History of the Hickinbotham Group development proposal

Published on 17 January 2022

A copy of the Hickinbotham plan that received development approval by the state government’s State Commission Assessment Panel and subsequent engineering approval for Stage 1 from Council

In 2018, the state government’s State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) granted development approval to the Hickinbotham Group’s proposal to divide land on Commercial Road.

The Council was aggrieved by the SCAP’s decision to approve the development because it was Council’s view the application had not followed appropriate processes, including the need for public notification.
In early 2019, the Council commenced judicial review proceedings in the Supreme Court of South Australia against SCAP and Hickinbotham Group, in which it challenged the legal validity of the approval.

As part of the pre-trial process, the Court convened a mediation process, presided over by Justice Hinton and Commissioner Rumsby and attended by representatives of Hickinbotham Group and Council, including Mayor Thompson.

As a result of the mediation process, Hickinbotham Group lodged a variation application with the SCAP on 22 December 2020.

The SCAP approved the variation application on 14 April 2021.

Due to Council’s actions in this matter, the approved plan of division:

  • increases the amount of usable open space within the development
  • relocates stormwater infrastructure into the adjoining Recreation Park so as to make the open space more useable, and
  • removes residential allotments from the north-western corner of the development to preserve views of the Recreation Park.

As a result of these changes being made, the legal proceedings initiated by Council were then discontinued.

The development—which would’ve straddled both Port Noarlunga South and Seaford Meadows—is now solely contained within Port Noarlunga South, following community consultation by the state government into realigning part of the boundary between the two suburbs, which it said would provide better land administration, and avoid any potential for confusion for emergency services.

Stage one of the development was released for sale in January 2022, coinciding with the start of civil construction works.


To view a copy of the plan which received development approval by the state government’s State Commission Assessment Panel and subsequent engineering approval for Stage 1 from Council, click here(PDF, 679KB) .


A $2.6 million upgrade of the adjacent Onkaparinga Recreation Park will be delivered in partnership between the Council, Hickinbotham Group and the Minister for Environment (through the Department of Environment and Water), once the land division reaches a certain stage. Hickinbotham Group and the Minister and his department will bear the cost of construction, and the Council will assume maintenance responsibility of the works once completed. 

Under the tri-party settlement agreement entered into between the Council, Hickinbotham Group and the Minister for Environment, final concept plans for the reserve will be provided to Council and the Minister for approval. 

Once approved, a formal community engagement process will be conducted to gather feedback from the local community about the recreation park upgrade plans.

That consultation:

  • will be jointly and collaboratively run by the three parties
  • will promote the environmental, recreational and amenity benefits of the works
  • may involve information on the parties’ websites.

Final plans will then be prepared by Hickinbotham Group, taking into account the results of feedback received during consultation, for approval by the Minister and Council.


In accordance with expert ecological advice, the developers and the state government have made provisions for the small mob of kangaroos to be progressively and safely migrated across the development site and to the National Park area where they will remain visible to the community.


The Development Deed between the developer (Hickinbotham Group) and Renewal SA (the vendor) for the Port Noarlunga South residential subdivision on Commercial Road, requires provision of a minimum 15 percent affordable housing and 90 social housing outcomes on any development that occurs on the land. Council is not a party to the deed.

The provision of 15 percent affordable housing is a state government target for all new significant developments. It was initiated in 2007 and is aimed at assisting low to moderate income earners buy their own homes.

The developer has confirmed that these sites will be scattered throughout the division.

The developer was not required to nominate these lots specifically on the plan of division during the assessment of the land division application, however 15% of the allotments equates to approximately 94 affordable housing sites plus 90 social housing products (completed homes).

This will result in 29 percent of all proposed allotments in this division being allocated to meet these requirements.  The outcome for this development is therefore nearly double that normally required of a masterplanned development.

Affordable housing stock is managed by various community housing /social housing providers and released in an open market application process whereby any person meeting the criteria for that property may submit an application and be considered for the property.

The general eligibility requirements for affordable housing, as prescribed by Renewal SA, are that the person/s:

  • is 18 years of age or older
  • does not currently own a property
  • plans to live in the new affordable home
  • is a South Australian resident
  • earns less than $110,000 per year as a couple, or $85,000 per year as a single
  • has assets within the allowed limits.

Currently, all affordable homes cost less than $367,100 (or up to $422,050 if key criteria are met).

Renewal SA’s website contains more information including fact sheets and contact details.


Social housing assets are managed by Renewal SA, in partnership with not-for-profits, private industry and other government departments.
Tenancy management is undertaken by the SA Housing Authority (SAHA) or community housing providers such as Junction Australia.

Social housing can be provided by the developer as either housing products or vacant allotments.

When the Port Noarlunga South land was put to market by Renewal SA, it was specified that of the 90 social housing products:

Upon completion of the social housing product, responsibility for the allocation of tenants is transferred to the relevant organisation, which is based on the organisation’s waiting list and selection process.


About the development - Hickinbotham Group Head Office


About the development - Renewal SA


About the Onkaparinga Recreation Park – Department for Environment and Water