Bennett Street land allotment to hold rental potential

RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT: Tatiara District Council believe developing allotments, such as the one seen at 105 Bennett Street, Keith, could help the Tatiara's rental crisis.
RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT: Tatiara District Council believe developing allotments, such as the one seen at 105 Bennett Street, Keith, could help the Tatiara's rental crisis.

Right now, available rental properties in the Tatiara are rarer than hen's teeth.

With a large number of people looking to move to the district for varying purposes, it's a battle between supply and demand. However, Tatiara District Council are looking to improve the situation.

For quite some time, the vacant allotment at 105 Bennett Street, Keith, has always held rental property potential if it was developed.

The land was formerly owned by the Keith War Memorial Community Centre (KWMCC), who had plans of developing the parcel of land for residential properties.

Tatiara District Council CEO Anne Champness said council and KWMCC worked together for a period of time, before eventually purchasing the allotment outright.

Ms Champness stated that when council purchased the allotment, if it didn't exempt it from being community land, it automatically becomes community land under Section 193(4)(a) of the Local Government Act.

With the parcel of land then becoming community land, any potential residential redevelopment was unable to commence.

"If we want to use the land for something that is not a community use, like a residential development, we have to revoke the community land status," Ms Champness said.

Once the community land status is revoked by council, it then has to go to the Minister for Local Government, Stephan Knoll, for approval. Once approved, council can then seek expressions of interest.

With rental properties hard to come by in the district, council believe developing parcels of land, like the 105 Bennett Street allotment, will be beneficial for future residents.

Ms Champness stated the last thing council wants to do is allow someone to build multiple properties on the allotment and sell them off for a massive profit.

"I think the intent would be for it to be developed for rental accommodation - what we don't want to do is to give away land for someone to build their own home or to develop and sell off houses for profit," she said.

"If we do want to address the rental shortage, then that's a nice carrot."

Despite the idea of developing land that has remained vacant for an extended period of time being seen as a good thing, some nearby residents are against potential development.

Tatiara District Council sent letter drops to all residents living near the allotment, where they received some positive and negative feedback from people in the area.

A handful of residents believed the potential development shouldn't go ahead, as they want the allotment to remain as parkland.

"We did get some feedback from some people who didn't like the development - it's an interesting one because it was never parkland, it was always intended for residential development," Ms Champness said.

"It wasn't just council's intended purpose when buying it, it was the expressed purpose from the Keith War Memorial Community Centre when they had it."

Ms Champness said residents shouldn't expect to see house being erected anytime soon, but stated things are progressing nicely.

"It is progressing now. It is a huge parcel of land and it will require a fair bit of work to create a subdivision and all that," Ms Champness said.

"My suspicion is that it will be some time before anything would happen. We can certainly get expression of interest out there once the community land status is revoked, but any physical work is a fair way off."

Council have stated they would like to have local builders potentially take on the development, rather that sourcing builders from Adelaide.

More details about the potential residential development is expected to be shared in the near future.