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Planning reforms deliver community engagement and transparency

8 September 2015

Renewing Our Urban Future. Unlocking South Australia's Potential 

The State Government is reforming the planning system to unlock investment potential and put people at the centre of planning decisions that will shape the communities in which they live.

The reforms, which are presented in a new Bill before the South Australian Parliament, will remove red tape, streamline decision making, simplify regulations and foster greater certainty in the planning process.

The assessment system will be de-politicised by removing elected members from local council Development Assessment Panels and replacing them with accredited professionals.

At the same time, a new charter of community engagement will allow elected officials and communities to have more of a say from the start on key policy directions.

Another key change in the proposed new legislation is the recognition of an environmental and food protection area and giving only Parliament the power to approve housing development inside of this zone.

This will help to safeguard important environmental and food production areas from residential encroachment.

Under the legislation developers and land holders will contribute to the infrastructure needed as part of any new build.

An infrastructure scheme will be introduced. This will provide flexibility in the way necessary infrastructure associated with development can be provided.

This will remove a major impediment to investment and provide a fairer distribution of infrastructure costs, in many cases lowering the entry cost to home ownership.

In addition, the legislation would require improvements to the open space contribution scheme.

Through consultation the public have made it clear they want to interact with the planning system online and in their own time. As a result, the State Government is looking to make all planning information accessible on a central e-planning portal.