The updated 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide and related matters: trams, walkable neighbourhoods and the “Missing Middle”

The updated 30 Year Plan
The State Government recently released an update to the 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide (the Update). First published in 2010, the Plan is a volume of the SA Planning Strategy and must be reviewed every 5 years under the Development Act. Despite the period of transition ahead as the new Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act comes into effect, the Update will continue to have effect as a “Regional Plan” under that Act.
The Update retains the same 3 Objectives and 14 Principles, but has cut back on Targets, Policy Themes and Policies, and removed all Regional Directions in favour of “local area planning”:

[CONTtable width =”100%” style =”table-bordered” responsive =”false”]

[CONTth_column]2010 Plan[/CONTth_column]
[CONTth_column]2017 Update[/CONTth_column]

[CONTrow_column]89 Targets[/CONTrow_column]
[CONTrow_column]6 Targets[/CONTrow_column]

[CONTrow_column]16 Policy Themes[/CONTrow_column]
[CONTrow_column]14 Policy Themes[/CONTrow_column]
[CONTrow_column]238 Policies[/CONTrow_column]
[CONTrow_column]122 Policies[/CONTrow_column]
[CONTrow_column]153 Regional Directions[/CONTrow_column]
[CONTrow_column]None – replaced by “local area planning”[/CONTrow_column]

Although most headlines focused on the downgraded population growth and economic assumptions underpinning the Update, there are also important implications for future urban design and policy development, including reduced reliance on cars and more public open spaces.
The Update makes clear that the primary focus for our future “walkable urban form” will be the CBD, with greater residential and mixed-use developments envisaged. This will be complemented by the Park Lands, which will remain Adelaide’s “backyard” and social hub.
Moving out from the CBD, the Update highlights the potential of the middle ring suburbs – the so-called “Missing Middle” – where it seeks to encourage a variety of infill opportunities.
For most of suburban Adelaide, the Update broadly envisages developments between one and three storeys in height. The exception to this general rule will be along key transport corridors, where four to six storey developments will be encouraged. Meanwhile, three to four storey, mixed-use developments will also be encouraged along the proposed AdeLINK expanded tram network (from the Integrated Transport and Land Use Plan).
Draft Design Guidelines
In response to interface issues at the boundary with these higher density zones, draft residential Design Guidelines have also been released to assist in providing a sensitive transition to surrounding neighbourhoods.
The draft Guidelines are intended to be an “aspirational, best practice guide”, above and beyond minimum statutory requirements. However, they may assume greater relevance in future under sections 66(5) and 69(4) of the new Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act (albeit these sections are not yet in operation).
Newly authorised DPAs
The State Government has contemporaneously released for public consultation (some of which are in interim operation) or authorised several relevant Development Plan Amendments, including:

  1. Inner and Middle Metropolitan Corridor (Sites) DPA (on public consultation)
  2. Inner and Middle Metropolitan Corridor (Design) DPA (interim operation)
  3. City of Prospect Urban Corridor Zone and Interface Areas Policy Review DPA (interim operation)
  4. City of Adelaide Capital City Policy Review (Design Quality) DPA (authorised)
  5. North Adelaide Former Channel 9 Site DPA (authorised)

For more information or to discuss the potential impact of the Update, Design Guidelines or one of these DPAs, please contact Jamie Botten or Alex Stanley on 8212 9777.