Grievance Debate: Paradise Development

Mr GARDNER ( Morialta ) ( 15:31 :46 ): Today, I wish to talk about a new development taking place in my area that a number of constituents are quite concerned about. The proposal is for 18 two-storey dwellings to be built on 301,007 square metres of land on the corner of George Street and La Scala Court in the suburb of Paradise. Existing residents of La Scala Court, many of whom are elderly, purchased their properties on the premise that the land across the road would not be developed according to the plans—

Members interjecting:


Mr GARDNER: —of 12 March 2011. These are mainly people who wish to downsize to something smaller and more manageable but who also wish to stay in the beautiful tree-lined surrounds of Paradise. Concerns have been raised about increases in traffic, including difficulties turning right and entering and exiting the development, bins having to be placed out in the street as there is no footpath, and further stresses to infrastructure, including stormwater run-off, water pipes and sewerage systems.

Residents from within the nearby retirement village, Warrina Homes, a number of whom have written to me, describe how they fear the changes might affect them. With permission, I am going to use some of the words that have been offered to me by residents of Warrina Homes. I quote:

F rom a personal point of view the close proximity ( of the development ) to our property will be very intimidating and uncomfortable. We did not buy into retirement village to have to face this situation , i t never entered our minds that C ouncil would consider such an intrusion. We are not against progress and development but surely they could reflect the local surroundings , not destroy them.

This construction will tower over our small area to the degree that it will be completely overshadowed. During late autumn, winter and early spring (6 months of the year ) we will have no afternoon sunlight into our living area , one of our bedrooms , nor onto our gardens. In summer the reflected heat will create a very hot , en close d space , and it will be unbearable.

I have spoken to a number of councillors and to council administration about this development. I understand the pressures on council caused by the fact that for them to reject any development they have to take into account the liability they may face of being therefore taken to court and the standards being applied against their plan and not requiring, of course, the complete agreement with plan for the development to be judged.

It is a significant cost to ratepayers when council bears those legal fees and, when the chances of successfully defending their position are not considered to be appropriate, then that is a real strain, and it is something it is incumbent on all of us in this place to consider whenever we are dealing with planning matters. Obviously, we want employment to be encouraged in an economy as moribund as this state's and, with the declining of the manufacturing industry and over a decade of a Labor state government, this is even more pertinent.

We need that building industry to be able to continue to survive and provide those jobs, but it must not come at the expense of people's lifestyles, quality of life and reasonable expectations that the communities they buy into will not be completely changed, the streets they buy into will not be completely changed, in opposition to the development plans that they understand they are moving into. All of us need to think about this very seriously when we are dealing with planning and development matters.

I have sadness for those residents who are in distress. I hope the development, which, clearly, now will be going ahead, will not produce some of the negative consequences that some residents have envisaged and that there may well indeed be some opportunities for local infrastructure improvements. I will work hard to endeavour to seek those opportunities where they may be found.