Last week DPTI released a draft update to the 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide (“the Plan”). The release of this update aligns with the State Government’s commitment to review the Plan every five years, following its creation in 2010. A copy of the update to the Plan can be found at: https://livingadelaide.sa.gov.au/the-plan/
The obvious question that arises from the release of this Plan is – what is its utility given that the Planning Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (“PDI Act”) is likely to be implemented over the next four years?
This Plan has been drafted so that it can transition into and form part of, the new planning system to be created by the PDI Act.
Section 64 of the PDI Act requires that a regional plan be prepared for each planning region (including for the defined Greater Adelaide region), which sets out a long-term vision for the region. The Plan refers to many aspects of the new planning system under the PDI Act, including the Environment and Food Production Areas, design principles within the Planning and Design Code, general infrastructure schemes, “performance-based” planning assessments, the community engagement charter and the role of the new State Planning Commission in developing industry culture and professionalism.
Whilst we are waiting on the transitional bill for the PDI Act, it is reasonable to expect that this bill will allow the update to the Plan to transition into the new planning system as the regional plan for the Greater Adelaide region.
The update to the Plan maintains the current objective of increasing urban infill, with a focus on new housing in areas close to existing and proposed new public transport infrastructure. In addition, there is also a renewed emphasis on the “Missing Middle” – that is, alternative housing types outside the plentiful supply of detached dwellings and multi-storey apartments. The update identifies that the composition of households is also changing, with an increasing aging population as well as an increase in the number of group, lone-person, single-parent and couple-without-children households, which brings with it a need for greater diversity in housing options.
The update also calls for an increase in density and promotion of a more compact urban form to allow for successful public transport networks, including the proposed new “AdeLink” tram network. The Design Standards under the Planning and Design Code established by the PDI Act are intended to promote high standards for the built environment which, in turn, will assist in addressing interface issues arising as a result of increased densities. The need to protect environmental resources and assets (as addressed through the Environment and Food Protection Areas established under the PDI Act) is also acknowledged in the update as a significant reason underpinning the objective of increasing density within the existing urban footprint.
Given that the update to the Plan will likely be incorporated into the new planning system (when implemented) it is vital that councils provide feedback on the update as necessary to ensure that local interests are considered and addressed.
Feedback on the update to the Plan can be provided at: https://livingadelaide.sa.gov.au/feedback/.