When: Thursday 16 October 2014
Where: Unley Community Centre, 18 Arthur St, Unley
Time: 7:30pm

FOCUS has invited all the candidates in the five Unley wards being contested to attend our community meeting. This is your chance to hear:

  • Why they have nominated
  • Their views on heritage and planning issues pertinent to Unley.

It is hoped they will all attend.

Following the presentations meet with Candidates over a light supper.

Gold coin admission.

Friends of the City of Unley Society Inc (FOCUS) has been campaigning for 11 years to preserve the heritage and character of Unley. FOCUS holds deep reservations about the impact the proposed reforms will have on the City of Unley. It will favour developer led planning in the extreme with the option of precinct based urban renewal whereby a Precinct Authority (which could be initiated by a land owner/ developer ) over the planning of a selected area with the power to bypass the planning system and override Council Development Plans.

REFORM 1- Establish a State Planning Commission: A Planning Commission to administer the planning system with supporting Regional Boards and Regional Development Assessment Panels would effectively remove what remains of council powers over planning and further reduces community participation. The Report staggeringly does not explain how members will be appointed.

There is a risk of Adelaide losing its unique character areas and having a generic sameness. What happens when there is a change of Government?

REFORM 2-Create a network of Regional Planning Boards and DAP’s The Report surprisingly does not explain the composition of members or how they are selected.

Different areas will lose their individuality. Local Councils will have no control over local planning and decision making will be further removed from local residents.

There is nothing to describe how planning policies will be set. “Form based zoning” will replace zones based on land use development which will result in commercial, residential and industrial zones next to each other.

FOCUS strongly objects to the Regional Planning Board concept but would favour local DAP importing additional expertise for significant developments.

REFORM 3- Enact a Charter of Citizen Participation. FOCUS supports any initiative for genuine community involvement in planning, not token participation. The Report does not explain the degree of or evaluation of this process or protection from future changes.

REFORM 4-Allow for independent planning inquiries This appears to be just a means for politicians and Planning Authorities to justify their decisions. There is a place for a Panel of experts to review planning decisions that are contentious and to be available to council DAP’s on request. The Panel could be selected by the appropriate professional bodies.

REFORM 5-Make the role of Parliament more meaningful and effective: Planning decisions should not be made by politicians but by expert planners, currently most important planning decisions are not made based on good design and environmental concerns but based on political concerns.

Political donations by developers should be limited to a set amount and transparent.

REFORM 10-Place Heritage on renewed foundations: FOCUS has serious concerns with the Report and the consequences for heritage protection.

The removal of heritage protection from Council control and placing it in a single body eg a subcommittee of the Planning Commission will further reduce heritage protection. FOCUS also opposes the proposal to carry out an audit of heritage listings and the giving of regulatory powers to private Heritage Consultants.

FOCUS strongly opposes that Contributory items are not considered in the report. Conservation, historic and heritage zones have no protection under the new planning proposals. These character areas are under the biggest threats of all in allowing new developments.

Residents have embraced the certainty of specific policies for character and heritage zones as in Unley. It has been stated that restorations and extensions account for 3 to 4 times the value of new builds in Unley.

Specific policies are needed for conservation zones in areas such as Kensington and Unley as are generic zones for other areas. UNLEY is its character and heritage that is why people choose to live here. Residents have worked with Council for 10 years to have the protection for its character areas whilst still having DPA’s that allow for the population increase required by the Government. Different areas will value their character differently; this is where Council planning can respond to local needs.

The Minister should be required to accept recommendations from the Heritage Council.

General Comment

FOCUS sees it likely that majority of submissions will be from vested interests and skew result in favour of “developers.” FOCUS sees a further round of consultation being essential to inform the ordinary person and obtain their views.

Please find the August 2014 Unley Development Register at the link below


Use the map to select developments of interest and click on them to see details. Each development is colour coded by ward. There is also a chart of the count of developments by ward.

peter wellsA presentation by

Peter Wells B Arch M ICOMOS

Principal Conservation Architect

State Heritage Unit [DEWNR]

Peter has contributed to numerous hands-on conservation projects, heritage seminars, workshops and publications, as well as the reform of the State’s heritage legislation and planning policy.

  • The difference between State and local heritage
  • Unley’s early development
  • Some of the more notable buildings

A free presentation not to be missed! All welcome.

Following the presentation and discussion a light supper will be provided concluding with the Annual General Meeting for FOCUS.

When: Tuesday 16 September 2014

Where: Unley Community Centre, 18 Arthur St Unley

Time: 7:30pm


Click here to download the flyer FOCUS Flyer Sept 2014 (0.2 Mb)

A meeting chaired by

Councilor Michael Hewitson


Development Strategy and Policy Committee – City of Unley

Hear residents’ supporting presentations to the committee on the proposed Council Wide Policy and Zoning Policy Amendments which have the potential to affect all residents 

Comments from the floor will only be called from those residents registered to speak [ when lodging of submissions  closed 22 May 100 persons registered to be heard ]

Other members of the public welcome

When: Monday 16 June 2014

Where: Unley Civic Centre, 181 Unley Road, Unley


Session 1 5:00pm – 6:30pm

Session 27:00pm – 10:30pm [FOCUS presentation this session]

Note: This meeting is not a FOCUS function but all FOCUS members and supporters are encouraged to attend.

Continuing difficulties in confirmation with the Department of Planning have caused us to cancel this meeting.

We urge you to attend the public meeting on Monday 16th of June at 7pm at the Unley Civic Centre Oxford Street Unley during which
submissions will be heard in relation to the DPA for the development for the whole of the City of Unley.

We draw attention to the article in the Advertiser dated 27/5/14 page 9 in relation to the proposed development in the heart of Unley.

To:   All FOCUS Members and Supporters

Please see the attached invitation and notices re happenings in Unley in May and June.

FOCUS has been lobbying Council for 4 years to have historical markers and an accompanying brochure in Unley, we have made a donation towards the printing of the brochure. Deane Kemp has been our representative on this committee.

Please come and bring your family to the launch.


Please note the following dates

Thursday 22nd May 2014 by 5pm.  Closing date for Submissions on the Draft Unley Development Plan  Amendment Stage 2.

Public Meeting at 7pm on Monday 16th June 2014 at the Unley Civic Centre re this. All submissions can be viewed between 27th May and the June meeting. Persons are able to elaborate on their Submissions at this meeting.

Tuesday June 17th 2014 FOCUS Meeting with John Hanlon as Guest Speaker, more details to follow.

Looking forward  to seeing you

Ros Islip


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