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Nestled in the scenic Mt Lofty Ranges immediately adjoining Metropolitan Adelaide is the Adelaide Hills Council area.
The district covers almost 800 square kilometres and is home to almost 40,000 people located in over 50 small towns and localities. It is a renowned primary production area and tourist destination in South Australia with over 40 cellar doors and 21 wine production facilities representing over 90 wine labels. Around 31,000T of apples (representing over 85% SA’s apple and pear crop) and 27,000 tonnes of grapes are produced in the district annually. It is also home to the Oakbank Racecourse, the National Motor Museum, and Cleland and Gorge Road Wildlife parks, two of a handful of places nationally where you can hold a koala.
In short it’s Adelaide’s playground and a picturesque place to live, work and visit, which has earned the signature of being “a special place” and one of Australia’s most loved areas. However, it presents what is considered to be one of the most challenging planning and development environments in the country due to its topography, extensive native vegetation cover, high bushfire risk, lack of bulk service infrastructure and being located within the Mt Lofty Ranges water catchment area.
All of these factors require careful consideration when assessing new development proposals in order to protect its renowned character whilst permitting appropriate infill development and value adding activities for the primary production and tourism sectors.