More land for housing welcomed – by some

The Planning Minister’s approval of the Port Lincoln City Council’s Residential Development Plan Amendment (DPA) last week is the culmination of many years of lobbying by residents and work by the council and consultants to identify where and how residential growth will happen into the future.

It has been more than two years since the Residential DPA went out to public consultation and six years since the minister approved the statement of intent because work was postponed while the council worked on the now defunct Greater Port Lincoln Structure Plan.

Now that it has finally been approved, for those whose land has been approved to allow subdivision (pictured in yellow), there will be celebrations and for others who hoped their land would be rezoned to allow subdivision but have not been successful, the news is not so welcome.

Yet another group will not be happy about the potential infill development around their homes.

In reponse to the news the changes had been approved, a couple of comments on the Port Lincoln Times Facebook page pointed to the number of houses already for sale in Port Lincoln and the fact that the city’s population has gone backwards – albeit by a very small amount – in recent years.

This is a fair point but it seems the slight decrease in the population may be due to increasing development “over the hill” in the Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council area and providing the option for more larger/semi-rural-style allotments to be created within the city limits may lure people to buy there rather than in the district council area.

The council has also made the point that these new pockets of residential zones were created with a long-term view in mind – and 5000 more houses is certainly a long-term vision.

It aims to cater for development for the next 15 years and many of the people who will now have the option to subdivide their land have said in the past it was not something they planned to do straight away but they would like the option to do so in the future depending on their needs and the market at the time.

There are plenty of arguments for and against the changes, which could ultimately provide the capacity for another 5000 homes to be built in the city, but in the end the market will dictate whether or not the land is required and if so, when it will be viable for release.