New urban plan

A Development Plan Amendment (DPA) that represents more than a decade of work (and rework) has finally been released to the residents of the Adelaide Hills Council.
Called the Townships and Urban Areas DPA, this document reviews all the residential areas in the district in an attempt to make policies more streamlined in a council that faces many challenges and restrictions because of the high bushfire risk and sensitive watershed environment.
It looks at a number of issues but because the council is not allowed to increase its urban boundaries, it only provides mechanisms to provide another 470 building lots beyond the current, “optimal” potential to develop just over 1000 new housing allotments under current planning rules.
It’s a far cry from the State Government-imposed Ministerial DPA for Mt Barker which was pushed through in late 2010 and opened up 1300ha of farmland for housing and industry.
That DPA created the potential to bring at least 25,000 more people to the Mt Barker and Nairne region with some 7000 more homes.
The scale in the Adelaide Hills Council is significantly smaller but elected members might have to do some slick consultation to avoid flack from the various communities within their district.
The council often comes under fire for being slow and difficult to deal with when it comes to planning.
Many of those problems are because of the rules it has to work under (hence the DPA) but sometimes the delays are because local residents are passionate about their patch and they are motivated to fight any change they don’t like.
Here the council is hoping to bring about changes residents do want, and that is the chance to provide for a “diversity of housing” so seniors can downsize to a more manageable dwelling and young people have the opportunity to enter the housing market.
Compared with other councils, the district is woefully short on units and townhouses so residents often have to move away to find accommodation they need or can afford.
This DPA attempts to meet that need within the space available and is worth a read.