An aerial photo of Sellicks Beach, featuring the township, green rolling hills, ochre cliffs and flat blue ocean.

Published on 17 January 2024

Planning for success

Last year, the state government announced it was “fast tracking what will be the single largest release of residential land in the state’s history”, which it said will deliver more than 25,000 more homes for South Australians.

While you’d be forgiven for thinking planning for the new homes—which includes about 5100 homes in Onkaparinga as part of land releases in Hackham, Sellicks Beach, Noarlunga Downs and Aldinga—has only just begun, the City of Onkaparinga has been working hard behind the scenes for many years to get better outcomes for communities in these growing areas.

“While council doesn’t decide where new housing developments will be, we do play a vital role in advocating to the state government on these projects,” explains Renee Mitchell, City of Onkaparinga’s Director Planning and Regulatory Services.

“In recent years, this has included providing key input and direction on an 800-home Renewal SA project at Aldinga to ensure the project respects local character, provides the right infrastructure and achieves a high level of sustainability.

“At Onkaparinga Heights—a renamed southern portion of Hackham—we provided key input and direction into the state-led rezoning and infrastructure planning for a 2000-home land release, resulting in the adoption of a new policy to guide development on its steeper land.

“In Sellicks Beach, we were proactive in preparing a wide-ranging structure plan, which the state government is using to guide its rezoning proposal to allow for 1700 new homes to be built.

“As always, these plans and advocacy have been based on community feedback and sound planning principles—we want to ensure the right infrastructure is there for people at the right time when these developments take place.”

In January 2024, the state government also approved rezoning at O'Sullivan Beach, which will enable vacant land to be developed into 114 low-to-medium density homes, with a new noise barrier to reduce the impact from nearby industry.

While the council wasn't a decision-maker for the rezoning, it did provide direction to the state government regarding the technical investigations required to support the proposal, and it provided feedback during the engagement process, alongside Onkaparinga residents who accessed information from council's Your Say Onkaparinga website.

Aside from advocacy on key development projects, the City of Onkaparinga is also advocating for changes to the state’s Planning and Design Code, which the council is required to follow when assessing development applications.

Last year, the council made comprehensive submissions to an independent review of this planning system—including calls for more sustainable design, stronger local heritage protections and the return of appeal rights for neighbours of new development—and to a Parliamentary Inquiry into the Urban Forest, which is investigating how to protect and increase Adelaide’s tree canopy.

Your local MP will vote on the outcomes of these reviews when they’re presented to parliament in coming months, so you’re encouraged to let them know what you, as a community, want to see.


The stunning Sellicks Beach from above. Photo: Tourism Australia