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Your views: on Adelaide's changing skyline, and Housing Trust

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on towers, city design and planning rules, and eligibility changes for social housing.

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Commenting on the story: Adelaide’s towering tensions

Stephanie Johnston’s thoughtful piece provides a refreshing commentary on the approach to town planning in South Australia. 

While I don’t agree with all of her comments, I share her confusion as to why we appear to be so ready to ignore guiding principles that have been implemented, and to approve developments that are two or three times the supposed ‘maximum height’.

I appreciate that the State needs new developments to drive growth, and that developers need to achieve sufficient scale to be able to recoup their investments. However, what is developing through the CBD (in particular) is a patchwork of disconnected, high-rise towers, with no apparent vision for the city’s future cityscape.

There is a need for far greater clarity as to the rationale for such outlying approvals, the long term vision of State planners for the city’s skyline, and whether existing planning restrictions need to be updated so that they are not so routinely ignored. – Josh Simons

Yet another complaint-ridden article by someone seemingly terrified of even any moderate change to Adelaide’s skyline.

Sadly, they are not alone and it is clear that there are a very vocal group of people adverse to any sort of development beyond a low number of floors – even in the city.

Taller buildings certainty does not always equate to a better city, but Adelaide feels like an infinitely more vibrant and “happening” place than it did 10 years ago. This is in part because of the increased amount of people living in the CBD due to the numerous apartment developments.

It would also be nice to see InDaily print an opinion piece offering a more positive assessment of recent development in response. Louis Rankin

Stephanie Johnston’s article is an excellent and damning commentary of how Adelaide is losing its unique character and difference.  

With Rau’s legacy of unlimited heights and Capital City Zone incentives and the recent Planning and Design Code’s diminished heritage protection, I despair about what our decision makers are thinking. 

Have they not travelled to other places in Australia or overseas to see that the retention of local culture, expressed in carefully managed built environment is a valuable component of a liveable city, contented residents and tourist visitation? Are we blind to the Sustainable Development Goals which aim collaboratively by 2030 to achieve a planet that can survive into the future? 

Adelaide’s State Heritage listed Newmarket hotel project is over twice the recommended height for the site, with SCAP recently approving the development, despite the “demolition of structures of historic significance” which  “diminish the integrity and heritage values of the Newmarket Hotel” (State Government planner’s report).

So many of us are increasingly angered at seeing our city destroyed for a “development and jobs at any cost” mentality, profiting just a few, and ruining the legacy of a once special historic city. Why are we striving to be like everywhere else? Shame on you Adelaide. – Elizabeth Vines

Please don’t make the same mistake in beautiful Adelaide as being made here in Melbourne and surrounding suburbs Box Hill, Doncaster, Chadstone.   

Just take a look at Box Hill in Melbourne’s east; three massive apartment towers already and plans submitted for seven more, with heights between 25 and 47 stories. The bright blue Australian sky smeared with these monstrosities, casting shadows over neighbourhoods and creating dark, wind tunnel canyons at ground level.  

We are unnecessarily importing a crowded, mega-city model into our much more open landscape. With the current NSW Delta COVID strain outbreak ravaging apartment complexes there, this style of accommodation is now proving to be a very unhealthy living environment. 

All the stylised artist impressions of these bright, airy, “green” and glamorous sky scraper apartments cannot hide the fact that they are unsightly for miles around and ultimately will become unloved urban ghettos being pursued by uncaring developers after quick bucks. Phil Sykes

Another example: approval was given for a 12-storey tower on Colley Reserve, with the block being only 10 metres wide.

Clearly the Council regulations require 5-storey, but this is set aside for no reason.

The development actually breaks every development guideline set by the council just three years ago. But the State Commission and Assessment Panel ignored every infringement or regulation control and it is approved.

It is an approval that everyone will regret for years to come as Colley Terrace becomes yet another seaside canyon. – Andrew Millar

I guess it’s a sign of the times. I just wish more thought was given before approval given to towers in areas like North Adelaide. – Christine Brown

I want to give a vote of support for urban planner Stephanie Johnston’s excellent article. I have been concerned about the march of mundane modern architecture in Adelaide for some time.

Adelaide is half a world away from most of the rest of the world so we need excellent architecture that shows urban sympathy to keep people interested in our far off city.

I have a couple of concerns with high rise buildings. The first is the lack of shading of direct sunlight from windows. Adding a film layer of sun protection to the glass itself doesn’t cut it. I can remember working in a city high rise office where, on a hot sunny day, heat poured in through the double glazing and the aluminium frame acted as a heater (too hot to touch) undermining the airconditioning. Most new owners of high rise apartments have no idea of the airconditioning costs due to unshaded windows until they get their electricity bill.

The second is the environmental hot spots caused by the high density of buildings. All new high rise buildings should be made to have at least 80% green space on their roof. Keep up the great commentary, Stephanie. – Christopher Shute

Commenting on the story: Exercise in spin’: Housing advocates slam eligibility changes

The change in eligibility for SA Housing Trust properties does one thing – those people currently on the waiting list who aren’t in Category 1 now know that they will never get a Housing Trust property.

They were never going to get a property, so nothing has really changed. Social housing is allocated based on need and with close to 3,300 people in Category 1, anyone who isn’t in that group is not going to be allocated a property.  

We have over 200 people rough sleeping in the CBD and we can’t get enough properties for them, so someone with a reasonable asset base and income was never going to be prioritised over them.

What this change doesn’t do is free up any more housing for those who are Category 1. Louise Miller Frost, CEO St Vincent de Paul Society SA Inc

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