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‘Over-development’: 10-storey Buckingham Arms plan rejected

Plans for a 10-storey apartment building behind the Buckingham Arms Hotel at Gilberton have been rejected by the state’s planning panel, which listed a host of reasons for the knockback.

Mar 07, 2024, updated Mar 07, 2024
An image of the proposed 10-storey development behind the Buckingham Arms Hotel. Image: Citify supplied

An image of the proposed 10-storey development behind the Buckingham Arms Hotel. Image: Citify supplied

The State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) on Wednesday assessed plans lodged by Adelaide-based developers Citify to build 182 apartments behind the local heritage listed Buckingham Arms Hotel on the North Adelaide fringe.

The proposed development also featured a four-storey office complex and a row of 11 three-storey townhouses at the rear of the V-shaped site, which fronts a five-way intersection.

Buckingham Arms development

An aerial view of the proposed development. Image: Future Urban/Citify

A total of 193 new homes were planned, including 26 classed as affordable housing ($417,000) and 14 for NDIS-occupants.

But the SCAP refused to grant the developers planning consent after a five-hour meeting on Wednesday which heard from 16 representors, including Labor MP for Adelaide Lucy Hood.

Minutes of the SCAP meeting, posted a short time ago, show the panel rejected the development on heritage and design grounds. It also found the proposal did not meet the performance outcomes required by the land’s zoning.

“The proposal does not meet Performance Outcome 1.1 as the proposal is for high-rise development that has not demonstrated high quality design,” the SCAP found.

“The proposal does not meet Performance Outcomes 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, and 1.5 as the proposed built form both dominates and negatively impacts the existing local heritage place through massing, setbacks, scale, design, materials and architectural features.”

Buckingham Arms development

An image of the proposed 10-storey development from Walkerville Terrace Image: Citify supplied

The Buckingham Arms Hotel was to be retained, refurbished and reused, potentially as a wine bar or tapas offering under the development plans.

The pub dates back to the 1840s and became famous for its smorgasbord. It was local heritage listed in 2007 but closed in 2022.

The rest of the 6219-square-metre development site is a car park and was rezoned in May 2022 for six-storey housing.

Citify submitted plans for a 10-storey building, making use of a planning code provision that allows 30 per cent extra height for proposals that include affordable housing and are located on “significant development sites” greater than 2500 square metres.

But the SCAP found that the 10-storey building would not provide an “orderly transition” to the existing low-rise streetscape and character of Walkerville.

Buckingham Arms

An image of the proposed 10-storey development behind the Buckingham Arms Hotel. Image: Citify supplied

“The proposal does not meet Performance Outcome 5.1 as the increased dwelling yield from the proposal does not satisfactorily manage off-site impacts through design quality and is considered an over-development of the site,” the SCAP ruled.

“The proposal has not been designed to minimise impacts to adjacent residential land uses via assesing, building proportions or the intensity of the development to the streetscape.”

The SCAP also found issues with pedestrian linkages, the durability of building materials and lack of space for future tree canopy.

Citify managing director Joel Wilkinson said they would consider the SCAP’s decision before deciding whether to submit another development application.

“Naturally we are disappointed with SCAP’s decision to refuse the application in its current form,” he told InDaily.

“We will take time to consider the reasons for refusal and determine our next steps.

“Our team has always believed the project would deliver a positive outcome for the site and for the community.”

More than 300 people made submissions to PlanSA about the Buckingham Arms development, with a majority opposed to the plans.

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