” said Mayor Bria.
Mayor Bria was critical of the State Planning Commission, in particular Chair Michael Lennon, who he said was “stubborn and obstructionist” in its approach to recognising Contributory Items in the new Planning and Design Code and offering them protection from demolition.
“This strategy was developed and pursued relentlessly and arrogantly by the Commission without any justification.”
“The Commission’s insistence that Contributory Items could not be transferred into the Code meant that many of South Australia’s unique buildings would be at risk of being demolished,” added Mayor Bria.
“This outcome and its impact on South Australia’s architectural and cultural heritage could not be left unchallenged.
“In a city such as Norwood, Payneham & St Peters, this would significantly impact on the uniqueness of our City and its much-loved streetscapes—an outcome which simply could not go unchallenged.
Mayor Bria said that leaving Contributory Items out of the Code would have also created significant confusion and potential conflict between property owners and developers when it came to the issue of demolition, and would lead to lengthy delays in the approval process which in turn would incur increased costs.
Mayor Bria said his Council is grateful to the new Minister, the Hon Vickie Chapman, for taking a pragmatic and enlightened approach to protect Contributory Items in the Code.
“The Minister has ensured the unique ‘sense of place’ and built history of South Australia will be enjoyed for many generations to come.”