Proposed Amendment Needs Careful Consideration

The Department of Lands, Planning and the Environment is calling for comment on the rezoning of land currently General Industry to Service Commercial in the Darwin Inner Suburbs.

Planning Application 2016/0056 proposes to amend the NT Planning Scheme to rezone land on Jolly Street, Bishop Street, Damaso Place, Snell Street and Charlton Court from Zone GI (General Industry) to Zone SC (Service Commercial).

The Property Council of Australia’s Northern Territory Director Ruth Palmer said that the Property Council has a number of serious concerns surrounding the rezoning and that an amendment to the planning scheme will require careful consideration prior to implementation.

“In general, we support the adoption of the Darwin Inner Suburbs Plan but we believe that a reasonable and responsible timeframe must be applied to endorsing rezoning changes given the current market conditions.

“Currently we fail to understand why there is an urgent need to act immediately on the rezoning from General Industry to Service Commercial.
“Darwin’s commercial vacancy rate has jumped up 9.8% and this was largely due to -18,727 sqm of net absorption and 16,286 sqm of supply additions.
“All grades of space recorded a total vacancy rate of nearly 21%.” Ms Palmer Said.

The Property Council has submitted a response to the proposed amendment that offers potential solutions and recommendations.

“We believe that the adoption of the rezoning should be delayed pending a detailed Master Plan of the subject area. This Plan should cover various issues including parking, pedestrian crossings, traffic flow, alfresco dining, liquor licencing options and so forth.

“The Master Plan could also consider further impacts like the future of the whole of the Winnellie industrial area and the subject area.
“Another consideration that should be taken into account would be to break down the whole site area and stagger the introduction of the zoning change, particularly that of the Stuart Highway.

“Given the proximity of the Stuart Highway, it is clearly an area appropriate for medium to high density mixed uses. We would welcome the opportunity to work with the Northern Territory Government to develop an appropriate plan for this area.”

Media contact: Ruth Palmer | M 0450 428 314 | E [email protected]