Application delay leaves residents in limbo

A FRUSTRATED Mallala couple believes their lives have been put on hold due to a development application that continues to drag on, nearly nine months since public submissions for the proposal
ended.

The application is seeking approval to construct 13 seasonal worker accommodation buildings – which will have a maximum capacity of 156 people – on the vacant land at the old Mallala Hospital
site.

Mallala residents Greville and Trudy Knight live right next to the proposed site and have led a community campaign ever since they were informed of the development in August last year.

“I’ll be doing everything in my power to stop this project from going ahead,” Mr Knight said.

“I letterboxed half the town to let everyone know about (the development).

“Our CWMS isn’t up to scratch to cope with 156 additional people and I’ve got concerns about safety and the additional traffic on Chivell Street and Aerodrome Road.”

Mr Knight said he made a public submission to Adelaide Plains Council opposing the development in September last year, but the developer, Stewart Property Trust, has continually sought extensions to respond to submissions.

“They had to respond by December, but come December it got extended until March, then in March it got extended until the end of June – it’s just been pushed out and pushed out,” he said.

“There is also no limits to the amount of extensions they can make, it could go on and on, and our lives are on hold.”

As part of the development, a six-metre gas tank will be situated in the immediate vicinity of the couple’s driveway.

Adelaide Plains Council development and community general manager Rob Veitch spoke about the application at the April meeting of elected members.

“A development application can remain open indefinitely, at the request of the applicant,” he said.

“They don’t have to give a reason as to why they’re extending it – it could be financial, family- based, or whatever.”

Mr Knight believes the nine month process for development approval is far too long, and extension loopholes within the Development Act are allowing the developer to hold council to ransom.

“We’re trying not to let next door affect us, but if this goes ahead the value of our property will be diminished overnight,” he said.

“The value of properties in the immediate area will all go down and it’s just not a good situation to be in.”

Tom Staggard

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Born and raised in Adelaide's northern suburbs, Tom attended Tyndale Christian School in Salisbury East before studying journalism at the University of South Australia. Tom joined The Bunyip in June 2017 after previously working in the Adelaide Hills for The Courier newspaper in Mount Barker and the Weekender Herald in Crafers. As part of his role, Tom will cover the Adelaide Plains and Playford council regions. Away from work, he is a massive sports fan and loves all things football, cricket, basketball and soccer.

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