What do you think of the proposed new planning and development 'rules' for the outback?

To help you get involved and have your say we have prepared the following resources;

Tell us what you think and join the discussion below.

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Jan Ferguson

27 Mar 2019

Hi I would like to comment on the potential level of difficulty that may be experienced by "out of areas" people, in using a highly technology dependent system. Our internet connections are not consistent and there is the potential with these systems for the system to drop out and make entering data difficult. the system needs to autosave regularly so that a user can pick up their existing data easily should the internet connection fail. It is not uncommon with highly automated systems for a user to loose all their data and have to start again.

In addition, having read all of these documents they are highly technical and could be difficult for a one time user without access to technical expertise, as we do not have councils, to interpret and fill in all the data. A dedicated skilled phone contact for outback people would make the system practical as one finds ones way through what could be a daunting system when it is used very infrequently.

There are two State Heritage areas in the outback and these need to be supported by practical expertise given the isolation and lack of access to specialised trade skills. The documents are also silent on lighting regulations for the whole of the outback and these could be a great advantage to maintaining our sense of place at night I would strongly suggest that lighting becomes a part of the planning regulations for outback settlements and townships, especially State Heritage areas. At the very least this could be justified by reference to original lighting methods and practices.

Government Agency

Planning Reform Team > Jan Ferguson

29 Mar 2019

Hi Jan,

Thanks for taking the time to provide us with your feedback on the draft Planning and Design Code in the Outback (Phase 1).

With regards to your query about the ability for those without access to a reliable internet connection, while the new planning system will be digital by default, it will still be possible for residents to lodge paper-based development applications across the state.

In this case, applicants could prepare their hard-copy paperwork/plans, and submit these to Council or the Department (in the case of land outside of council areas), who can lodge these electronically on the applicant’s behalf, or provide assistance with interpretation of the Code.

We appreciate your feedback in relation to State Heritage Areas and lighting policy for the outback and will take these into consideration along with the formal submissions we have received as we refine the content of the Phase 1 Code.

Kind regards,
The Planning Reform Team.

Glenys Aird

09 Mar 2019

My comments relate to the State Heritage Area Overlay.

* Over recent decades the remote areas of SA have experienced a decline in permanent resident numbers that is continuing. Unless the planning regulations are designed to encourage people to stay and invest in these areas, all the regulation in the world will not prevent heritage areas and buildings from becoming abandoned and slowly but surely disintegrating.

* To live in a remote area and care for an historic building is a labour of love that has a considerable financial burden. Financial grants for the maintenance of privately owned historic properties are not available. It is unlikely that on the sale of the property, owners will be able to recoup any of the expenses incurred and current banking rules make it difficult to obtain mortgages for buildings in "non-sustainable towns".

* Planning rules that require non-standard design ("proportion and composition of design elements") and specialised techniques ("best conservation methods relating to materials and building techniques") and non-standard elements (such as roof materials and guttering) are likely to have an embedded extra cost.

* PO : Compatible Development new regulations are fine - anyone intending to build in a remote heritage area knows up-front what to expect.

* Re: PO Conservation Works (Heritage) for current owners is a bit more problematic. The necessity to pay more for these works is discussed above. In relation to (a): roof materials, guttering and downpipes perform the function of protecting the fabric of the building by directing storm water away from it. Surely it is more important to secure this function rather than insist on "same or similar materials or items" considering that extra cost is probably involved? Most owners of heritage buildings are only too eager to select matching materials, but prescribing it may have a cost burden for some; and (b) "replacement of timber building elements with the same material, dimension and detailing" seems overbearing. Again, most owners will seek to do this, but the rules should be flexible enough to encourage owners to replace necessary timbers to preserve the fabric of the building, which is the important thing here.

And finally my personal favourite (d) "painting of previously painted surfaces in the same colour". Surely the important thing here is to protect the exterior timbers? What does it matter what colour is used? Or for that matter does it even have to be paint as long as the timber is protected? Painted colour surfaces can be changed at a whim and what was fashionable in 1881 (the date my property was built) is not now, but may be in years to come. Which historical period's domestic trim paint colours are the most valuable? 1881, 1921, 1971 or 2001? The reality is that external woodwork needs to be painted every 15 to 25 years, at a not inconsiderable cost, so who cares what colour it is, the timber is protected.

* Re: Referrals: Development Type (f) "solar panels that are visible from a public street, road or thoroughfare within the State Heritage Area". One would hope that this regulation is sympathetically enforced; Siting solar panels so that they are not visible from either of the 2 roads surrounding my property is simply not possible, given the the lack of suitable roof space and the difficulty of developing / maintaining any kind of vegetative screen in an arid and remote environment. Also, owners should be encouraged to install solar systems in the face of regular power blackouts (if one is lucky enough to be on the grid) or the need to limit diesel generation costs.

* Instead of trying to micro-manage development in historic heritage areas planning rules should focus on what is important:
- is the roof secure?
- is the property on a regular termite maintenance plan?
- are the gutters and downpipes in good order and do they direct water away from the fabric of the building?
- are damp-courses clear and intact?
- are foundations solid?
- are the stumps of timber/iron framed buildings in good condition?
- is exterior woodwork properly protected by paint or other means?
These are the kinds of things that an owner-occupier deals with (or should be) on a week to week basis. They are the things that underpin the very existence of the building and when they are no longer in good repair, the future of the building is in doubt. It is difficult to maintain an historic building from a distance - hence my concern about the de-population of the remote areas.

* The planning focus on how the building looks externally is counterproductive. If it costs more, owners will either seek to circumvent the rules, ignore them or (worse) neglect to carry out essential maintenance. Owners should be encouraged to protect heritage buildings, not have obstacles put in their way.

Government Agency

Planning Reform Team > Glenys Aird

15 Mar 2019

Hi Glenys,

Thanks for taking the time to provide us with these detailed comments on the draft State Heritage Areas Overlay. We will take these into consideration along with the formal submissions we have received as we refine the content of the Overlay for the Planning and Design Code in the Outback (Phase 1).

Should you wish to provide any further comments for our consideration, please feel free to add them here, or by using the Phase 1 Code Submission Form which can be downloaded from the SA Planning Portal.

Kind regards,
The Planning Reform Team.