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Stormwater management and urban tree canopy reports

In October 2020 the South Australian state government released two reports entitled Costs and Benefits of Stormwater Management Options for Minor Infill Development and Costs and Benefits of Urban Tree Canopy Options for Minor Infill Development.

Storm water and tree canopy management

The purpose of the two South Australian government reports is to outline intended policy direction under Phase 3 of the SA Planning Reform, addressing foreseen amenity issues including pressure on existing public stormwater infrastructure and significant tree loss within the urban landscape.

The reports provide guidance to policy direction but do not stipulate how provisions will be enforced under the Planning and Design Code.

Key directions coming from the reports for proposed developments include:

  • mandatory tree planting
  • compulsory detention tanks associated with retention tanks
  • the option of an offset scheme to provide financial funding for wetlands, biofilters and public tree planting projects.

The state government commissioned independent experts to assist in analysing the cost effectiveness of the proposed options. The objective was to find the most cost-effective way to balance stormwater management and tree canopy retention within the urban metropolitan landscape. The directions listed within these reports are not considered applicable for greenfield sites.

Although comprehensive, the reports do not cover the following topics:

  • The species of tree required to achieve compliance
  • The effect tree planting has on neighbouring properties
  • The fees structure under an offset scheme and the allocation of such funding.

It is anticipated Phase 3 of the planning reform will be adopted into law by 2021.

To find out more, contact HIA’s Planning and Environment team.

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