APPROVALS for significant private sector developments in Adelaide broke the $1 billion mark in 2016.

Improved planning systems and supportive business conditions underpinned the high level of investment applications.

The approvals by the Development Assessment Commission totalled $1.12 billion for the calendar year, led by the Festival Plaza development which is on track to create hundreds of jobs in construction and then permanently as new retail, hospitality and office premises open.

Planning and City of Adelaide Minister John Rau welcomed the achievement of exceeding the psychological barrier for the second consecutive year and said it showed reforms and positive policies were delivering results.

The 2015 and 2016 results are more than double the 2014 approvals and triple those granted in 2013 before the system was reformed. The DAC approvals only cover projects which are individually worth more than $10 million so the full total of private investment would be even higher.

ADELAIDE DEVELOPMENTS >$10M APPROVED BY DAC 2013 CALENDAR YEAR
Residential* 8 $147.8 million
Commercial** 5 $209.2 million
Total 13 $357 million
ADELAIDE DEVELOPMENTS >$10M APPROVED BY DAC 2014 CALENDAR YEAR
Residential* 11 $306.2 million
Commercial** 5 $87.8 million
Total 16 $394 million
ADELAIDE DEVELOPMENTS >$10M APPROVED BY DAC 2015 CALENDAR YEAR
Residential* 12 $356 million
Commercial** 11 $732.95 million
Total 23 $1.09 billion
ADELAIDE DEVELOPMENTS >$10M APPROVED BY DAC 2016 CALENDAR YEAR
Residential* 11 $509 million
Commercial** 8 $611.6 million
Total 19 $1.12 billion

The five projects approved in 2016 with the highest dollar value were:

• Festival Plaza redevelopment with a development cost of $230 million
• SkyCity redevelopment with a development cost of $175.4 million
• 11-27 Frome Street and Lot 101 Synagogue Place with a development cost of $100 million
• 322-336 King William Street (former Trims site) with a development cost of $84.6 million
• City High School with a development cost of $70 million

The $1.12 billion of approved projects included three major projects led by the State Government.

These were:
• City High School with a development cost of $70 million
• The O-Bahn City Access Project with a development cost of $38.3 million
• The Torrens Rail Junction Project with a development cost of $12.2 million

Background

Reforms to the planning system have aimed to stimulate investment and new housing, support infrastructure development, generate jobs and make Adelaide a more attractive place to live and work.

The Development Assessment Commission operates as the single planning authority for approvals of projects above $10 million, making it a simpler and more professionally adjudicated process for investors.

All such developments must be referred to the Government Architect because good design is a fundamental criterion in the assessment process.

A pre-lodgement process is provided by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure with support from local government and other government agencies. This aims to ensure worthwhile projects are facilitated to navigate the DAC process as quickly as possible.

Interpretation of the approvals’ figure does need to be treated with caution in that not all approved projects reach commitment and final go-ahead.

Reforms will be further enhanced as the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act – which was passed by Parliament last year - takes effect.

The update to the 30-year Plan for Greater Adelaide also will complement the attractiveness of investment in the city.

Lower business taxes – including the phase down and then abolition of stamp duty on non-residential property transactions – is stimulating business investment.

Quotes attributable to Planning and City of Adelaide Minister John Rau

“The city has been revitalised in recent years with small licensed venues, modern apartment developments and well-designed public infrastructure such as Adelaide Oval.

“Economic initiatives such as stamp duty concessions have combined with planning policies to harness market forces with dynamic results.
“The $1 billion in approvals is a mark that South Australians should be proud of.

“It is a sign that the economy is strong and responsive to policies which make the State and Adelaide a great place to live and work.”