2022 candidate for City of Mitcham.
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, of course, who else would care? It's your backyard and you should have a greater say.
What role should Councils play in protecting local heritage places from demolition or inappropriate development?
Councils should have the final say in what development is appropriate and what is in character within their communities. Council should have a greater say over the strategic development plan of their communities, in particular around the minimum land size to prevent over development.
How would you seek to improve protections for heritage places in your area?
Home owners to be able to "Opt-in", to a Heritage register, that places tougher development restrictions on their property for them and for future purchasers. As an example I own a beautiful 1920's character home in Melrose Park. It would be a crime to knock my house down, but currently there is nothing stopping me from doing so. If given the option I'd opt-in to tougher development conditions on my property as retaining the character of my home is critical to me and I would hate to see the next buyer knock it down.
We rarely see new places added to local heritage listings. Why do you think this is?
Resale of your property is the biggest issue with being added to a heritage list. Homeowners would be wary that by owning a heritage listed property it would limit its re-sale value and potential buyers may be turned off with various development restrictions. However, in action this is generally not the case, look at Colonel Light Gardens, its a very sought after suburb, with very strict planning rules. Its those strict planning rules and the local heritage that drive prices higher in that suburb. The major benefit of homes being added to the local Heritage list is that it discourages developers that wish to knock down and sub-divide and encourages families that want to be the custodian of a nice character family home.
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?
In my area, there have been a significant increase in the amount of homes purchased and knocked down, presumably to make way for multi-dwelling developments. Developers seem to be able to clear blocks of land without consideration of existing significant trees. I'd seek to add planning laws to encourage developers to retain existing trees and mature plants where possible. And greater consideration for the homes that will be built to ensure that they minimise the impact on their neighbours and surrounds.
What are the impacts of infill development in your area? What changes would you seek in the rules around infill development?
Being the devils advocate here, Urban sprawl is much worse for the environment that urban infill. Urban sprawl is the ever increasing boundaries of our metropolitan area, gobbling up prime agricultural land (and trees) to become the next subdivision. We need Urban infill, however it needs to be targeted in the most appropriate locations, near existing infrastructure that can handle it, with minimal loss of local heritage and green spaces.
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?
The decision to renovate or rebuild is largely based on the individuals budget and the layout and condition of the existing home. I'd go against the grain here and say that decision should be free from government interference.
How should the community be informed and involved in decisions about new developments?
Local Council should have our contact details and when a development application is lodged via PlanSA within close proximity to you (i.e. the same street, same suburb). An alert should be issued to local residents (that they can unsubscribe to if they choose to) to inform them of what development has been issued. Alerts already exist on the PlanSA website, but unless you are refreshing that on a daily basis you'll miss out.
Do you think there is adequate tree canopy across your local government area?
The Mitcham Council is very green, however there are various locations within the council that have been neglected and could use a replanting campaign.
How would you like to see significant and regulated trees in your area protected from removal?
We need a significant tree register or greater mapping of these trees to prevent developers from illegally clearing trees and claiming ignorance .
What involvement should Councils have in decisions about protecting or removing significant and regulated trees?
the legislation around significant trees is already quite tough. perhaps that part of the approval process should be taken back from PlanSA.
What actions would you advocate to slow or mitigate the impacts of climate change in your local government area?
Maintaining and increasing the tree canopy, greater management of water run off and prevention of pollutants entering the water course.
What issues are there with traffic and parking in your area?
with greater density, comes a higher number on cars parked on the street. Planning rules should encourage off-street parking.
How could transport options be improved in your area?
There is already a strong network of public transport options within the council. safer cycling options should be improved
What would your top three priorities be for improving planning policy and outcomes in your local government area?
Better development controls
Significant tree register
Better traffic management