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development in Adelaide « Previous | |Next »
July 15, 2008

The South Australian Government's decision is to put an independent assessment body in charge of all city projects worth more than $10 million. The Adelaide City Council's recent rejection of a $180 million building development in Franklin Street/Bentham Street in the CBD is given as one reason for the Rann Government's decision to move to keep Adelaide City Council out of planning decisions involving any development worth more than $10 million.

I do not know why the Adelaide City Council rejected the development proposal for the Franklin Street high rise apartments. I understand that the Development Assessment Commission recently rejected a multi-million-dollar office project for the corner of Franklin and Bentham Street in the city, known locally as Post Office Square, because it did not fit the publicly agreed planning guidelines.

The Council has been very pro development under Mayor Harbison, so I don't know why the State Government needs to make life easier for those developers who push the envelop by breaching the development rules that govern development in the city of Adelaide. The antiquated anti-development rhetoric of the Property Council makes little sense.

This City Council's record undercuts the claim by Paul Holloway, the Minister for Urban Development and Planning, that the Adelaide City Council wants to keep the City of Adelaide as a 19th century back water, and that such a position reflects the views of a few hundred voters. Holloway is spinning.He comes across as saying that any development is good because it is development.

It looks like a power grab to me; one based on knobbling local government (cut and dice is the phrase reportedly used by Holloway when addressing the Property Council) as it was done without any consultation or negotiation with the Adelaide City Council. The Rann Government comes across as becoming increasingly intolerant of democratic opposition and countervailing centres of power, rather than engaging in a public debate about what sort of city Adelaide should become with globalization and climate change.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:52 PM | | Comments (7)


I was in Adelaide last weekend. There is development happening everywhere in the western and southern parts of the CBD. You can sense the boom happening after 20 years of doldrums.

It sounds like a power grab to 'develop the parklands' for the petrol heads.

Many of us _like_ the fact that Adelaide is a 19th C backwater. That's why we live here rather than Sydney or Melbourne.

some of the 19thC buildings are pretty trashy and ther is little reason to save them. I have lived and worked in them. A new building is an improvement.

I see this around the SE corner of the CBD in terms of houses and workshops.

What is needed is good regional architecture.

are you saying that all the old architecture is good and all the new development is bad?

Adelaide, unlike Melbourne, still has to realize that the city (CBD) needs to offer more than shops and offices, and it has to be appealing outside of the core business hours.At the moment the focus is just on putting up new building not fostering a more interesting urban life.

Nasn and Gary, I agree there are some pretty ghastly old buildings in Adelaide, but there are some that are delightful, and there were a lot more that got knocked down or compromised in the 50s and 60s. (The Southern Cross Hotel and the Brookman Arcade spring to mind.) However, there are very few good modern buildings. Think about the Telstra building on Pirie St or the State Bank Folly on Currie St for example. Worse, most of the modern buildings are poorly constructed and unsustainable.

the two buildings that you name are indeed awful. They are Brutalist modernism par excellence and have nothing to do with a regional architecture. And some of the new housing developments leave much to be desired.

But not all of the new buildings in the CBD are that bad---the Advertiser building in Waymouth is interesting, as is the Federal Court Building in Victoria Square.

My argument is about making Adelaide a far more liveable city. It is a post modernism of the street and the public space that challenges the modernism not of the motorway and brutalist architecture.

I would argue that the new development does not pay much attention to the street or public space.