Over 500 submissions have been lodged opposing the controversial change in zoning proposed for Evanston Park, while Gawler Council has changed direction and will now consult with the community.

Local Member of Parliament, Mr Tony Piccolo said he understands that at the 5 pm Sunday 12th March 2023 deadline for submissions the proponent had received over 500 representations opposing the code amendment.

The proposal would rezone the Vadoulis Nursery site from General Neighbourhood (residential) to an employment zone (commercial, bulky goods etc).

Mr Piccolo said he also tendered a submission outlining the key concerns raised with him by residents in the area, and throughout Gawler, generally.

Some of the key issues raised by residents in their submissions include:

• The scale of the development permitted by the proposed code amendment will significantly impair the visual amenity of the locality and have a detrimental impact on the Gawler community.

• While the proposed traffic lights are essential if the amendment proceeds, it will generate significant additional traffic in an already congested area.  The locality has two other sets of traffic lights in close proximity. Additional traffic problems along Adelaide Road is likely to result in “rat running” in adjacent residential streets.

• The removal of most of the existing trees on the site would not be compensated by the proposed landscaping, which will be minimal and have a negative impact on the appearance/amenity of the locality and the biodiversity of area.

• The commercial activities will generate noise that will affect the quality of life for adjacent and nearby residents.

• The amendment is inconsistent with elements of Council’s Community Plan 2030+ and economic development strategy 2020-2025

• The code amendment will lead to development that will create a negative entry statement to the historic core of Gawler.

• The proposed Land Management Agreement will not necessarily stop a petrol station and fast-food outlet been built on the site at a later date.

At the recent special council meeting, councillors were told that a letter from the Minister for Planning, the Hon Nick Champion MP had clarified their position and Council would now engage with the community and then present a submission for the code amendment process.

Mr Piccolo said he welcomed the announcement by the council and acknowledged that the proponents had also agreed to extend the consultation period,  thus enabling council to lodge a formal submission.

“The decisions by both the Council and the proponent were the correct decisions and have given residents some hope that the process can give them a more effective voice,” said Mr Piccolo.

“It has been a somewhat tortuous journey to get to this point, but we are there now, and both the residents and council must engage each other to assist council to provide a fair and balanced submission to the process.”

On Saturday morning, residents were updated on the progress made at a community forum facilitated by Mr Piccolo.

Around 60 residents attended the forum where a number of questions about the process from this point were asked.

“I am encouraging residents to use the process available to them to get their voice heard,” said Mr Piccolo.

“This additional step announced by Council has been welcomed by the residents.”

“ The ball is now truly in Council’s court,” said Mr Piccolo.