Major overhaul of city height limits
Written by Howie Saturday, 04 February 2012 09:24
Thank you to all the members of Sensational Adelaide for your persistant lobbying to council, state government, planning authorities, heritage bodies, and even telling your friends over these years. It certainly hasn't fallen on deaf ears, and should this overhaul proceed, you will certainly see a very different Adelaide from here on out. Please be mindful that this is not a done deal yet, we still need your support.
So if you have got a moment, please show your support through social media, websites like AdelaideNow, SSC, even contacting the Minister for Planning John Rau directly.
Discussion continued on the forums.
Taller buildings will revitalise the city centre, says John Rau
by: Political Reporter Daniel Wills
From: The Advertiser
February 03, 2012 11:00PM
The Adelaide CBD.
TALLER maximum building heights in key city centre precincts are being considered by the State Government.
Planning Minister John Rau is in the final stages of drafting a city development blueprint expected to significantly alter existing height, density and design guidelines set by Adelaide City Council.
Mr Rau has told The Advertiser the current regimen is "hopelessly inadequate for the task" of delivering a vibrant city centre. The city's tallest building is Westpac House at 132m.
He said change was critical to accommodate population increases in the coming decades.
Mr Rau has also confirmed the design review will become the first stage of a revamped building approval process to ensure developers are not filling the city's heart with "slums waiting to happen".
Preference will be given to "mixed-use" developments that include retail, commercial and residential space.
"Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of developments are in deep freeze at the moment," he said.
"What we are looking to do is deliver a completely modern, renewed plan for the City of Adelaide.
"If we get this planning review right, we will unlock an enormous amount of investment and energy in the City of Adelaide, which has had the lid put on it for years by an increasingly antique policy regime."
He said a rise in developers seeking special treatment under Major Project status, which bypasses local councils, showed the underlying planning policy was wanting.
The Government is targeting the CBD as the hub of the 30-year development plan for Greater Adelaide and is planning for the construction of 15,040 new dwellings for 27,300 more people.
Planning Department figures show a major decline in the CBD's residential population since it peaked at 43,133 in 1915.
Despite a three-fold increase in Greater Adelaide's population in the past century, the CBD residential population fell to almost 20,000 as cars became popular and people moved to the suburbs.
Market research has shown the Government's plans for high-density housing in the city centre to meet population growth over the next three decades is being thwarted by perceptions it is ugly and intended for the poor.
It is understood the Government will target areas like the North Tce boulevard, Rundle Mall, King William St and city squares for increased building heights. North Adelaide's O'Connell St is also under review.
Property investor Theo Maras said the market was struggling to provide the kind of developments people wanted to live in and pointed to the city's East End as evidence "mixed-use" buildings were successful.
The current regime has a mix of recommended maximum building heights, ranging from two storeys on parts of West Tce to 103m in precincts north of Victoria Square. Most new development is capped at 60m but exceptions can be made.
Thirteen buildings deemed "non-compliant" with the council's planning regulations due to height have ultimately been approved by the state Development Assessment Commission since 2008.
The industry says uncertainty over what can be approved raises development costs and deters investors.
An ACC spokeswoman said council was "committed to working" with the Government. Councillor Sandy Wilkinson, who owns a development design practice, said many large CBD office developments recently approved had failed due to a lack of market demand or financing.
"I think the State Government has been completely hoodwinked by the development lobby," he said.
"For every over-developed site, that reduces the available demand and leaves less for others.
"I'd rather see more sites developed in the city than have a small number massively over-developed."
Property Council of Australia SA executive director Nathan Paine said a "range of developers" was prepared to lodge building applications if the review delivered greater freedom, including taller building heights.
"These are people who are saying that the development plan as it stands wouldn't allow projects to be financial; but if we can get some more storeys, we can actually make it work," he said.
"I think the great benefits of changes won't initially be in the commercial space - it'll be residential.
"That gets more people in the city and more people using the city."
Urban Development Institute of Australia SA executive director Terry Walsh said onerous heritage restrictions were leaving many buildings dormant and government subsidies should be used to enliven them.
"An owner of a heritage site cannot get financial return if they have to spend too much money getting that disused building up to what is considered an acceptable level," he said.
Opposition planning spokesman David Ridgway said the Government had failed to "take the community with them" and it appeared to be at loggerheads with the city council.
Gawler Chambers Redesigned and Resubmitted
Written by Howie Wednesday, 01 February 2012 19:41
Thanks to Ben for the headsup on the forum. The ACC last night approved a striking redesign of Gawler Chambers building, with an increase in height to 16 levels (estimated at 65m), and some easement on the footpath encroachment regulations.
Here are the new renders, for more discussion head on over to the forums.
Significant Amendments to 64 Currie Street
Last Updated on Thursday, 03 November 2011 21:14 Written by Howie Thursday, 03 November 2011 20:54
A quick update from Paul Pruszinski, today a significant amendment was lodged for 64 Currie Street hotel development, most of our members will be pleased to note that 6 floors have been added bringing the total to to 27 floors plus ground and 2 basements.
It is great to see they have preserved the excellent design, and it seems as though the extra height rather accentuates the qualities of the previous design.
For more discussion check out our forum thread here.
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