Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis MP this week lodged his submission to the State Government’s underway independent review into the implementation of the Planning and Design Code that came into effect in March 2021.
“I have received significant community feedback about the new planning code and the Plan SA portal--both before its roll out online and since--so I welcomed the opportunity to provide the expert panel undertaking the review with a summary of the issues raised”, Mr Ellis said.
“I acknowledge teething problems can always be expected with such major system change, the overhaul of rules and legislation described at the time as ‘the biggest modernisation of the planning system in 20 years’ with its more than 300 amendments to legislation and the launch of a new centralised, Plan SA digital platform. Commendably, some of these issues have already been rectified or improved.
“However, for many the intent that was to provide a system that is simpler, speeds up approval processes and saves users time and money has missed the mark, and it is hoped further improvements can be made”, Mr Ellis said.
Issues raised in Mr Ellis’s submission include lack of local input in Regional Plans; less assistance available locally; cost and staffing impact to local councils; the need for a dedicated zoning for renewable energy developments such as solar farms; difficulty navigating or non-access to the electronic platform; the numerous overlays, zones and subzones necessitating engaging planning consultants; long waits in receiving approvals; difficulties in obtaining approvals for sheds in the new Rural zone; and a “one size fits all” system threatening local heritage and character of architecture and built environment in regional locations.
“I have stressed my fervent hope that the system run from Adelaide will duly value and consider local knowledge and specific experience to effectively guide future development in our region.
“I thank all who have shared their experience with the new system with me. If there are other constituents and stakeholders who also wish to share their views on the new planning system, I encourage them to make contact. I can always put in a supplementary submission if more feedback is received”, Mr Ellis said.