Friends of the City of Unley Society, FOCUS, is a group of Unley residents working to preserve and enhance the heritage and the amenity in the city of Unley.  FOCUS aims to influence local and state governments when decisions are made concerning the built heritage and the liveability of Unley.  Some of our members live in the Forestville area adjacent to the Le Cornu site.

The Le Cornu site abuts an area where some of the housing is over 100 years old.  The site offers a wonderful opportunity to achieve best practice outcomes for the interface between older single storey housing and medium and high rise development.  Graded development is the cornerstone of sympathetic high rise development in developed suburbs.  It is not clear this will occur along Leader Street with higher buildings located in the centre of the site.  Buildings of up to 8 storeys are noted in that plan and it is critical they are not on the Leader Street perimeter where buildings of 2 storeys only will protect the liveability of the many residents in the surrounding singe storey houses.

Traffic flows in and out of the site are of great concern to local people.  The recent plan does not indicate how the multiple cars which the site will bring will move through the development and where they will enter and exit.  Leader Street and the streets running off are small local streets not designed to cope with the hundreds of cars.  The statement in the plan that no driveway access off Leader and Maple Streets is confusing.

Tree canopy appears to be only partially addressed.  There is considerable reference to the laudable Urban Forest project and to some mature trees in the green spaces but no reference to spaces for large deep rooted trees which would provide important cooling in the multiple cement structures which will dominate the site.  Adelaide’s tree canopy is rapidly declining and this site could be a gold standard site for planting deep rooted trees managed with efficient water collection from the surrounding buildings.

FOCUS hopes the needs of the residents in the many streets surrounding the Le Cornu site are given more careful attention and their valuable insights are considered when final decisions are made.  This renewal project is more than the Le Cornu site, it is also about how it can seamlessly grow into a valuable older area of Adelaide.

Authorised by Mary Rumbold President of FOCUS


Renewal SA invites you to share your views on the draft Master Plan developed for the former Le Cornu site at Forestville. Visit https://renewalsa.sa.gov.au/projects/forestville to find ways to provide your feedback and subscribe for project updates. Feedback can be submitted online until Sunday, 11 December.

Dear Members and Supporters of FOCUS

You are invited to the next FOCUS Public Meeting



Tuesday 8th November 2022

Unley Community Centre

18 Arthur Street Unley


Guest Speaker: Ben Willsmore

Manager, City Design at the City of Unley Council.

Ben leads a team that is responsible for the planning, design and implementation of transport, environmental, landscape architecture and urban design initiatives across Unley Council area. Ben will be joined by Ed Scanlon, Manager Economic Development and Strategic Projects.

FOCUS makes a submission to the Minister for Planning associated with of a proposed Code Amendment, to rezone the land for 79-85 Mary Street, 58 Arthur Street and 62 Arthur Street Unley by Arthur and Mary Street Pty Ltd – the Designated Entity responsible for the preparation of the Code Amendment.

Given the history of this site, FOCUS is supportive of creating a sympathetic in-fill residential development and is not opposed to the rezoning of this land for residential use, with the following caveats; … Please open the submission to read the submission in full.

Ben Willsmore, Manager City Design for the City of Unley, has provided the following update for the Village Green Cottages re-development.

“We are pleased to advise that the redevelopment of the Edmund Avenue Cottages is approaching completion, and we are targeting bringing down all site fences by the end of November. From early November, Little City, the tenants for the co-working cottages will start to move in and most of the paving and landscape treatments to the Village Green will be complete. The remainder of works, including access to the new public toilets, reinstatement of the Edmund Avenue landscaping and improvements to Rugby Street frontages are expected to be completed by the end of November.

The Council is pleased the works can be completed and the Village Green returned to the community before the end of the year. Council has worked closely with the builder to minimise the impacts of COVID, regarding supply of materials and wet weather, to ensure the building works can be delivered in a timely manner.”

Some follow up on the Mary and Arthur Street, Unley Code Amendment. 

In one of the report documents it states that “it has been assumed that the rezoning of the Affected Area and subsequent redevelopment could result in the creation of approximately 30 residential allotments (and dwellings).”

The report documents are quite large and we don’t wish to clutter you with information. Attached is one the Historical area context for member interest.

Other documents include;

  • Code Amendment (PDF, 6393 KB)
  • Attachment E1 Transport investigations report (PDF, 488 KB)
  • Attachment E2 Arborist assessment (PDF, 2662 KB)
  • Attachment E3 Historical area context (PDF, 1812 KB)
  • Attachment E4 Infrastructure services assessment (PDF, 4967 KB)
  • Attachment E5 Preliminary site investigations (PDF, 29703 KB)
  • Engagement Plan (PDF, 1012 KB)

All of thse documents can be found at https://plan.sa.gov.au/have_your_say/code_amendments

On the side bar you will see “On consultation” and if you click or scroll down the page you will see

Mary and Arthur Street, Unley Code Amendment 

Summary of the Code Amendment

Designated Entity:

Mary and Arthur Street Pty Ltd

Contact Details:

Taylah Slattery, URPS

T: (08) 8333 7999

E: feedback@codeamendments.com.au


The Proponent (Mary and Arthur Street Pty Ltd) is seeking to rezone 1.14 hectares of land at 79-85 Mary Street, Unley, 58 Arthur Street, Unley and 62 Arthur Street, Unley (Affected Area) from the Established Neighbourhood Zone to the Housing Diversity Neighbourhood Zone. The Affected Area has a frontage to both Arthur and Mary Street and currently accommodates a place of worship and associated car parking which has since been abandoned and become derelict. The Area Affected also includes two residential allotments facing Arthur Street.

The Affected Area is recognised to have strategic value for housing development given its size, strategic location close to community services and infrastructure, capacity to manage development impacts on-site and recognition that the land is no longer required for its previous purpose. It is envisaged that the zoning will support low to medium density residential development including public open space, protection of existing significant trees, and a new access road that will minimise impacts on surrounding residential areas.

Consultation period:

Consultation begins: 12 September 2022

Consultation ends: 5:00 pm, 24 October 2022

FOCUS has received an opportunity to provide comment, through a community consultation process, associated with the Minister for Planning to allow Mary and Arthur Street Pty Ltd (the landowner) to investigate changes to the Planning and Design Code (the Code) for 79-85 Mary Street, 58 Arthur Street and 62 Arthur Street, Unley (previous used as a Telstra base).

As you may be aware this is a significant parcel of land within the City of Unley. It has been a contentious opportunity for developers to undertake a renewal project in the northern half of the City of Unley.

We have spoken with the consultant associated with the landowner, Mary and Arthur Street Pty Ltd, to share this information to members, so that if you wish to make a personal comment or submission to the Minister on the Proposed Code Amendment – Mary and Arthur Street, Unley via Planning SA, you should do so. 

It is the view of the FOCUS committee that we invite you to do so.  If you do send such a submission the committee would ask that you send a copy to us via focusonunley@gmail.com, so where appropriate the FOCUS submission could include membership thoughts on having this land re-zoned.

Formal consultation on the proposal closes 5pm Monday 24 October 2022.

We would ask that any specific questions be directed to Taylah Slattery, URPS Consultant on 08 8333 7999 or tslattery@urps.com.au and not FOCUS.

Thank you to all the members who were able to attend on the 13th September. 36 people attended including the City of Unley Mayor and 4 Councillors and 13 sent apologies.  

It was an important meeting as the future of FOCUS was robustly discussed with a range of views expressed.  These ranged from winding up FOCUS or keeping it in a state of hibernation involving few public meetings but ready to act if a major issue in Unley arose.  

Some members pointed out FOCUS activities have not impacted on any of the major developments in Unley recently for example, building of two seven storey apartment buildings in an area designated in the Unley development plan for 5 stories, the failure to have Culross Avenue Highgate designated as a living street arising out of the crowded high rise on the street entrance.  Other members highlighted the positive impacts of FOCUS activities in Unley including supporting other action groups with financial and networking advice.  

The elected Council members of the City of Unley collectively stated FOCUS is an important communication tool for them to understand the views of the community.  

Other members proposed FOCUS as an organised and respected community group. FOCUS can and must provide some pushback to the current Planning and Development Act which has disenfranchised citizens and local government.  

There was discussion about the importance of FOCUS using social media as a tool to reach new arrivals and younger members of the community.  Joint meetings and activities with other resident groups were discussed.  There was general agreement FOCUS needs to continue with a review of the forms of its public activities.

New office bearers were elected.

  • President – Mary Rumbold
  • Vice president position – vacant
  • Treasurer – Dian Naraniecki 
  • Membership Secretary – Peter Simmonds
  • Minute Secretary and Public officer – Rosalie McCarthy
  • Committee member – Anne Wharton

New committee members are welcome and can join immediately.

The meeting passed the following motions:

  • that the elected committee develop a position paper for members in the next 12 months to consider the strategic direction of FOCUS. This paper to be presented to membership prior to the 2022-23 AGM.
  • that the Committee draw up a calendar of meetings appropriate to both the availability of speakers and the availability of the Committee to manage such activities.

Mary Rumbold – President – Friends of the City of Unley Society, Inc, (FOCUS)

You are invited to the 2022 FOCUS AGM

Unley Community Centre

18 Arthur Street Unley

Tuesday 13th September 2022



FOCUS – where we have come from & where we are going.

An evening of discussion to look at the future of FOCUS.

All FOCUS Members past and present are urged to attend and contribute to this important meeting.

Refreshments will be served following the contributions & discussion.

There will be a brief formal AGM to allow for full discussion on the future of FOCUS.

Nomination forms for the FOCUS Committee of Management are below or available from our Secretary: Mary Rumbold phone 0450 434 167.

Due to our changing times Please remember to wear a mask.

PLEASE remember to pay your FOCUS fees ($20)  – Thank you

• At the AGM  

• EFT payment BSB 065126 A/c No. 10142849. Please mark as FOCUS Fees and your name 

• Or make cheque payable to FOCUS (PO Box 172. Fullarton.5063) 

Authorised by Philip Henschke, President – Friends of the City of Unley Society, Inc, (FOCUS)

…revealed in Parliamentary Committee Report

Dear Supporter and Concerned Member of the Community,

In April 2020, a 14,000 signature Petition was presented to the Legislative Council by Hon Mark Parnell MLC on behalf of the Protect our Heritage Alliance.   The Petition raised concerns about the content and implementation of the Planning Development and Infrastructure Act (PDI Act) and the Planning and Design Code (PDC) and requested independent reviews of their impacts, public accountability, risk assessment and governance.  

The recently released Report on this Petition by the parliamentary Legislative Review Committee (LRC) examined in depth and detail the many flaws and undesirable impacts of the new planning ‘reforms’ and made 14 strong recommendations for regulatory and legislative change.

The major recommendations are:

·        Improved public engagement processes in proposed revisions and changes in the PDC.

·        Amendments to the PDI Act to require an annual independent risk assessment to be monitored by the Environment, Resources and Development Committee (ERDC) and reported to both Houses of Parliament.

·        An independent review by an Expert Panel or the ERDC of the impacts on planning policies, community rights, sustainability and the environment of the PDI Act and the PDC, with the resulting report to be tabled in both Houses of Parliament in 2022.

·        A parliamentary committee to enquire into the anomalous use of the Planning and Development (Open Space) Fund to support the implementation of the PDC and its ePlanning system.

·        Further, that the PDI Act be amended to restrict the use of the Planning and Development Fund and the Urban Tree Canopy Off-set Fund to creating and developing open and green space.

·        Prioritised implementation of each of the recommendations of the ERDC Inquiry into Heritage Reform  (2019).

·        That the current Heritage Reform Advisory Panel:  increase local Council input; review and advise on the impact of the PDC on demolition controls for heritage assets; and examine whether the PDC affords adequate protection for ‘Representative Buildings’ and neighbourhood character.

·        That the Statutory Authorities Review Committee enquire into the governance of the State Planning Commission and the State Commission Assessment Panel.

Warren Jones 
Convenor, Protect our Heritage Alliance

The Government and the Parliament must now respond to the substantive findings and recommendations of the LRC and correct the many damaging flaws and anomalies in the new planning processes. 
You can download the whole report here (Beware: 178MB file)

Thank you to those of you who supported the petition.  You have made an impact.  Now we can start to fix the mess created by the new planning system before too much more damage occurs.

Fix the mess- Real planning ‘reform’ now

Ask your local MP what they are going to do about the Legislative Council’s recommendations on planning reform.Contact your State MP

Professor Warren Jones AO is the Convenor of the Protect our Heritage Alliance, a coalition of concerned organisations and individuals, working to protect our built and natural environment.   GPO Box 2021 Adelaide, SA 5001

Phone: 0419 852 622  Email: convenor@protectourheritage.org.au

www.protectourheritage.org.au       Facebook: protectourheritageSA

In attempting to save us from ‘NIMBYism’ and ‘fruitless sentimentality’ with the forthcoming implementation of the new planning system, David Penberthy offers mixed messages (The Advertiser 12/2/21). On the one hand, he approves of high rise suburban residential development in Adelaide, but on the other, decries the tenement towers now common in Sydney suburbs. He rejects the ‘excessive and unsightly growth’ in Sydney and Melbourne, and wants ‘better designed smaller homes’.

In 2019, members of a long established community group were labelled ‘NIMBYists’ by your columnist for opposing a high rise development on Unley Rd. This was a State (SCAP) approved seven storey development in a Council-designated five storey zone, which required the destruction of five mature trees.

We are now confronted by an ugly monolith abutting the footpath of a main road and a small side street, with no open space or greening, with a major shortfall of on-site car parks and with disruptive impacts on traffic, rubbish collection and other services.
This sort of excessive development, which circumvents Council controls and community wishes, will be more common with the State-sanctioned, Planning and Design Code to be implemented on March 19.

Surely the Government can create a balance between essential housing needs and restricted urban sprawl, and the temptation to despoil our unique and beautiful city with unrestrained crowded infill and suburban high rise development.

Warren Jones
Convenor. Protect our Heritage Alliance

FOCUS would like to congratulate the following who have been elected* in the 2022 Local Government Elections for the City of Unley.


  • UNLEY WARD – Stephen FINOS and Jane RUSSO
  • PARKSIDE WARD – Jennifer BONHAM and Luke DOYLE
  • GOODWOOD WARD – Georgie HART and Chris CRABBE

FOCUS looks forward to engaging with these elected community representatives both individually and collectively in the coming period.

We also thank those members retiring and those unsuccessful in being re-elected.

* https://www.unley.sa.gov.au/…/About…/Councillors-wards

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