A strong number of residents and retailers were present at the June 17 information session regarding the Two Wells Town Centre Development Plan Amendment.
In essence, residents who were present at the community centre were given an update as to what the proposed changes to the town centre would be and how that differed from the existing development plan.
Primarily, the town centre zone has been slightly expanded to include further future services, and a residential policy area within the residential zone has been created.
A residential policy area will make it easier to support development such as residential flat buildings, aged person’s accommodation, nursing homes and retirement villages, adjacent to the Two Wells town centre zone.
District Council of Mallala’s (DCM) strategic projects coordinator, Carol Muzyk, listed the investigations undertaken by council in order to produce the Development Plan Amendment report.
However, the main concerns voiced by the residents in attendance were that of public transport, emergency services, retail opportunities, and the time frame expected for the development to occur.
The findings of the studies Ms Muzyk presented indicated expected future population growth, provided by the Hickinbotham development, will necessitate larger services and it is likely a supermarket and other non-food retailing will be required no earlier than 2021, as well as restricted on-street parking and a centralised off-street car park to eventually be put in place.
Ms Muzyk was also very pleased about the introduction of ‘all age friendly’ policies, noting DCM is one of the first councils in the state to take into serious consideration the needs of the aged, disabled and that of small children.
Gary Mavrinak, general manager of infrastructure and planning for DCM, addressed the eagerness of those who are ready for change and explained that for new retailing opportunities to occur, Crown Land, between the main street and Port Wakefield road, needs to be released for sale, however, this process is in the hands of the State Government and not the local council.
DCM anticipate the Minister for Planning will approve the DPA in the new year, and council can then start working through the process of releasing the Crown Lands.
Following that, it is hoped internal traders as well as others businesses, will see the potential of the new development and invest in the area, thus creating more job opportunities.
Residents, Brad and Therese Martin, look forward to the development and believe “it is a good opportunity, however the time frames involved, make it a lengthy process”, said Therese.
The issue of public transport was discussed and the need for facilities to be in place in order to encourage people into the area.
“The development will drive opportunities for change”, Mr Mavrinak stated, explaining the introduction of public transport is in the hands of the State Government, and council will put a submission into State Government when the development grows and indicates a need for it.
Mr Mavrinak acknowledged the development is somewhat of a chicken and egg situation, services need to be in place before the population increases, however, development and investment will occur when the demand is there.
He also pointed out Two Wells is only one growth area in the north, and council is working on attracting emergency services, as well as other services, to the town centre to cope with the expected growth.
Resident Frank Spliet said “public transport is a must, particularly for older people who can’t get to town for their medical appointments. And we also need an ambulance”.
Mr Spliet also pointed out how “absolutely dangerous” the right turn lanes coming off Port Wakefield Road into Two Wells are, stating “they are narrow and short”.
This was also pointed out by Jo Spurling who is concerned the potential growth will bring heavier traffic and make exiting off the highway more difficult.
“Upgrades are intended with growth”, Mr Mavrinak said in reply.
The Hickinbotham development will have its own wastewater treatment plant and once this is running council will look into using this for the existing homes in the town, so that a common effluent scheme will be in place.
The council also has a Storm Water Management Plan in draft to address the issue of flooding in the town.
For some, the development can’t come soon enough, for others, apprehension about what that change may bring leaves them uneasy.
But change is coming, albeit, very slowly.
If you have any submissions to council regarding the proposed changes you must do so by July 31, the DPA report is available for review and public comment until this time.
Copies of the DPA report are available at the Two Wells Service Centre, Two Wells Library and Mallala Council Offices, or online at www.mallala.sa.gov.au
If required, a public meeting will be held Monday August 10 at the Mallala council chambers if interested persons wish to be heard in relation to the DPA and the submissions. The public meeting will not be held if no submissions are received or if no submission makes a request to be heard.
For further information about the DPA, please contact Carol Muzyk on 08 8527 0200 or email email@example.com