“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





19 February 2018


In June, 2011, concerned residents of McLaren Vale set up a community garden on the site of the government's contentious Seaford Heights suburban development. This was to involve kids in learning the value of prime agriculture ground and to bring broader attention to the battle between housing and agriculture. Even Nick Xenophon brought his wellies and had a bit of a dig ... never saw his again, mind you ...

As the development proceeded, the first things to go beneath the dozer were the garden and the remnant strands of native vegetation.

I wandered in to the same site yesterday to check the progress. That bountiful hill now looks like this:

The housing is modestly coloured, with nice little features reflecting the siltstones that made the site famous for its outstanding barley production. I even spotted one little retaining wall made from the local Blanche Point limestone!

Guinness sought this premium brewing grain for many years:

The developers have made plenty of room for big box shops, but there's hardly space among the houses to plant a single blade of grass. The prices seem very low, but some of the hyper-intensive rental apartments look even smaller and closer than many in the city.

To read the discussion paper for the government's proposed review of the McLaren Vale Character Preservation Act 2012, click here. You have only one more week to contribute. To read William Skinner's remarkable thesis, Fermenting Place - Wine Production and and Terroir in McLaren Vale, South Australia, click here

In the meantime, if you're in the region, make sure you get along to our public meeting this Wednesday night, where the three major party election candidates and the Mayor will discuss these issues and others in a public forum at the Bocce Club. Click here to download flyer

This is an essential gathering for all concerned citizens. If you're stuck in vintage, send a proxy!

Like: is the Seaford Heights development indicative of the sorts of housing we can expect to see being cramped into the surveyed township spaces of McLaren Vale, McLaren Flat and Willunga? Ribbon development between villages?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

G'day Phillip
It's great that you 'bang on' about the crap development in SA.
I have lived here on and off for many decades, but travel extensively.
I find our little very liveable State bereft of design critique, and largely bereft of design in the public realm.
Let alone planning.
Keep it up (so to speak).