Project Update - April 2016
On 12 April, SA’s Parliament passed the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015 introducing the framework for a new planning system.
A media release by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning, Hon. John Rau, MP, announced that the Government would accept the Bill as amended in the Legislative Council.
By and large the new legislation reflects changes sought by the State Government but with a significant number of variations to the original Bill.
For example, the Legislative Council agreed to amendments (supported by the Adelaide City Council) to:
- broaden the Object of the Act to give more emphasis to social and environmental issues (as well as economic);
- transfer a number of powers from the Minister to the proposed State Planning Commission;
- exempt development in the Adelaide Park Lands from being declared by the Minister to be impact-assessed development, or assessed as essential infrastructure, or assessed as Crown development;
- ‘early commencement’ of policy amendments during public consultation can be used in more limited circumstances than at present, essentially to control undesirable development;
- require the Planning and Design Code and other “designated instruments” (which include regional plans and design standards) to be drafted to “achieve consistency while providing for local variations that reflect special or unique character at the local level”.
Other significant amendments were:
- up to one current Elected Member to serve on an assessment panel – compared with a minority at present and none under the original Bill;
- funding arrangements for general infrastructure schemes relating to health, education, police, justice, emergency service and transport infrastructure will require approval from all persons who own land within the relevant contribution area (other than land such as community land, public roads, Crown land or land under the care, control or management of the Urban Renewal Authority);
- the majority of owners within a proposed heritage character or preservation zone must agree to the proposal before such an amendment can be made to the Code.
The passage of the Bill is expected to be followed by:
- The introduction of a second Bill which would amend the many Acts and Regulations which currently interact with the Development Act 1993;
- Drafting of Planning, Development and Infrastructure Regulations, the new Code, design guidelines and policies;
- The creation of the SA planning portal as a single point for digital access to planning documents.
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