A parcel of Adelaide land earmarked for more than 100 houses three years ago remains mostly vacant, prompting the state’s opposition to accuse the government of leaving the site as a “dust bowl” during the current housing crisis.

The development at Seaton in Adelaide’s west was announced in June 2021, with works originally slated to begin in late 2022.

The government has denied there is a delay at the site, saying civil works “have been commencing”.

In the midst of a national housing crisis, Adelaide is currently facing the tightest rental market in the country.

The site in Seaton is sitting empty, nearly two-and-a-half years after existing properties were demolished to make way for a redevelopment.(ABC News: Guido Salazar)

Opposition housing affordability and urban development spokeswoman Michelle Lensink said the project, which was announced by the Liberals in 2021, was delivered to the incoming Labor government on a “platter”. 

“It was funded, completely funded, ready to go for an incoming government to do,” she said.

“Now here we are, three years down the track and you can’t even see a single slab laid at this site.

“We’ve got people sleeping in cars at the moment, and I just think it’s completely unacceptable that the government would seek to delay any project, rather than just get on with it.”

The site, which is about a 20-minute drive from the CBD, was announced as a development for 101 properties made up of a mix of affordable homes, social housing and land and market sales.

Michelle Lensink says it’s “not a complicated site”.(ABC: Guido Salazar)

According to the Renewal SA website, the development is set to be completed by 2026 and will now feature more than 130 new homes.

But Ms Lensink said the increased number of homes did not justify the delay.

“They left this site as a vacant site, with the fences up, a dust bowl for all these years in the middle of a housing crisis,” she said.

“It’s a site that’s ready to go, it’s not a complicated site.”

‘There has not been a delay’

A cabinet reshuffle earlier this month saw Nick Champion take on a “super portfolio” of Housing and Urban Development, which includes responsibility for boosting the state’s housing stock.

Mr Champion said the redevelopment plans were on track and that civil works had begun on the site.

He said the previous government’s original plans would have reduced “the amount of public housing in the area”.

“What we’re also doing is making sure we maintain public housing numbers and making sure we get the best outcome for supply,” he said.

“There has not been a delay.

“Civil works have been commencing and we have been doing work on that site.”

The government says work is expected to be completed in 2026.(ABC News: Guido Salazar)

Mr Champion said the government was also working on other sites and housing projects, including Prospect and Playford Alive. 

“Only this government has produced the land supply and the housing supply pipeline that will eventually resolve the housing crisis,” he said.

Premier Peter Malinauskas accused the previous government of “delay and policy paralysis”, but said it “takes time to build houses”.

“We’re now moving at warp speed to get things happening,” he said.

“There’s lots of works that have to be done prior to the construction of a house.

“We’ve been putting the pedal to the metal to make things happen.”