SA Government aims to halt urban sprawl

A new planning policy could put an end to Adelaide's urban sprawl.

The release of a new planning policy revealed how a re-elected State Labor Government aims to put an end to urban sprawl occurring in metropolitan Adelaide.

The policy paper, entitled Planning Reform – a Driver of Economic Growth, maps a way forward for planning policy in South Australia, while supporting the foundations laid by previous plans, the 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide and the Integrated Transport and Land Use Plan.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning John Rau said that stopping urban sprawl will be good news for the economy and the environment.

“Our commitment to a focussed planning policy based on evidence and a clearly defined set of principles means the pressure on Adelaide to continuously sprawl further to the north and south is evaporating,” Mr Rau said.

Mr Rau explains that Adelaide currently has 20.6 years of broadacre land supply presently designated for development and in excess of 57,000 zoned greenfield lots to support the city’s growing population.

“It makes no sense for Government to rezone greenfield sites for which there is no short or medium term demand and in respect of which, no binding infrastructure agreements are in place,” adds Mr Rau. “There is an increasing demand for infill and urban renewal style development, where people can live closer to the city, closer to services and jobs."

Currently around 60 per cent of Adelaide’s population growth is occurring in Adelaide’s inner and middle suburbs. The 30-Year Plan aims for around 70 per cent infill within the next 25 years.

“Clearly this change in consumer preference is exceeding the expectations at the time of the 30 Year Plan’s publication and is set to continue… Infill housing creates more than twice the number of jobs and more than twice the boost to the construction industry,” explained the minister.

“Importantly, this policy ensures the protection of our environmental and agricultural assets, enhances food security, limits infrastructure costs which would otherwise burden future taxpayers and supports the creation of a vibrant city.”

The 30-Year Plan assumed an annual average of 400 hectares per year of broadacre land would be needed to meet the city’s demands. However, the average has been 320 hectares and below 300 since 2010-11.

The achievements of the Government’s recent planning policy are said to include:

  • A major overhaul of planning rules for the city unlocking $2.43billion in private sector interest in the CBD
  • Rezoning the inner-metropolitan Council areas to allow more people to live close to the city near existing infrastructure
  • Protecting the Barossa and McLaren Vale from urban sprawl through new laws preventing development
  • Developing a 30 year Transport Plan for South Australia to support land use and growth
  • A new strategy to revitalise Adelaide’s Park Lands making them a place for all to enjoy
  • Rezoning of the Adelaide Riverbank precinct and creation of a new authority to manage our future jewel of the city
  • A new small venue license and laneway strategy to support the development of Adelaide as a vibrant city
  • New urban renewal legislation to help kickstart precinct developments and attract investment
  • Commissioning of a Planning Improvement Project to update our 20-year old planning legislation
  • Mr Rau said it was now up to the Liberals to make clear their strategy to support Adelaide’s growth.

View the policy here: Planning Reform – a Driver of Economic Growth.