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Adelaide’s plan for change

By Brett Pilgrim

Property owners in Adelaide are well-aware of what makes it such a bustling, exciting city to live in. This isn’t to say, however, that improvements can’t be made. It’s always possible to take something already good and, with a few tweaks, make it even better.

An Expert Panel on Planning Reform was engaged by the Minister of Planning in February 2013. After several reports and consultations, the final findings of the panel were released earlier this month.

The report, entitled “The Planning System We Want” was delivered to the minister on 12 December and contains 22 recommendations for planning reform. The Housing Industry Association (HIA) welcomed the report.

“An effectively functioning planning system is essential to promote development and economic growth for South Australia,” said Robert Harding, HIA South Australian regional executive director.

According to the expert panel, Think Sign Deliver, the report is the result of two years of hard work. During that time, specialist reference groups, the community and key stakeholders were consulted and engaged in the process, to achieve a well-rounded set of recommendations for the government.

The panel noted in their report that the existing system is struggling to deliver what citizens across the state need. Another major point in their statement was that land is one of the most valuable resources available to the state, something that those with property in Adelaide will be keenly aware of.

Planning for the use of land presents its own set of difficulties, but the panel believes that the recommendations made to the minister are robust enough to fulfil the needs of South Australian citizens. The panel encouraged a full adoption of the recommendations:

“The package of reforms is complex and will affect almost all players in the system. We believe it will result in significant benefits if fully implemented.”

The HIA believes that measures recommended by the panel will positively affect the building and renovating sectors.

“Poor planning and time consuming approval processes lead to slower delivery of housing to the market, which results in increased costs and ultimately impacts on housing affordability,” said Mr Harding.

Improving the system should lead to greater affordability for investors looking at rentals in Adelaide and the rest of the state.

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