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Morphettville Racecourse Master Plan and Development

Morphettville Img02

Morphettville Racecourse

What does the SAJC Master Plan propose?

The South Australian Jockey Club (SAJC) prepared a Master Plan that seeks to guide the future development and growth of facilities at the Morphettville Racecourse. The Master Plan aims to:

  • improve facilities for racing and entertainment of the racecourse
  • provide funds for longer-term sustainability of the Club by selling underutilised land

The Master Plan, prepared between 2016 and 2019, accommodates up to 400 new dwellings and identifies:

  • a range of 6 to 10 storey mixed use buildings comprising retail, entertainment (including new Junction Tavern) and residential apartments adjacent to Anzac Highway and the northern section of the racecourse
  • a central plaza space supporting crowd movements and entertainment spaces (dining, and recreational activities) between Anzac Highway and the racecourse
  • retention of the tram through the site
  • lower scale terrace housing between 2 to 3 building levels to the east of the northern part of the racetrack, fronting both the tram line and Park Terrace.

You can view more information about the Master Plan and the steps in its development at the SAJC website.

When was the land rezoned?

The Master Plan was supported by the rezoning of the northern section of the existing racecourse site, where the new development is proposed. This was prepared by the Minister for Planning at the time, and supported by a range of investigations prepared by SAJC’s consultants.

Council provided feedback into the Development Plan Amendment and raised concerns at the time relating to:

  • the suggested parking ratios, including consideration of the ‘loss’ of parking across the site for race day activities that are currently accommodated and form part of the ongoing demand
  • incentives in the zoning which supported additional building heights and reduction in parking requirements
  • identification of suitable road locations and connections
  • inadequacy of the local area traffic impact assessment of the investigations
  • risk of potential flooding from modelling
  • a desire for more public open space.

Additional investigations were prepared in response to the concerns raised by council relating to the suitability of the traffic analysis and the potential impacts on the local road network to the east. The rezoning was approved by the Minister in May 2020 and then considered by the Environment Resources and Development Committee (a Committee of Parliament).

The Committee recommended some additional changes, including the representation of three access points of Park Terrace within the Concept Plan, directly in response to Council’s feedback.

What did the rezoning allow and what is in place now?

The zoning introduced an Urban Core Zone over the land which supported a mixture of land uses and building heights up 12 storeys in a Core Area, with medium density housing and building heights up to 4-storeys in a transition area (the northern and eastern edges of the site that interface with neighbouring low scale housing). A Concept Plan was included in the policy to guide extent of desired building heights, key pedestrian and cycle paths and connections, preferred access point locations (and formats). The remainder of the racecourse site was maintained within the Racecourse (Morphettville) Zone.

As part of the transition of Council’s Development Plan to the State’s Planning and Design Code in 2021, the Urban Core Zone was transitioned into the Urban Neighbourhood Zone, whilst the remainder of the racecourse was transitioned to the Recreation Zone.

The Zone continues to allow for a mixture of retail, commercial and entertainment land uses (covered by the Main Street Sub-zone that applies to the western part of the site), along with medium and high-density housing.

Importantly, the transition maintained the same desired building heights across the site ranging from 12 building levels along the western half of the zone and 6 building levels to the eastern half of the site, other than at the transition to neighbouring housing areas where maximum heights are reduced to 4 building levels.

The Code also maintains the key elements of the Concept Plan which is shown below.

You can review the Zoning policies that apply to development in this locality in more detail at the Planning and Design Code.

You can view the Concept Plan.

What is the Villawood Development?

The SAJC has partnered with Villawood and HostPlus to deliver the development of the site between the racecourse and Anzac Highway. Importantly, the Villawood development does not include the Magic Millions site, which is not owned by the SAJC.

The first part of this development is a land division creating 190 allotments accommodating future terrace dwelling allotments, along with new internal roads accessed from Park Terrace and open space areas.

More information is available at the Villawood website.

What is the process for the Villawood land division?

The land division needs to gain Development Approval from Council before formal works can commence on the site and new allotments can be created for sale. Please note that this is only for the creation of the roads and allotments. Housing on the allotments will be submitted separately following approval of the land division application and creation of the future allotments.

The Planning and Design Code identifies applications proposing ‘land division’ do not require public notification, and as such the land division application cannot be released for public comment.

To gain approval, the proposal will need to address a range of design, open space and infrastructure requirements of the Code, Council and other utilities. These are set out within the Urban Neighbourhood Zone, along with a range of Overlays and General policy modules set out within the Code. Things to consider include:

  • allotment orientation and road layout, including connections, safety, suitable access arrangements into the surrounding road network and potential for on-street parking
  • size and shape of allotments and their suitability for the types of residential development desired by the zone
  • the distribution, size and accessibility of the public open space across the development (noting that the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Regulations, 2017 require a minimum of 12.5 per cent be provided)
  • important pedestrian and active transport routes and connections, noting the interface with both the racecourse and the Adelaide – Glenelg tram line and Mike Turtur Bikeway
  • interface with surrounding activities, including potential impacts associated with noise, light odour or vibration from the racecourse activities and the Magic Millions site
  • landscaping and vegetation, including any regulated and significant trees that may be on the land
  • flooding prevention and stormwater management measures to deal with run-off and upstream and downstream catchments (including water quality measures).

While council cannot share the plans for the land division without the consent of Villawood and SAJC, it is possible to view the general layout by selecting the land division proposal layer within the SA Planning and Property Atlas. This is a public website with no registration required.

Once approved, Villawood will need to satisfy any conditions of approval and/or any requirements outlined within additional agreements between the developer and Council, in addition to any requirements outlined by relevant agencies or utilities before a final plan of division can be lodged with the LTO for the creation of Titles.

Council needs to advise the State Commission Assessment Panel that requirements have been satisfied before this can occur.

How will the land division address the additional traffic it will create?

Council is aware of the concerns of the surrounding community about the potential traffic impacts on the surrounding road network arising from the additional housing. . Importantly, the investigations that supported the rezoning demonstrated that, whilst there will be increased traffic volumes within the local road network, particularly Park Terrace, the development would not result a change of classicisation / function of any existing roads to the east of the development site.

As part of its assessment, Council will seek to ensure that a traffic assessment of the anticipated demand and distribution of traffic from the proposed development specifically identifies:

  • the role, function and capacities of the existing surrounding road network
  • what impacts the additional projected traffic volumes may have on the safety and functionality of local roads and junctions (particularly Park Terrace, Bray Street and junctions with arterial roads)
  • what measures, if any, are needed to maintain a suitable level of service within the local road network; and
  • should additional measures be required, the triggers for when these works would need to be installed (considering any staging of the development given it may be delivered over a 5 year or more timeframe).

As any measures recommended would be located outside of the site land division (such as at key road junctions), a Deed of Agreement with Villawood which will ensure the works are delivered, including design standards, timing and hand-over / maintenance requirements may need to be entered into.

As the development occurs, Council will monitor traffic volumes and movements, and prepare a Local Area Traffic Management Plan, to established travel patterns and further identify any subsequent issues arising.

Can there be an alternative / second access to Anzac Highway?

The traffic consultants acting for SAJC have explored the potential for a new road connection to Anzac Highway from the western end of the site. This would need a grade separation of the tram line (either above or below) and it is understood that the current planning for the Anzac Highway / Morphett Road junction does not propose this. Notwithstanding the significant cost, the consultants suggest that the Department for Infrastructure and Transport would insist on any road connection be limited to left-in / left-out at Anzac Highway and would therefore be of limited benefit in respect to the distribution of movement to the north and east.

In any event, the need for an alternative access point will only be triggered if it cannot be demonstrated that the local road network will be able to suitably accommodate the anticipated traffic volumes proposed by the land division application. Based on the investigations done as part of the previous rezoning, and the fact that the land division is now proposing less housing than originally investigated, this is unlikely.

How does the land division address flooding potential of this location?

A portion of the site has been identified to potential for flooding during a 1 per cent AEP Event (1 in 100-year flooding event). There is policy coverage within the Planning and Design Code to address this risk. To address the potential issues associated with this, such as to avoid the flooding of future dwellings and/or impacts on upstream and downstream floodwater movements, it is suggested land division will need to:

  • ensure all dwellings have a finished floor level at least 300mm above the identified flood level
  • provide for an appropriate overland flow path for floodwaters across the site (typically within a roadway or linear open space corridor)

The applicant is currently undertaking flood assessment modelling which may further inform the design and layout of the proposed land division design.

How does the land division manage the additional stormwater it will generate?

There will likely be substantial increases in pervious surfaces (i.e. hard surfaces such as roofs, paved paths and roads) arising from the development which will lead to additional stormwater run-off. The Planning and Design Code seeks that new development mitigate additional loads on the existing stormwater network and reduce downstream flooding potential.

There are a range of ways in which this can be addressed, but the land division would need to demonstrate what the overall increase in volume in stormwater and identify how this will be accommodated within the stormwater network. Some common solutions are:

  • Stormwater basins adjacent to or as part of public open spaces
  • Oversized stormwater pipes
  • Storage on each site through additional detention and retention tanks
Does the current utility infrastructure have capacity for the additional demand from the housing?

Yes, the current water, sewer, and power infrastructure has the capacity for the additional demand from the housing in the development.

The capacity of the infrastructure was considered when preparing for the rezoning of the area and utility agencies were consulted as part of the process. Any required upgrade to the trunk infrastructure (the public infrastructure the development would connect to) would have been identified and secured as part of a Deed of Agreement with the Minister for Planning prior to the rezoning being endorsed. The utilities integrate rezoning proposals in their planning to ensure there is adequate capacity into the future for growth areas to be developed.

All utility agencies provide further comments on the land division during the Development Application process. The agencies can impose specific requirements as part of the Land Division Conditions.

What housing is proposed, and can the public have a say on these?

It is expected that the housing types proposed for the development will comprise detached and terrace housing, with the potential for a future apartment building to the western side of the site. The housing is expected to be mostly two and three building levels, other than the apartment building which is likely to be between 4 and 6 building levels.

Housing will only require public notification if it is above the building height limit or the interface building envelope to an adjacent residential-type zone. This is determined by the Planning and Design Code. Given the heights proposed and the allowable building heights in this location, it is highly unlikely that the individual dwellings would need to undergo public notification.

It should be noted that the State Planning Assessment Commission (SCAP) is the relevant authority for any buildings on this site, within the Urban Neighbourhood Zone, that exceed 4 storeys in height.

When will the development works start and how long will they take?

No development works on site associated with the land division can commence before a Development Approval is issued. Council understands that it is Villawood’s intent to commence the land division works as soon as practical following the issue of any approval.

The land division (and associated housing development) is proposed to be undertaken in four stages, starting at the eastern end, and working its inwards.

How will impacts during construction be managed?

All works on the site will be subject to a Construction Environment Management Plan (CEMP) which will need to be endorsed by Council before works commence. This will be a condition of approval for the land division that will be imposed by Council. Typically, CEMPs address issues such as:

  • Construction times
  • Access and parking of construction vehicles
  • Management of dust and noise during construction activities
  • Temporary stormwater management measures where needed (to control silting, dragout etc)
  • Protection of any regulated trees or other trees sought to be retained by Council (such as street trees)
  • Reporting procedures and contacts for site management.