The proposed rezoning of the Vadoulis Nursery has been given the “thumbs down” by residents at a local community forum held on Saturday morning.

Over 50 residents attended the forum convened by local Member of Parliament, Mr Tony Piccolo, to gauge the community’s view about the proposal.

The forum coincided with the start of the formal community consultation being undertaken by the proponent of the re-zoning proposal.

To date, the Gawler Council has decided not to undertake any consultation with the local community.

Mr Piccolo said local residents overwhelmingly oppose the proposal to rezone the whole nursery site, to an employment zone.

“Sadly, the title of the proposed zone does not covey the nature of the built form, which will be permitted if the amendment to the code is approved,” said Mr Piccolo.

“While the proposal isn’t a rezoning for industrial purposes, it certainly is creating a much larger commercial centre.”

“It is comparable to the bulking goods zoning at Gawler Park and Gawler Green.”

“Currently, the nursery only takes up less than half the site, where the rezoning would allow buildings on the whole site.”

Mr Piccolo said local residents oppose the rezoning for a range of reasons, including the scale of buildings which will be permitted under the proposal.

“The rezoning will allow buildings up to 13 metres high to be built.  To put that into context, the average home is 3.3 metres overall,” said Mr Piccolo.

Other concerns raised by residents:

• The scale of the development permitted will impair the visual amenity of the locality.

• The development will generate significant additional traffic in an already congested area.

• The proposed traffic lights will only exacerbate traffic problems along Adelaide Road in the vicinity of the racecourse.

• Traffic problems along Adelaide Road could result in “rat running” in adjacent residential streets.

• Landscaping of the site will be minimum and have a negative impact on the appearance of the area.

• The commercial activities will generate noise that will affect the lifestyles of adjacent residents.

Mr Piccolo said residents are concerned that the re-zoning would dramatically change the residential character of the area.

“While the proponent has focussed on trying to make the proposal technically fit in the locality, residents believe the real question is whether it is the right location,” said Mr Piccolo.

“The answer to that question, from the resident’s perspective, is an emphatic no!”

Mr Piccolo said there a number of other localities in Gawler which would both welcome and benefit from such a re-zoning, and it is disappointing that neither the proponent or the Council are prepared to investigate them.”

Of the 50 or so people at the meeting no one indicated their support for it.

Mr Piccolo said residents are not opposed to the development site for residential purposes.

“ It is also important to note the planned land management agreement to bar the development of a petrol station or fast food outlet on the site is not watertight or failproof, as the Council should know as it lost a case in the Supreme Court on this very issue,” said Mr Piccolo.