State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall has today announced that the Liberal Party will legislate to allow for easier adaptive reuse of buildings constructed prior to 1980.
The changes would breathe life into vacant buildings and increase property values.
Currently, Adelaide has a large amount of office space around the CBD that is vacant, particularly in lower grade building stock.
D-Grade building stock has a vacancy rate of almost 21 per cent, the highest recorded level in Adelaide, and C-Grade building stock has a vacancy rate of almost 18 per cent – this is the highest level in 12 years.
“Rather than just sitting empty, dilapidated and underutilised, we want to see these buildings come alive again – whether that be for hospitality, residential or office purposes,” said Mr Marshall.
“We have some great examples of adaptive reuse in the city, including Electra House and 2 King William Street – and we want to see more.
“That’s why the State Liberals will draft legislation which will give the Minister for Planning the ability to override the Building Code of Australia’s restrictions on the adaptive reuse of buildings built before 1980 through a ministerial specification.
“This would greatly reduce the red-tape burden associated with repurposing an existing office building.
“It would make redevelopment quicker and cheaper by removing barriers to development.
“By making these changes now, we can speed up the process and reduce the regulatory burden on those who are wanting to upgrade their buildings.
“In our ‘2036’ plan, we have committed to cutting red tape and unnecessary regulation that inhibit growth, allowing businesses to focus on creating more jobs.
“This is one example of red tape that, once reduced, can make a difference.
“The current Building Code provisions are a barrier to redeveloping older buildings; they are designed for new building structures which means that it is unnecessary and ill-fitting for the adaptive re-use and upgrading of heritage properties.
“Owners of heritage buildings have consistently cited this red-tape as making their projects unviable.
“While a heritage building is attractive, it is ultimately wasted if the building is empty or under-utilised.
“Our heritage assets must be more than empty shells, they need to be accessible places that are enjoyed and given a second life through adaptive and sympathetic upgrading.
“We believe that all levels of government need to work in unison to ensure that our capital city has the infrastructure it needs to attract the next generation of residents and business innovation.
“By encouraging more adaptive reuse of our CBD buildings, we can increase city vibrancy, support job creation and increase the amount of people living in the CBD.
“We need to find an appropriate balance between protecting our past and progressing our future.”
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