Concerns over housing proposal

Concerned Lyndoch residents, Mr Jesse Mundy, Mr Rory Deer, Ms Sharon Major, Ms Brenda Dutschke, Mr Simon Carpenter and Mr Wayne Dutschke.

A proposal to subdivide more than eight hectares of Lyndoch land into housing has come with objection by locals who say the block sizes should be bigger.

Andrew Davidson Pty Ltd and C. N. Scalzi Investments Pty Ltd seek to create 86 additional allotments on God’s Hill Road, Lyndoch.

The Barossa Council prepared a draft Development Plan Amendment (DPA) to rezone the land on Gilbert Street and God’s Hill Road, Lyndoch to “provide for township growth” with the process starting as early as 2012 and going before the former Planning Minister, Mr John Rau in 2015.

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While nearby residents were aware of the development proposal, they have recently expressed concern over a number of aspects including the block sizes as they were of the belief larger blocks would be proposed.

Mr Simon Carpenter said he has no objection to building and expanding, as long as the blocks are a reasonable size.

“At the moment, what they are planning is high density housing complex,” said Simon.

“If it was a third to an acre block, I wouldn’t care so much.”

There are fears the size of the blocks would also attract smaller size rental properties and with that their own range of issues, with Simon adding a similar development has already occurred in the township with exactly the same problems.

Wayne and Brenda Dutschke, who expressed concern during the consultation process to the former planning minister in 2015, raised concerns around block frontages, traffic and evacuation points if there was a bushfire.

“This was in the 30 year plan to become residential and turned from primary production to residential,” said Wayne.

“Barossa preservation is in place to continue the theme and character of the townships… the report says it does meet the character of the country towns but the majority of these blocks are less than 800 square metres.

“We know it will be developed and it is a beautiful property but plan properly,” added Brenda.

“And make it good for the Barossa.”

Mr Rory Deer saw benefit for the proposed estate to be offered in larger block sizes and cited examples with other parcels of land in the southern Barossa area that can’t be developed.

“There is so much vacant land in the town that could be utilised,” said Rory.

“People are going to buy this for rentals… but this is dream land.

“It’s about what’s right for the area and right for the land.”

Rory said he understood the land is there to be developed but the nature of the development is “unacceptable”.

“The impact on the land, the size of the allotments… I deal with buyers all the time. Lyndoch is one location that fits the bill for the dream house. The last Lyndoch subdivision with the Lindner Group we had 600-1,500 square metre blocks. I get a lot of people that come to my house and say they would love to live here (because of the view) but the intensity of the size of the allotments… there is absolutely no open reserve on the plan at all.”

Rory drew on his experience to add there would be just as much value for the developers if they went with a minimum 700 square metre block and result in half the infrastructure.

“This isn’t keeping with the character of the area,” said Rory.

The residents also expressed concern about the infrastructure needed to cater for the large growth in the township, which has the potential to have at least another 250 people, citing water pressure already a growing concern.

“I can’t use pop up sprinklers in summer,” said Ms Sharon Major.

“There are no plans for rainwater, telecommunications… the infrastructure is not there and the power would need to boost up,” added Simon.

Mr Jesse Mundy, who lives at the top end of God’s Hill Road said it would be nice to see the concept that is envisaged.

He questioned many aspects of the proposal, including if there would be any two storey homes.

He also cited traffic increases and local employment opportunities.

“Where are you going to employ the extra 86 families,” asked Jesse.

“Also, people do speed on this road and it would be pretty dangerous if there are houses on here.

“Gawler is in grid lock and the railway station car parks are full of people commuting to Adelaide.”

With consultation on the category two development closing earlier this month and a date for the application to be assessed at the Barossa Assessment Panel yet to be advised, Simon hoped the proposal isn’t “rubber stamped”.

“I hope that Council considers the residents,” said Simon.

“There are not enough bus runs, there isn’t a doctor in the town and as far as transport goes, that is a big issue.

“What we do know is enough to make us pretty scared.”

Brenda added “The post office doesn’t have enough space for any more boxes.”

The Barossa Council has received the application with consultation for the Category 2 proposal closing on October 14.

According to The Barossa Council, the land is within the Township Zone, Policy Area 12 – Residential Lyndoch. Within this Policy Area the minimum allotment size is listed as 500sqm.

Locals have questioned why the consultation process did not include the wider community as well as those adjoining the development.

Council said the Development Act 1993, Development Regulations 2008 and the Development Plan, list developments which are required to be treated as Category 1 and Category 2 for public notification purposes. Anything that is not listed by these documents defaults to Category 3.

In this case the proposed development is listed in Schedule 9 of the Development Regulations 2008 as a development that is required to undergo Category 2 public notification.

The development application will be presented to the independent Barossa Assessment Panel for decision but this has not yet been listed.

The Leader contacted the developers of the proposal, who declined to comment.

However, in 2015 Mr Charlie Scalzi told The Leader while there is never one uniform size block in a subdivision, he sought flexibility.

He envisaged 20 blocks would be released in the first stage with no more than 60 blocks in total.