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Planning for the future

Proposed changes to the state’s planning legislation will make the system more responsive to community concerns, easier to understand and will introduce greater integrity initiatives to better safeguard the system.

Planning Minister John Rau said a feature of the new legislation was the establishment of a new State Planning Commission.

“Under the new legislation we will have more certainty and consistency through the establishment of a peak advisory and assessment body, the State Planning Commission,” he said.

“The Commission will streamline the current system and be responsible for assessing significant developments.”

Mr Rau said the new legislation also takes elected councillors and the Planning Minister out of high risk activities by introducing greater transparency and independence in assessment.

“Decisions about land releases and new developments on the outer fringe of the current city can cost future taxpayers tens of millions of dollars,” he said.

“The legislation provides for environment and food protection areas. Any rezone for residential purposes within that zone will need to be approved by the Parliament.

“These decisions are bigger than the Minister of the day alone should determine.

“Local council elected representatives will also no longer be involved in merit based approvals for developments in their areas.”

Mr Rau also emphasised the importance of high quality design.

“Infill development needs to fit into the existing character of an area, and needs to be of a high design quality,” he said.

“The Bill will enable the establishment of design standards for the public realm and infrastructure – a leading reform on the national stage.

“The State’s current extensive zoning requirements will be replaced with a consolidated new set of planning rules with quality design at their centre.”

Mr Rau today also released a planning framework document Renewing our Urban Future – Unlocking South Australia’s Potential.

“This document sets out the Government’s vision for delivering better cities, towns and regions and provides context for a number of important planning initiatives that are being rolled out over coming months,” he said.

“It makes the case for focusing more on mixed-use urban infill and better connection between people and places, attracting new investment.”

Source: News Release, Government of South Australia, 08 September, 2015