Review Of Planning System Announced
On August 5, the State Government announced the formation of a four-person panel to review our planning system.
The review will cover:
- The Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.
- The Planning and Design Code (and related instruments) “as it relates to infill policy, trees, character, heritage and car parking”.
- The e-planning system “with a view to ensuring that it is delivering an efficient and user-friendly process and platform”.
- The PlanSA Website “with a view to ensuring its usability and access to information by the community”.
Long-time heritage protection advocate, and Convenor of the Protect Our Heritage Alliance, Professor Warren Jones, had this to say about the announcement:
“This announcement is welcome, but has been a long time coming.
The imperative for a Review of the unsatisfactory 2016 Act and the controversial Planning and Design Code was initiated by a 14,000 signature Protect our Heritage Alliance petition to parliament in April 2020.
The consequent Report of the parliamentary Legislative Review Committee was tabled in November 2021, and made public last month.
This Report made 14 strong recommendations for legislative and regulatory changes and reforms in the flawed planning system.
Some, but not all, of these have been addressed in the remit of the new ‘Expert Panel’.
Notable omissions are a statutory enquiry into the governance and operation of the State Planning Commission and the State Commission Assessment Panel, and the restoration of individual and community rights in planning policy and processes
It was also curious to read that the new Review will be rediscovering climate change, which was almost completely ignored in the Code, the evolution and implementation of which was inordinately influenced by, and skewed to the interests of, the development and construction industry.
It is to be hoped that the Panel will take a broad view encompassing the escalating problems of urban over-development, crowded infill, loss of tree canopy (the worst in the Country) and the erosion of heritage.
There is widespread ‘submission fatigue’ in the community after many fruitless oral and written representations on planning issues to successive Government agencies over the past few years.
It is to be hoped that this latest Review will respond to the extensive community response to the Code already on record, and will promote and welcome further public input.”
We want to see a review of the planning system that is fully democratic, participatory, and inclusive, and that includes a community representative on the Expert Panel.