Chaos Confusion and Misinformation
Changes to planning laws set in train by the former Labor government and now being advanced by the State Planning Commission are putting at risk thousands of historic buildings across South Australia.
In May, the Commission announced that it not only plans to remove recognition for some 12,000 buildings known as Contributory Items - clusters of historic buildings across 25 local government areas - but also plans to weaken protections from demolition for all heritage listed places in South Australia.
Property owners, community groups, local councils and the Local Government Association are highly concerned that, if these proposals are supported by the State Government, hard won protections for our historic places, streetscapes and neighbourhoods will be lost or significantly compromised.
Planning bureaucrats in the State Government appear to believe that it is inevitable and necessary to sacrifice our heritage places to feed that development engine. We disagree. All around the world, city, state and national governments have recognised that heritage protection and active preservation and equal or greater contributors to long term employment and economic growth than the short term gain made by allowing these assets to be destroyed for the sake of new developments.
Contributory Items and Historic Conservation Zones
Contributory Items have been designated for the contribution they make to the historic and architectural character of a particular area and are located primarily in Historic Conservation Zones. Along with State and Local Heritage Places, they are the building blocks of these zones. Contributory Items play a fundamental role in protecting the heritage values and unique qualities of historic areas. Whilst there are approximately 12,000 Contributory Items registered in South Australia, this figure represents just 1.8% of the total 741,748 separate and medium-density dwellings in our state (ABS 2016).
Contributory Items have less protection that State or Local Heritage listed places, as they are not recognised within the State planning system.They could all be lost if protections for Contributory Items are entirely stripped away under new planning regulations. Imagine losing 12,000 of the most special places in the state. What a disaster!
There are more than 30 council areas in South Australia that have no local heritage protection in place at all. That means all historic buildings are at risk of being lost, except for those very few that have State Heritage listing and protection.
If your council has yet to move to protect your local heritage, now is the time for you to advocate for local heritage listings for the places that you love and want to see protected.
Contact your Council and urge them to protect your local heritage.