A group of Gawler residents are asking for a greater say in the future character of their area, and not have new planning rules imposed upon them by the Gawler Council or the State Government.

Over 70 residents who live in the southern parts of Gawler gathered for a workshop to discuss a vision for their, and policies and principles for development which would protect the good things about the area, and promote improvements where required.

The workshop was arranged and facilitated by local Member of Parliament, Mr Tony Piccolo, in response to resident’s concerns about the Town of Gawler not taking their views in account and wanted to impose unworkable rules on their locality.

The Southern Gawler area of the Council has been a battlefield for decades between the Town of Gawler and local residents about what should be the future character of the area.

Mr Piccolo said residents are not happy with the actions and directions the Council has taken on this matter to date, so have decided to sit down and discuss amongst themselves what they like about their area and what their area could look like in the future.

“Residents have to be commended for taking this innovative approach to planning, where they try to find common ground and come up with a plan that can accommodate different needs of the community,” said Mr Piccolo.

“Interestingly, the workshop found that local residents shared a lot of similar values and views about what their area could look like in the future.”

The key aspirations the residents voiced at the workshop were:

• Maintain the open character of the area

• Allow a range of allotment sizes that enable families to have a range of small-scale pursuits

• Development should accommodate a range of lifestyles

• Small scale agriculture, horticulture and animal keeping should be permitted

• Basic infrastructure should be improved to promote a connected community

• More intensive forms of development could occur alongside key public transports (e.g., Gawler Railway)

• Have policies that promote the greening of the area

Mr Piccolo said the key to addressing the future character of the area is understanding its important location.

“Residents see the area as unique because of its location between urban Adelaide and township Gawler and are keen to promote that transition.”

“The area should be seen through the prism of a “special character” rather than trying to fit into existing categories, which have considerable limitations.”

“There was a great deal of thoughtful discussion and reflection during the two-hour workshop.”