Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Le Cornu Site

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


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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)

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Dear members and friends,

FOCUS has received several messages of disappointment with the content of the Deputation we made to Council last Monday night. We provide the following information for the information of members. 

For those who were not present, we want to let you know that Council will hold a Special meeting tonight – Thursday – at 7 00 pm to make Final decisions on the DPA for Unley Central. 

Immediately prior to Monday night’s meeting, various members of FOCUS’ committee held a number of meetings and lengthy phone calls with individual councillors. From these we formed a firm view that it was unwise to continue to hold out for a height limit of 5 storeys West of Unley road. Partly because the view was expressed that the Minister was unlikely to accept such a low level, and might remove all further consideration of the DPA and undertake it himself which the legislation enables him to do.

We were advised that a number of Councillors would reject calls for 5 storeys.

But also because we understood and this has since been confirmed that existing State Government policy allows any proposed development with an estimated cost of over $3 million can be referred by the developer to the Controller – General, and the decision to approve the development or not is then given to the Development Assessment Commission. Council would have no say.

Now, $3 million is a very small amount when significant buildings are being designed. So the FOCUS Committee formed the view that to hold out for a limit of 5 storeys would, in practical terms, be of little point

So FOCUS stated on Monday night that we would not oppose 9 storeys, although we greatly preferred a limit of 7 storeys. We did not support 9. Nor agree with it. But in order to focus attention on the critical need to preserve the Village Green, Memorial Gardens, Mornington House and other heritage buildings in DPA zone we decided to reduce our demands for the large sites on Western Side of Unley Rd which we cannot control but will try to influence decisions made and support residents. 

Lastly, we want to say to FOCUS members, and to the wider community, as respectfully and sensitively as we can, that yes, most of the 295 submissions to the review of the DPA were opposed to ”high rise development” in the centre Zone.  

But that is not the only issue that Council will take note of when reaching decisions tomorrow night. Many people present on Monday night clearly felt very strongly that if the community says, “you must not allow high-rise”, then the Council must give effect to that view. As one person said, “you are our voice, this is what we want you to say’.

But, having followed the issues of heritage protection and character in our City over many, many years, FOCUS expects that Council will also be thinking about:-

  1. The Minister’s intent to achieve more dense development in centre zones across Adelaide. And his ability to take his own decisions if communities don’t offer ideas which are somewhat akin to his.
  2. Council has for many years had an intent, maybe not a policy, but a keen interest in achieving “redevelopment of opportunities” in the Centre Zone
  3. The concessions made by Government in the past in granting very important protection about demolition and new building design in the Historic precincts of Unley – these remain in place today – and an understanding that more dense development might be permitted in other parts of the City in future years.

We see the protection of the Village Green “block” as absolutely paramount. Your Committee believes that the position it took to Monday night’s meeting offers the best prospect of getting decisions to achieve this at tomorrow night’s meeting. A key plank of our position is that the “Block” should be totally excised, that is, removed from the DPA process completely.

Thank you for your support and I hope this email helps you understand our position.
Please contact me on 0438723001 if you would like to discuss any of these issues.

Yours faithfully

Ros Islip

President FOCUS

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Shaping the Future of Unley –

The draft Development Plan for the Unley Central Precinct is being significantly revised following public feedback.


Be informed – attend Council’s Public Meeting when Elected Members (only) participate in a workshop session on revisions to the Plan.

After this meeting make sure your Councillors know your views before the Development Plan is finalised! [Further meetings 14 & 27 March]

When: Monday 6 March 2017
Where: Unley Civic Centre, Oxford Terrace, Unley

Time: 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Contact: Ros Islip-0438723001 Warren Jones–0419852622
RSVP: by email or telephone by 3 March 2017

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Saving 47 Fairford St Trees

There is a community campaign to save two significant trees at 47 Fairford St, Unley from removal. Please read the the attached booklet and sign the petition to save them.


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A General Meeting on Planning Amendments

Updates from the FOCUS Committee on:

  • The Unley Central Precinct Development Plan Amendment
  • Placing Local Heritage on Renewed Foundations – a State Government Initiative [or losing buildings in the process!]
  • 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide -2016 update

Meet with other FOCUS members and concerned residents and share your thoughts on these proposals and possible threats to the City of Unley.

Enjoy a light supper to conclude the evening with drinks and nibbles and celebrate the end of 2016

When:           Tuesday 15 November 2016

Where:         Unley Community Centre, 18 Arthur St Unley

Time:             7:30pm

Contact:        President Ros Islip – 0438 723 001

Please download a flyer here focus-flyer-2a-november-2016-1.pdf

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From Shaping the Future of the Unley Precinct (PDF, 7 Mb)


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WHY DO WE LIVE IN UNLEY?……………. ambience, character, trees, heritage houses and public buildings, central ‘village’ around the Town Hall and Green.

Are you aware of what is proposed for the ‘Unley Central Precinct’ in the City of Unley under a new Development Plan Amendment (DPA) devised by Council to meet State Government requirements? Eight storeys on the Village Green and the loss of perimeter heritage villas. Further high rise in the area enclosed by Unley, Oxford, Edmund and Rugby Streets (Civic Precinct). Planned Unley Rd development with up to 5 storeys on the Eastern side and 11 storeys on the Western side.

Do you want a glut of high rise apartments in the historic heart of Unley and traffic disruptions on and around Unley Rd?


Retain Village Green and villas. No high rise in Civic Precinct. Height limits on Unley Rd …7 storeys on west…3 storeys on east. Adequate setbacks. Define development zones by street boundaries. Impose 30-degree angle for all planned buildings.


Contact your local Councillor:

Unley Ward:

Unley Park Ward:

Parkside Ward:

LET COUNCIL KNOW WHAT YOU THINK before Friday 18th November

For information: www.focusonunley.org focusonunley@gmail.com Ros 0438723001 Warren 0419852622

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Please find following the presentations from “The Centre of the City of Unley – What Could it Look Like in 2020?” meeting hosted by FOCUS on 20 September 2016.

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This is a 10 storey development with 53 apartments & 5 2 storey town houses on the southern side near the existing houses, 93 parking spaces & 80 bicycle parks.  The developer plans to restore the old house St Margaret’s & the garden, retain the old Ombu tree & have some green space surrounding the new development. Rubbish will be removed by a private contractor. There are many green energy components in the development.

The development sets many precedents.

The developer must be commended for attempting to negotiate with the community before applying for final approval. There was an open day on the 18th of June for everyone to meet with all the professionals involved on the project & FOCUS were invited to a further meeting last Wednesday. We understand neighbours have been visited by the project manager to attempt to deal with some the difficulties & losses which will arise with such a large building in an inner city suburb.

The restoration of St. Margaret’s arising from significant historical research, means this important building in the history of Unley may be accessible to a limited extent by the public, as the plan is to turn it into offices.

The developer has adhered to the 30 degree envelope with the adjoining houses so the bulk of the building is in the centre of the site, the front is much lower than the back & there are plans to have high balustrades on each balcony to minimise looking into adjoining back yards.  We understand the developer initially wanted the podium to be higher to compensate for the generous setbacks from the boundaries but has settled for the 10 storeys.

The height of the apartments will dominate Parkside & erode the view of the foothills.  The neighbour on the southern side will have overlooking issues & some restriction on sunlight in the winter & the neighbours on the Eastern & Western sides will experience both overlooking & overshadowing.

Traffic management will be an issue given the narrowness of George Street which will require ongoing negotiations between Council & the Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure.


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