Council going over the top in St Peters

FAMILY FIRST MLC Robert Brokenshire has this week asked the Planning Minister the Hon John Rau MP to intervene in the residents’ dispute with the City of Norwood Payneham St Peters, saying they went over the top with two zoning proposals for precincts of St Peters, Joslin and Felixstow adjacent to the River Torrens.

The Residential Development (Zones and Policy Areas) Development Plan Amendment is currently out for consultation, and proposes two zoning areas of controversy, the “River Torrens Linear Park Medium Density Policy Area” and the “River Street Regeneration Policy Area” (shown below)

River Torrens map with quote

“Residents are quite right to be concerned about the way the River Torrens MDPA fails to comply with the State Government’s Transit Oriented Development plans – there is little or no public transport connecting with those pockets that will see up to 4 storey high rise”, Mr Brokenshire said, “and River Street is being regenerated on former SA Government land where there are 3 storey-buildings already under the existing Development Plan”

"Remember the same Council wanted to foist fortnightly waste collection on its residents until a ratepayer backlash supported by their local member and Family First MPs saw that plan abandoned."

Family First urges

  • residents to make their voice heard at the Thursday 21 March meeting on this issue,
  • commends Council for putting its plans out in draft for consultation and extending the consultation period, but urges it to listen to its ratepayers and rethink its approach on building heights in the two zones in question; and
  • asks the Minister to consider amending the current Inner Metropolitan Development DPA to ensure that the height increases only occur in those areas where they have indicated in that DPA, and not in these pockets adjacent to the Torrens which do not have adequate public transport access*

The River Street policy area is designed to accommodate State Government Housing SA plans for up to 5 storey buildings in the precinct, however seems predicated on the expectation that residents will be able to access the Klemzig Interchange for the O-Bahn, which is not within reasonable walking distance of the precinct.

“In this area I expect that taller buildings, whilst non-complying, could be approved by Council through the normal public consultation process available under the Development Act, especially given it is mostly Housing SA (via Renewal SA) owning the land in that precinct – I question why specific zoning is necessary."

The River Torrens precinct planning will mandate a minimum 2 storey building height for future developments in the precinct and allow heights of up to 4 storeys in the precinct.

"Family First supports the Government’s plans for raising heights for buildings along Adelaide’s major arterial roads where public transport access is readily available. However, we have to avoid creating cul-de-sac high-rise developments that do not meet the generally accepted ‘transit oriented development’ (TOD) thinking."

“It might be different if Labor were talking about putting an O-Bahn interchange in at Walkerville, extra pedestrian bridges and improved footpaths on the Torrens to access that interchange, but Labor has consistently ruled out anything of the sort happening, so this is clearly not a TOD-style zoning concept."

* The Minister will have an opportunity to compel amendment of the DPA at a later time when Council has finalised the DPA. However, in other aspects of the Development Act a Minister can signal an ‘early no’ to indicate to stakeholders that it takes a dim view of a development concept that is being proposed.

The Hon Rob Brokenshire MLC