2022 candidate for City of Prospect.
Heritage survey responses.
Do you think that Councils and community members need to have a greater voice in planning and development decisions affecting their local area?
Yes. We have gone from a time when councils were the local planning authority to having an independent planning authority only allowing 1 councillor if any. There is no requirement for the independent members to have any connection to the local area that could provide a local 'lens' over which planning decisions are made. Council community assessment panels have become relegated to the tick box for local planning. They may as well remove the 'community' from the title. The planning system has evolved to become more than the efficient use of land to a mechanism for State Government to balance population and economic growth with the need to preserve the environment and protect the heritage and character of Greater Adelaide. The Malinauskas Labor Government has begun a generational review of the Planning and Design Code and the laws and regulations that govern it.The review draws on community concerns since the Code was established, including: - Protecting the character and heritage of local communities - Placing a high priority on keeping and improving tree canopy coverage and green open space - Providing certainty to business, industry and communities and - Improving the e-planning system. "Planning is not and was never intended to be a purely regulatory function. Planning is about ensuring community outcomes are delivered for the benefit of citizens, both now and into the future, and within reasonable environmental and design parameters. Removing the rights of communities to be engaged in planning and development is anathema to civilised and democratic societies we have in Australia." - Cr Genia McCaffery, ALGA President, ALGA News: December 3, 2010
What role should Councils play in protecting local heritage places from demolition or inappropriate development?
Councils should take the lead role in protecting local heritage places from demolition or inappropriate development and should be provided with appropriate skilled staff or access to skilled staff and be recompensed appropriately to carry out this function. Back in 2015 , as a member of Prospect Local History Group, I wrote a private submission to the DPTI “Heritage reform – an exploration of the opportunities” Local Heritage Discussion Paper 2016 in which I supported for Local Government to continue to be the authority to identify, nominate and list places of local heritage value: I wrote: "With over 8,000 local heritage places, almost four times as many as there are state heritage places (some 2200), indicates that local government should retain the carriage of local heritage places as is the current situation in South Australia. Councils should retain their ability to nominate particular places or areas. In the 1970s and 1980s the purpose of local heritage regulation was to allow variation among councils because historic environments vary." The vast majority of historic heritage places are identified and protected at the local government level. It is important that the incentives are correctly aligned at the local level to promote effective heritage conservation. The identification and conservation of heritage places at the local level is achieved through local planning schemes. In South Australia we still seem to have a system of ‘heritage destruction’ instead of ‘preservation’ that I believe strongly appears to be weighted to providing gains for one segment of the economy, the property industry, to the detriment of other sectors. There no ‘merit’ in demolition of irreplaceable community assets that are then lost to future generations.
How would you seek to improve protections for heritage places in your area?
That a legally binding overarching management framework should be put in place such as a heritage agreement. This will ensure that the heritage values of the place are appropriately managed. Establish a state-based lottery to provide funding for State and Local government to assist in subsidising heritage projects and heritage property upgrades. Currently there is no requirement for local governments to identify their own historic heritage, apart from their own willingness to do so. It should be mandatory that each council has a local heritage list and the State Government funds councils to do this and to keep it up to date.
We rarely see new places added to local heritage listings. Why do you think this is?
Reason/s: It costs Councils to pay for independent heritage consultants to do a review and this can be a disincentive especially to smaller councils to investigate and add new places to local heritage listings. The process involved in getting local heritage places listed is often a lengthy process. All councils should have a guide to restoration of local heritage places relevant to its area. Benefits: Historic buildings should not be seen as a constraint or as a problem getting in the way of property development but an opportunity for creative endeavour. The best way to conserve a heritage building, structure or site is to use it. Adaptation or adaptive reuse offers new uses for old places. The new use needs to be compatible with the building, retain its historic character and conserve significant fabric, but it can still introduce new services, as well as modifications and additions. Renovation of old buildings creates many more jobs than new building with industrialised components. Every renovation of historic fabric employs two people for everyone involved in new construction. The economic benefits extend beyond construction to tourism and a lively café/small bar. “Work to heritage buildings should conserve what is important about them, and provide the opportunity to reveal and interpret their history, while also providing sustainable long-term uses” (New Uses for Heritage Places was written by the Heritage Office, NSW Department of Planning and the Royal Australian Institute of Architects NSW Chapter New Uses for Heritage Places Working Party.) - Establish a state-based lottery to provide funding for State and Local government to assist in subsidising heritage projects and heritage property upgrades and heritage reviews.
How has the Planning and Design Code impacted on the heritage, amenity, and environment of your area? What changes would you seek to the Code?
Impacts: - An increase in demolition of houses with no notification to local residents. - New houses built that do not match the main character of the street e.g houses built using grey bricks with white grouting in a street of character houses with bluestone, red brick and sandstone features. Change sought: All demolitions have to be assessed at Community Assessment Panel level and the community and local history group invited to comment. The applicants for demolition have to show reasons for the demolition and why the building cannot be retained with adaptive re-use.
What are the impacts of infill development in your area? What changes would you seek in the rules around infill development?
A great concern is intensified development in inner metropolitan area, especially within a two and half kilometre radius of the Adelaide City, particularly where the City of Prospect and the impact of increased costs on councils and ratepayers for future increased infrastructure and services to meet population expansion. Poorly planned development is increasing urban infill and reducing block sizes, resulting in less space for trees on private land. Although local and state governments are planting new trees, there is simply not sufficient public space available to plant enough trees to compensate for the loss of trees from private land. Any State Government Plans should - Identify funding sources and roles and responsibilities for providing and upgrading physical and community infrastructure within the growth areas. - Review capacity of metropolitan roads, particularly along growth corridors, to cope with increased urban infill and population expansion and to accommodate underground services, including high speed Broadband and tree-planting. - Provide energy efficient public Street lighting for significant reduction in energy consumption. - Strategically review provision of childcare and aged care facilities/services and provide requirement for adaptable housing in developments to enable childcare provision and ageing in place. - Provide protection from demolition for existing older style housing in the inner suburbs such as in the City of Prospect - Rethink collection, supply and storage of urban storm-water as it is very costly to local Council to instal new underground drains. I agree with the range of new policies the Planning Commission has implemented in the Planning and Design Code to improve residential infill development. These policies are explained in the Commission’s recently updated Raising the bar on Residential Infill brochure that aims to provide a consistent approach across all council areas. The policies will deliver multiple benefits, including: •Increasing tree planting, urban green cover and space for gardens. • Ensuring adequate onsite parking and reducing the loss of on-street parking. •Increasing street amenity by incorporating design features to enhance building façades. • More effective management of stormwater associated with residential infill developments.
Construction of new housing typically uses 30% labour and 70% materials. Renovation of existing housing stock typically uses 70% labour and 30% materials. What policy changes would you like to see made to encourage people to renovate, rather than demolish and build anew?
All demolitions have to be assessed at Community Assessment Panel level and the community and local history group invited to comment. The applicants for demolition have to show reasons for the demolition and why the building cannot be retained and renovated against a checklist that demonstrates how the building can be restored and retained. There should be TAFE courses on restoration and increase the number of heritage tradespeople available for restoration. Retaining, preserving, upgrading and adapting our turn of the century and character houses has environmental sustainability benefits by conserving embodied energy in the existing buildings and reduction of waste associated with demolition, waste disposal and new construction.
How should the community be informed and involved in decisions about new developments?
The notice of a new development on the building site is useful to alert the neighbors as is the online Planning Alerts.
Do you think there is adequate tree canopy across your local government area?
No although our council has embarked on a 'Green Tunnel' Tree Strategy to increase shady street trees and water-wise actions.
How would you like to see significant and regulated trees in your area protected from removal?
In City of Prospect, we should remove the trees on our Significant Tree list from our residential code overlay and let the trees be assessed on an application-by-application basis, as most other councils do. There are good reasons why there is a list tree species are exempt from the development controls in the Significant Tree legislation e.g they are not suitable for our South Australian climate, are weeds etc. Planning and Design Code should shift the priority towards retention of trees when development decisions are being made. Ideas include: • encouraging tree retention in design, siting and setback requirements, and making removal the last resort, • changing the definition of significant and regulated trees (tree circumference is not a good measure of ecological or environmental value), and expanding the list of common and important street trees to be protected, • reviewing blanket exemptions for removal, such as the 10 metre set-back rule and 20 metre rule for properties in amedium or high risk bushfire zone, and • requiring mandatory tree plantings for new developments and accompanying this with guidelines for tree type and maintenance.
What involvement should Councils have in decisions about protecting or removing significant and regulated trees?
Significant trees should be assessed on an application-by-application basis to the Community Assessment Panel with expert opinion by a qualified person.
What actions would you advocate to slow or mitigate the impacts of climate change in your local government area?
More State/Federal funding for climate change projects especially to help pay for cost of mature shade trees which are expensive.
What issues are there with traffic and parking in your area?
Prospect Council has undertaken with community consultation a citywide 40 kph zone; is introducing its Integrated Traffic Plan and new Parking Policy and Narrow Streets Policy in response to parking and traffic issues mainly near shopping and school precincts. As a shared community asset that is in demand, on-street parking is a resource that requires careful management to ensure a wide range of users have fair and reasonable access recognising that for some areas there may be no one solution that satisfies all users.
How could transport options be improved in your area?
The problem is not north/south public transport routes but going east-west in City of Prospect. There is no link or circular Prospect Council area transport and people therefore use their cars. There are no interlinking school/childcare centre buses so again people use their cars and school pick-up & drop-off is chaotic, especially when 2 schools are next-door to each other. Our Council area is split by major transport routes cutting through our City.
What would your top three priorities be for improving planning policy and outcomes in your local government area?
All demolitions to be assessed at Community Assessment Panel level with community consultation
In City of Prospect, we should remove the trees on our Significant Tree list from our residential code overlay and let the trees be assessed on an application-by-application basis, as most other councils do.
Advocate to establish a state-based lottery to provide funding for State and Local government to assist in subsidising heritage projects and heritage property upgrades.