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25 June 2021

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

Submission – Palmerston Environs Subregional Land Use Plan

 

The Property Council of Australia is the peak body representing the property industry in the Northern Territory.  

The Northern Territory Division collectively represents billions of dollars of commercial investment in the Northern Territory.   The value of the property industry to the NT economy is second only to the resources sector.

The Property Council’s membership draws together key players from property investment and development including owners of commercial office buildings and shopping centres, financial institutions, and construction companies.   Our membership also extends to those engaged in professions, businesses and provision of services directly associated with the property industry (architects, engineers, financiers, legal and other consultants, suppliers etc.).

As an industry, we not only have a keen interest, but also a financial stake in the future development of the Northern Territory.  We appreciate and take seriously the opportunity to provide comment on your Palmerston Environs Subregional Land Use Plan.

 

LAND USE:

Greater 11 Mile, which includes Pinelands

The primary and appropriate use for this area needs to continue as Light Industrial (LI) and General Industry (GI).

We note that: “The PESLUP recognizes that the Greater 11 Mile focus area has localities that are under pressure for commercial rather than industrial land uses.”  (Planning Commission NT Survey Document).  The Property Council NT rejects the Planning Commission’s assertion with respect to commercial demand generally and more specifically to the 11-mile industrial estate.  There is a clear oversupply in both commercial and industrial land uses throughout both Darwin and Palmerston.  If the Planning Commission contends otherwise, they should substantiate that assertion with data of the current level of both vacant commercial land and vacant commercial buildings.

The primary reason why Industrial Estates such as 11-mile have historically struggled is due to being undermined by the indiscriminate and questionable practices of the NTG’s Land Development Corporation.   The Property Council NT believes that an independent review should be undertaken to determine appropriate reforms of the operation of the Land Development Corporation.

Furthermore, it is unquestionably terrible planning policy to allow for commercial land use creep into industrial estates, as this could ultimately undermine the viability of the whole 11-mile industrial estate for its intended use.  

Finally, we suggest that instead of changing the land use of 11-mile, the Planning Commission should instead consider rezoning the Winnellie industrial area for low to medium density residential.  This would then encourage the relocation of industrial businesses from Winnellie into the 11-mile industrial estate.  Thus. creating a more appropriate outcome of a new brownfield inner Darwin suburb (Winnellie) and better functioning industrial estate (11-mile).

 

Greater Holtze, which includes Commonwealth land known as the ‘Kowandi North’

The primary and appropriate use for this area is urban residential (Low Density Residential (LR) and (Low-Medium Density Residential (LMR)).

 

Archer and Mitchell West

The primary and appropriate use for this area is rural residential (Rural Residential (RR) and Rural Living (RL)).

 

This region is significantly constrained due to:

  1. Soil drainage issues;
  2. Biting insects; and
  3. Flooding.

 

Virginia South-West.

The primary and appropriate use for this area is rural residential (Rural Residential (RR) and Rural Living (RL)).

 

This region is significantly constrained due to:

  1. Soil drainage issues;
  2. Biting insects; and
  3. Flooding.

TRANSPORT AND MOVEMENT

A Railway Master Plan needs to be undertaken to ensure that all regional activity centres and cities are appropriately provisioned and connected in the future.  The current planning process undertaken by area plans falls well short of the work needed to ensure a future functioning and viable railway network.

Furthermore, there is no commercial viability for the suggested potential passenger rail terminal.  Scarce infrastructure funds should instead be responsibly repositioned towards other transport infrastructure that presently and in the future will handle the vast volume of people such as airports and bus terminals.   The Property Council NT requests a copy of the proposed commercial feasibility study of both the Rail Network and Passenger Rail Terminal when completed.

 

 

SOCIAL INFRASTUCTURE

 

The Planning Commission has identified the following social infrastructure needs:

  • additional aged-care facilities
    Noted and agreed that there will be a need for provisioning such infrastructure.

     

  • additional community / civic centres
    We question the need or wisdom in provisioning beyond existing (including their upgrading/redevelopment) of current Palmerston City Council facilities.

     

  • an additional central library (or branch libraries)

     We question the need or wisdom in provisioning beyond existing (including their upgrading/redevelopment) of current Palmerston City Council facilities.

     

  • an art & cultural facility

     We question the need for an art facility within the area plan, however, a cultural facility for the region may be desirable provided it does not defragment existing cultural infrastructure in Palmerston.

     

  • an additional government and non-government secondary school

     Noted and agreed that there will be a need for provisioning such infrastructure.

     

  • a number of regional-level sports facilities

     Noted and agreed that there will be a need for provisioning such infrastructure.

Please contact me either by email ([email protected]) or on my mobile (0450 428 314) if you require further clarification or information.

 

Yours sincerely

Ruth Palmer
NT Executive Director