InDaily can reveal that Planning Minister Stephan Knoll will today gazette an extension to the project’s approval to October 2021 – 14 years after the residential development was first given major project status by the State Government.
Knoll has written to Walker Corporation boss Lang Walker today noting that discussions between the company and the department have reached a position “which provides the framework for the project proceeding to fruition”.
“I have concurred with this approach, and am advised that this will take place upon formal gazettal soon,” the letter says.
The Minister was unavailable for further comment today, but it seems the negotiations were related to a determination to stitch up a firm start date for the long-delayed development.
The gazettal notice, to be published this afternoon, extends the approval by three years. The project, dubbed ‘Riverlea Park’, aims to create a community of 12,000 homes for more than 30,000 people by 2036.
In the notice, Knoll will specify “the period up until 31 October 2021 as the time within which substantial work must be commenced on site, failing which I may cancel this authorisation”.
Buckland Park was first given major project status in 2007 by then Labor Planning Minister Paul Holloway, before receiving initial development approval in 2010.
Since then, the project has been subject to delay after delay, and granted a series of 12-month ministerial extensions to its development approval.
The latest deadline to begin substantial works expired at the end of October last year.
A Walker Corporation spokesperson welcomed the extension.
“A three-year development authorisation will enable us to complete the substantial work required including the completion of the Port Wakefield Road intersection,” he said.
“This will be another important milestone in the development of Riverlea which, at 12,000 homes and 1300 hectares, will be the largest residential development in South Australia for more than 35 years. Enabling works are already underway and we anticipate marketing for the first sales to commence mid this year.”
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