Congestion, ‘green belt’, among residents’ priorities

TRAFFIC, parking and a decision on Gawler’s rural zone were among residents’ primary concerns in a recent council survey.

Gawler Council is undertaking a review of its Gawler Community Plan, which was released to the public for consultation in April.

The responses were tabled at council’s June meeting, with the state of car parking and traffic across the town a focus of many submissions.

Congestion and parking on Murray Street, along the town’s centre, was of particular concern for residents.

One resident suggested making the main street one-way with 45-degree parking bays, while another suggested reducing the speed limit.

“Right now, it (Murray Street) still feels like a noisy thoroughfare,” the response read.

“If speeds are reduced and the pedestrian experience improves, new businesses will be attracted, leading to an even more vibrant town centre.”

One submission, from a Murray Street business owner, said customers were avoiding the main street because they were afraid of receiving a parking ticket.

“As a business owner on Murray Street, the number of adverse comments we get about car parking tickets has to be taken into account,” the response read.

“It drives people away and the income you generate from them can’t be that significant.”

Also atop the list of respondents’ concerns was Gawler’s rural zone, south of the town.

The area, known as Gawler’s “green belt” or “buffer zone” has been a source of contention between council and landowners in Kudla, Hillier, Evanston Gardens and Evanston South, with the two parties at odds over the viability of primary production in the area.

Council had previously submitted a Statement of Intent to the State Government ahead of a potential Development Plan Amendment which could have seen zoning changes in the area.

Planning minister Stephan Knoll declined to consider council’s plans until it released a pivotal planning report – the Jensen Report No 2 – which it had kept secret for four years.

The report recommended zoning land east of the Gawler rail line primary production and was met with resistance by landholders, who want to be able to divide their land into smaller allotments, consistent with the rural living classification.

One response, from “green belt” property owner Nick Pezzaniti to the community plan consultation stated council should think of the area as more than just a “buffer” between Gawler and Munno Para.

“My overwhelming impression of the document is that it is predominantly concerned about the ‘town of Gawler’ and not the surrounding rural areas that also part the council area,” his response read.

“The rural areas, it would appear, only serve one purpose and that is to provide a buffer for the ‘town’ in order to preserve its identity.”

Gawler Mayor Karen Redman said the feedback would be used to formulate a Gawler Community Plan 2030 draft, which would also be released for public consultation.

Sam Bradbrook

@sambradbrook

Sam Bradbrook joined The Bunyip in 2018 as a reporter and covers the Gawler, Playford and Adelaide Plains Council rounds. He graduated from the University of South Australia in the same year with a Bachelor of Journalism and Professional Writing and had previously interned at the Jakarta Post in Indonesia and The Courier in Mount Barker before moving to Gawler. In February of 2020, Sam was named the Young Journalist of the Year for 2019 by Country Press South Australia. He is interested in reporting on politics, healthcare, police and social issues and outside of work has a passion for sport and music.

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