The ACT Government (Gary Rake) is facilitating a community panel to engage with the Federal Golf Club and their developer in relation to proposed future development of part of the Federal Golf course for retirement housing. They are inviting a range of organisations to participate in the community panel, including ISCCC, Red Hill Regenerators, Hughes/Garran residents groups, Deakin Residents Association, and Conservation Council. The first meeting is on 3 August 2017 6.30-8.30pm and second meeting 15 August 6.30-8.30pm. Members interested in the proposal might like to participate. More information on the proposal is at the link on DRA web site.

Proposed plan for housing development on Federal Golf Course, Red Hill

The Anglican Church of Canberra and Goulburn are proposing to redevelop their site, Block 1 Section 30 Deakin, which currently houses St. Luke’s Church and associated residences.

At the link below is preliminary information on a proposal “to house eight supportive housing units” on the site. It has been provided by Purdon Planning. The DRA is planning to meet Purdon Planning both to gain more information and to discuss with them the public consultation processes. If you have any specific issues you wish to raise at this stage you can contact us through the website or by email to secretary@deakinresidents.asn.au.

Community Consultation Package – development of St Luke’s Church site

Grey Street Site – Block 13 Section 49 Deakin
Information about a proposed residential aged care accommodation development on the Grey Street site now occupied by the former Solander Gallery is below. This Grey Street site is also covered by an NCA Development Control Plan which can be viewed at this link: Adelaide Avenue Development Control Plan.

We understand that Purdon Planning plans to undertake letterboxing in early August and to conduct a ‘drop in’ session some time after that. We will advise when we know more. The DRA is planning to meet Purdon Planning both to gain more information and to discuss with them public consultation processes. If you have any specific issues you wish to raise at this stage you can contact us through the website or via email to secretary@deakinresidents.asn.au

Information on proposed Grey Street development provided by Purdon Planning:

The Site

Block 13 Section 49 Deakin (the solander site) (subject site) is located on the corner of Hopetoun Circuit, Grey Street and Adelaide Avenue (southbound off-ramp) and has an approximate area of 2,973sqm.

The Proposal

Provectus Care (PC) is proposing to build and operate a 100 bed residential aged care accommodation development and 40 space seniors respite care on the subject site. The development will be a high quality care facility and is intended to set a new benchmark in residential aged care for Canberra.The facility will offer residents a comfortable and stimulating environment in a beautiful, and prestigious setting with a wonderful outlook.

The project will involve demolition of existing structures that were constructed in the 1970’s. PC Deakin aspires to become an important part of the local Deakin community allowing an ageing local population to remain in their local area, and support other social and business infrastructure in Deakin.

The Proponent & Project Team

PC was established by Dr Shane Moran in 2001. Dr Moran and his family have been active in the aged care sector for over 60 years. PC is currently in a growth phase with centres already established in Melbourne, Sydney and Beijing and ongoing projects in Sydney, the Gold Coast and now proposed for Canberra (Deakin).

Provectus has engaged a team of local planning, design and construction professionals with experience in aged care accommodation to complete the project.

The team includes (but not limited to):

AMC (design)
Sellick consultants (traffic and civil engineering)
Purdon Planning (stakeholder consultation & approvals)

Stakeholder Engagement

Provectus intends to consult widely with all relevant stakeholders during the planning and design stages and prior to lodgment of the DA.

This consultation has commenced and will include adjacent lessees/residents, local centre traders, community organizations, and local politicians as well as representatives for approval agencies.

A brochure will be distributed to residents in the adjoining suburban areas and a drop in-session will be held at the Solander Gallery during August 2017. A date for the drop-in session has not been finalised but will be outlined in the brochure.

Project timing

At this stage the Proponent is intending to lodge a DA with ACTPLA during the 3rd quarter 2017, with construction to start (subject to approval) in 2018.

It is likely that the project will take 12 to 15 months to complete, with occupation during late 2019.

Project Benefits

The project will bring a number of benefits to Deakin and Canberra including:

Increased social infrastructure for the ageing to address growing demands for quality aged care
New job opportunities in construction, aged care services and property maintenance and other services
New investment in Canberra
Support for existing and planned public transport (Woden light rail)
Ageing in community
New gateway to Deakin
Improved public realm

ISSUES AND POLICY RESPONSE PAPER – DEAKIN/ FORREST RESIDENTIAL PRECINCT

The Deakin Residents’ Association (DRA) welcomes the opportunity to respond to the National Capital Authority (NCA) Issues and Policy Response Paper, May 2017 relating to the Deakin/Forrest Residential Precinct

The objects and purposes of the DRA are ‘to enhance the residential, suburban, social and environmental qualities of Deakin, consistent with garden city planning principles’. A key focus for the DRA is retaining Deakin’s garden-suburb environment.

We note that the focus of the NCA paper relates to a relatively small number of residential properties ‘on the area generally bound by Canterbury Crescent, National Circuit, Hobart Avenue and blocks fronting State Circle’, although the area outlined in Figure 2 of the document shows blocks on State Circle itself are not included.

DRA agrees that this Paper represents an opportunity to determine whether current planning and design controls remain adequate to guide the future of this precinct and for consideration of policy responses to significant emerging and strategic issues in the zone. We understand that, had the proposals now foreshadowed in the NCA’s Paper been in force, some of the recent developments/redevelopments which have taken place, and which have been controversial, would not have been approved.

These comments are based largely on discussions at the NCA briefing provided on 27 April 2017, inspections by Committee members Helen Alnutt and Mary Baumgarten of relevant developments in the zone as identified in Fig 3, and developments in adjacent areas (Arthur Circ, Bougainville St/Empire Circ, Hotham Cres), and consultation with and feedback from local residents, particularly property owners in Canterbury Crescent.

DRA broadly supports the thrust of the strategic directions and proposals outlined in the Paper, as these are consistent with the objects and purposes of the DRA, subject to the comments provided below.

At the 27 April meeting, it was stated that the main changes relate to:

  • Plot building to planting ratio ;
  • Site coverage including driveways;
  • Amount and use of land available for soft landscaping.

Plot Building to Planting Ratio

DRA supports the NCA’s proposal to maintain the existing plot ratio that limits building on residential sites in the zone to a maximum of 0.4 (alongside a new 40% area of soft landscaping).

At the same time we note that one resident of the area, questioned whether the 0.4 plot ratio/40% soft planting limit was too restrictive, given the significant amount of public parkland already in the area, particularly around The Lodge and Parliament House and that current parking restrictions in, streets such as Canterbury Crescent, (no parking on one side and 2 hour parking on the other during weekdays) put pressure on residents to provide extra parking on their property. While generally supportive of the NCA’s position, the DRA suggests that any individual request for a minor variation to the 0.4 building/40% soft planting ratio could be considered on its merits.

Other residents felt that it was not the 0.4 plot ratio that was a problem but rather the number of dwellings on a block. These residents proposed that the current ratio should be maintained but be accompanied by a limit on the number of dwellings allowed to be established on a block. This would curtail motivation to remove trees to maximise development. An option for containing an unacceptable density in multi-unit developments is to require a ratio of (say) a maximum of one residential dwelling per 600sqm of land. This would serve to enhance the ‘Garden City’ concept of the precinct

Local residents also considered that amalgamations outside of what is allowed under Amendment 39 relating to State Circle should specifically be disallowed. This would deter the construction of ‘concrete jungle’ edifices, reducing the prestige of this historically significant area as well as adversely affecting amenity for neighbours and increasing traffic congestion, noise and parking.

Soft Landscaping

The NCA’s Paper makes a new proposal that not less than 40% of the block must be set aside for soft planting. We understand that is to deal with previously inexact language about soft planting requirements in the zone. This is a welcome new development.

The Paper also recommends and DRA supports a range of measures proposed by the NCA to strengthen the current landscape requirements of the Plan. Along with proposals for setting quantitative controls to provide certainty in respect of the extent of soft landscaping to be provided across a site, these include encouraging hedges in lieu of fences, and limiting the amount of hard surfaces to reduce stormwater run-off. Limitations would also be placed on the number of driveways.

DRA notes that increased flexibility for dual occupancy siting would also potentially increase significant planting opportunities. The narrow corridors between dual occupancy dwellings to provide separation can be wasted areas with overshadowing, insufficient space for significant plantings and privacy concerns. It is suggested a range of imaginative and creative proposals for dual occupancies be considered to maximise the area for and benefits of soft landscaping and options for canopy tress surrounds, to enhance the “Garden City” concept. The Paper proposes limitations to the number of driveways. It is suggested that two driveways be allowed only if needed for direct access to existing above ground garages.

While mandatory increased requirements on soft landscaping may aid preservation, it can add interest to consider different approaches, for example, the Japanese style pebble garden at 14 Melbourne Avenue.

Trees

Trees are a major focus of the Plan. The Paper proposes that large, established trees should be retained, that new trees, capable of reaching heights twice that of the proposed building should be provided as part of all proposed redevelopment proposals and each plot should have at least one canopy tree. It also proposes new and existing tree should cover 15% canopy coverage of a site within 10 years of development. This is consistent with the need to preserve essential green infrastructure in this zone close to the Lodge and Parliament.

We understand that where adverse impacts or safety concerns may arise in relation to existing or proposed trees, advice will be sought from suitably qualified arborists or horticulturalists. In DRA’s view it will be important for the NCA to ensure that such people provide genuine independent advice and are not merely sympathetic nominees of builders or developers. The NCA should also obtain photographic evidence of tree cover on the block before and after development with developer penalties for trees that should not have been removed.

DRA notes that street trees are an important are an important feature of the NCA precinct landscape. However, responsibility for them rests with the ACT Government rather than the NCA or individual landowners. This can result in inaction or neglect. For example, residents commented on some street trees in Canterbury Crescent which are severely deformed and where branches fall unexpectedly (see Figure 1).


Figure 1. Deformed trees that need attention

DRA recommends that the NCA works closely with the ACT Government to repair or replace unsightly or dangerous trees. Canterbury Crescent is an important connecting street from Parliament House to the Lodge and often serves as a loop street for tourist buses.

One individual resident of the area considers that the provision of canopy trees should be at the discretion of individual landowners. This same resident recommended that the preferred location for canopy trees was on wide nature strips where roots and leaves do not interfere with buildings, pavements and utility services. However, the DRA believes the NCA’s proposal is laudable and consistent with the Garden City principles supported by DRA and that the outcome of the NCA proposals will be desirable on both aesthetic and environmental grounds.

Compliance

DRA has some questions about compliance matters. While issues such as building height, setbacks and siting of buildings are easily quantified, others such as architectural appropriateness or status of soft landscaping and garden design are more subjective and less so. Who will decide on and monitor such things?

Performance Standards

The Paper states that quantitative standards are accompanied by performance standards and that compliance with quantitative standards will not necessarily result in Works Approval unless the performance standards have been met. This wording is very unclear and does not reference relevant standards. DRA notes that performance standards are spelt out in the NCA’s Design and Siting Code Design and Siting General Code but they need to be spelt out explicitly in the Paper to avoid ambiguity.

Diplomatic Missions

DRA understands that proposals outlined in the Paper do not apply to some Diplomatic Missions, particularly in the Somers Crescent area. It is unclear whether other Diplomatic Missions, for example the residence and chancery of Cambodia and the residence of the Myanmar Embassy on the opposite side of Melbourne Avenue, are similarly included.

DRA considers it important to spell out what restrictions, if any, do apply to the development of diplomatic premises in the NCA zone. DRA considers there should be in principle adherence to the same requirements as other similar structures in the zone. Exemptions should only be granted where the Diplomatic Missions can show that they are essential, such as for security reasons, or the need/wish for structures to reflect their national and international significance.

Advice on Proposed Developments/Redevelopments

Many residents expressed concern that they were largely unaware of proposed developments/redevelopments in the precinct area. This means that they are missing out on the opportunity to comment prior to any approval being granted. We understand the NCA is looking at this issue. One possibility would be for DRA and Forrest Residents Group to be advised of any proposals to allow them to then pass this information on to members/residents.

Wider Application

The NCA’s Paper states that many of the proposals outlined in it would be applicable to other parts of Canberra. DRA strongly agrees. There is no reason to suggest that, while technically the precinct ends at, for example National Circuit, such proposals should not be replicated in other parts of Deakin. Recent developments and proposed redevelopments in nearby parts of “Old Deakin”, for example 34 Melbourne Avenue, are a case in point.

Equally, many of the newer developing suburbs in Canberra, for example, West Belconnen, Tuggeranong and Molonglo, where there almost no trees and concrete pavements and lack of nature strips abound, could benefit from the application of these principles.

DRA believes it is regrettable that the Office of responsible ACT Minister, Mick Gentleman, has indicated the ACT Government will not be considering or taking up any proposals put forward in this Paper by the NCA, on the grounds that the ACT Government has “its own Plan”.

Submission to consultation on Light Rail Stage II – June 2017

The Deakin Residents’ Association (DRA) thanks Transport Canberra for the opportunity to consult on elements of Canberra Light Rail Stage 2.

The DRA has reservations about the adequacy of the consultation document. The DRA expresses the hope that this is only the first iteration of a process of consultation providing real input and allowing for realistic consideration of the Light Rail Stage 2.

Overall design issues

There are also local concerns about the project’s overall design. The DRA notes that expenditure on Stage 2 will be much higher than Stage I because of expensive bridge works across Parkes Way, wire-free transit through NCA zone, bridge reinforcement to cross the Lake, circumnavigating Parliament House or realigning National Circuit, lifts on Adelaide Avenue and many more high-cost pieces of infrastructure. These continuing concerns about overall design and the economics of the project are outlined in detail in the Attachment 1 and further issues raised at an ISCCC forum attended by DRA representatives and of relevance to Deakin are detailed in Attachment 2.

Delivery issues

If, however, Light Rail Stage 2 is to progress as planned there are specific Deakin-related concerns in relation to its delivery as follows:

  • Minimising the impact of light rail on environmental amenity;
  • Maximising the transportation options and benefits for Deakin residents;
  • Promoting active transport options from and through Deakin; and
  • Leveraging the infrastructure investments made in relation light rail to build a more connected local community.

Environmental Amenity

As an older inner suburb adjoining the Parliamentary Zone, Deakin is blessed with established trees and landscaping, purposefully designed vistas, and heritage streets and avenues.

The DRA maintains that any development in relation to light rail should be consistent with the heritage and environmental setting of Deakin.

This applies not only to the installation of light rail, and its ancillary infrastructure such as stations and alignment, but also any proposed development along the light rail corridor. The DRA opposes any development that would result in a loss of green park space for Deakin residents. This includes areas adjoining the Lodge, the Mint and the Mint Oval.

The vista from Yarra Glen to Parliament House is along a processional route of national significance. Any development along the Adelaide Avenue or Yarra Glen corridor, particularly resulting in densification of Deakin and surrounding suburbs, should be done in a way that does not compromise the vistas and complements the existing built environment.

The DRA urges Transport Canberra to respect the national processional status of Adelaide Avenue and to preserve the vistas. In particular, overhead powerlines for light rail should be avoided on Adelaide Avenue at least until the road continues on to Yarra Glen at Kent Street and ideally along the entire route.

Transportation Options

As a suburb, Deakin comprises a higher proportion of older residents (over 65) than almost any other ACT suburb, and also has a higher proportion of children than the average suburb. These groups are more likely to rely on public transport for their transportation needs.

Deakin is currently well served by a number of buses whose routes transverse through Deakin – Routes one, two and three. These buses travel to the City, ANU, University of Canberra and in the other direction, Woden and Canberra Hospital. They stop within 10 metres of the Deakin shops and provide easy access to John James Hospital. In addition, as part of the Governments re-election commitment a further bus route through Deakin to Russell and Canberra Airport has also been promised.

If the current bus service passing the Deakin shops was to be removed, requiring passengers to a walk to Adelaide Ave, transport services for Deakin residents and visitors would be significantly eroded.

Neither route proposed as part of the consultation provides a complete alternative to these bus routes. The DRA strongly recommends that these buses be maintained even after the light rail is operational.

The demographics of this area also necessitate appropriate access facilities to any light rail stations. The DRA proposes that lifts be installed from Hopetoun Circuit underpass level to the Adelaide Avenue level.

The DRA recommends that Transport Canberra maintains current bus routes through Deakin and installs lifts to light rail stations on Adelaide Avenue.

Active Transport and Light Rail Axillary Infrastructure

A key aim of the DRA is the promotion of active transport options for residents and commuters travelling through Deakin. Investments in signage, pedestrian crossings, shared paths and cycle-ways, limiting traffic/speeds and pedestrian safety infrastructure all contribute to encouraging active transport for leisure or as a commuting alternative.

To this end, the DRA has continued to pursue lower speed limits along Hopetoun Circuit, more pedestrian crossings to the Deakin shops, and safety improvements in crossing the Adelaide Avenue underpass and off-ramps. The proposed station on Hopetoun Circuit would be within walking distance of the Deakin shops.

While it is unclear at this stage what the Deakin station would look like, it would be a timely opportunity to consider significant improvements in the Deakin shops to Adelaide Avenue zone to make pedestrian access to the proposed station easy and safe.

The DRA recommends that Transport Canberra considers improvements to pedestrian and cycle infrastructure along the Deakin shops to Adelaide Avenue zone in determining the position and location of the Deakin Light Rail Station.

Route Options

We also note that stations at Kent St and Carruthers St are not close to the Deakin medical and office precincts. The proposed stops further down Adelaide Avenue and on Yarra Glen will require even longer walks to the medical and office precincts. We hoped the light rail would improve access to these important sites.

Further consideration could be given for the light rail to veer through Denison Street to service patients and visitors to Calvary John James Hospital, numerous other Medical Centres in West Deakin, the West Deakin Business Park, and Alfred Deakin High School. This option caters for some of the most vulnerable in our community and would help alleviate commuter overflow parking into Deakin. In addition, a connection between the West Deakin Medical precinct and Canberra Hospital in Garran would provide a logical transport link.

The DRA understands the benefits and limitations of alternative routes through the Parliament House or Barton precincts. Further detailed economic and social analysis is required before the route is selected, weighing up the increased patronage of clients accessing Barton, with the longer travel time that route would entail.

The DRA believes that the proposed route via Adelaide Avenue and Yarra Glen inadequately services the existing hospital/medical, business and community infrastructure in West Deakin and recommends the adoption of a new route via Denison Street. It also recommends a more detailed review of the proposed routes through either the Parliament House or Barton precincts

 

Alignment

The alignment of the light rail should provide safe and quick access for passengers. Whether this is along the centre, verge or median is dependent on the station and access infrastructure proposed. As stated previously, the DRA is keen to be engaged in consultation about the development of station infrastructure to ensure it meets the local residents’ needs.

The DRA is keen to continue to engage with Transport Canberra on the siting and access to stations at Hopetoun Circuit and Kent St.

Conclusion

The DRA is grateful for the opportunity to express its views on Canberra Light Rail Stage 2. We are hopeful that all social and economic modelling constructed as part of the development of Stage 2 will be made public so the community can continue to have an informed discussion about the project, route, station locations and other aspects of light rail. We note the potential for light rail to bring benefits for residents living in south Canberra, and for Deakin residents in particular. We are confident that if the economic case is proven, and the Stage 2 Light Rail is designed appropriately and with community involvement, there will be benefit for residents into the future.

George Wilson
President
June 2017

Attachment 1

Continuing concerns about overall design

The following are a range of overall design concerns and questions about the planned Light Rail Stage 2.

  • The consultation document says 90,000 people will live or study within 1 km of the Woden corridor by 2041. What, exactly, is the “Woden corridor” because that figure seems to imply high-rise buildings on Adelaide Avenue which is currently flanked by embassies and a school?
  • Are the Curtin horse paddocks destined for high-rise accommodation?
  • What are the expected destinations for the commuters in this zone and how will light rail help?
  • What is the benefit for Civic to Woden passengers of light rail as their trip will be longer than existing express buses, and much longer if the Barton route or West Deakin option were to be adopted?
  • DRA notes that “a business case will be developed in 2017” and that “‘the Government will consider the business case at the end of 2017 or beginning of 2018”. When will the cost/benefit analysis and proposed final budget be made publicly available?

In view of likely very large cost of the project, the cost/benefit analysis should be thorough and realistic and the budget should be transparent. At the 10 May 2017 information day, when asked whether if there was a ceiling on costs, or an unacceptable cost/ benefit ratio that would preclude further work on light rail, presenters referred to ‘city building’ implying there was no limit to expenditure. It would be helpful to the community to quickly see detailed cost/benefit analysis and nomination of a planned ceiling for expenditure on this project.

  • At what point do the costs become unacceptable or unjustifiable, especially in comparison to spending the same money on emerging opportunities such as ride sharing, driverless cars, electric minibuses?

Attachment 2

The Inner South Canberra Community Council (ISCCC) held a public forum on Tuesday 9th May at which included a presentation from Duncan Edghill, Deputy Director General Transport Canberra.

Further issues raised in the Q&A and of direct relevance to Deakin residents are:

  • Are there plans for apartments on the strip of land between the Mint and Woden to increase the density, as on Northbourne Avenue?
  • What about an option 3 route around the Parliamentary Triangle i.e. north shore of the lake to Russell then over a new bridge to Parliament House?
  • Given that no-wires is a distinguishing feature of Canberra and the NCA has stated they won’t countenance overhead wires, has this issue been addressed?
  • Has the Commonwealth government agreed to using Commonwealth Ave Bridge?
  • Given that the planned stop near the Mint has no residential population nearby, what population is required to have a stop?
  • Will express buses be cancelled?
  • Will rates go up on either side of the light rail corridor like Northbourne Avenue?
  • Will either side be rezoned to become CZ5

Will suburbs with heritage listings hold pre

29 Jun / 2017

Key Priorities 2017

Issue Problem Perferred Solution
Traffic & Transport
40k zone
Hopetoun Ct And McGregor Street do not provide pedestrian friendly access to the Deakin Shops.
Cars travel down Hopetoun Crt at speed. Pedestrian crossing is particularly difficult for the many elderly residents and families with children.
    Establish a 40km/hr zone on Hopetoun Crt from the Preschool at Stonehaven Cres to Adelaide Ave.
    Add 1 pedestrian crossing across Hopetoun Crt closer to Gawler Crs.
    Another across McGregor St
Adelaide Ave pedestrian crossing
Pedestrian access between Deakin and Yarralumla is dangerous.
Cars travel off Adelaide Ave at speed and often do not stop for pedestrians. This makes the crossing between Deakin and Yarralumla particularly dangerous, especially for children going to Yarralumla Primary and Canberra Girls Grammar.
    Establish raised pedestrian crossings on ramps to Adelaide Ave.
Impact of Light Rail A low benefit cost ratio and further analysis may stop Stage 2. View our PDF for information on submission
Parking
Deakin West
Deakin Residential streets are filled with commuter parking.
The introduction of paid parking in West Deakin has compelled commuters working in the area to park in residential streets. This has created parking and amenity issues for local residents.
    Build/allow more parking in other areas around Deakin West.
    Restricting parking hours, and permits.
    Gutter restriction code
    Disallow non-resident all day parking
Bedford St Bedford St Was being used by students at CGGS for all day parking
    Signs have been erected on Bedford St limiting parking to 2 hours.
    Restrictions will require enforcement.
Deakin Shops People park there all day and commute to jobs
    Enforce existing rules
Normanby Crescent Overflow from recent restrictions in Bedford Street
    Potential of more signage
Amenity
Canberra Girls Grammar School proposal to use LaTrobe Park CGGS has developed a proposal to invest $1 million in building a running track and sports oval in LaTrobe Park. In return, they seek exclusive use of that part of the Park during school hours. Some residents are concerned about a loss of access.
    Ensure appropriate consultation.
    DRA opposed in principle to school privatising a public asset
The playground at LaTrobe Park is old and worn, BBQ does not work and toilet block has been decommissioned Some maintenance of equipment occurs, it is beyond repair and should be replaced. The community playground at Yarralumla is an example. Poor equipment sustains argument that ‘no one is using the park’ And bolsters case for private development
    Replace the playground at LaTrobe Park.
    The new playground could be relocated closer to the Forrest Preschool to maximise its patronage.
    Yarralumla playground provides a good example.
Planning and Construction
Construction of inappropriate buildings Developments and multi-unit buildings are being proposed for Deakin that do not fit within the Deakin environs. Builders construct houses which do not comply with plot ratios and ignore shade constraints. They are aided and abetted by some architects who submit drawings for approval that proffer ‘minor’ breaches of current codes.
    Ensure all planning and construction complies with relevant building codes and the territory plan.
    Ask for a definition of a minor breach.
    Ask for compliance with the Garden City.
Yarralumla Brickworks Further plans for Brickworks will be released.
34 Melbourne Avenue Oversized property exceeds plot ratio. Submission made to approval process.
St Luke’s site Potential change of lease purpose
Details of proposal yet unknown
Purdon partners In discussion
Solander Galleries site
Retirement village with 90 rooms
Managing parking traffic and access. Purdon partners In discussion.
Curtin Shops Supported Curtin Residents Association
NCA Issues Paper – Deakin Forrest Precinct The NCA is seeking feedback on:

    Those characteristics of the neighbourhood valued by the community
    The proposed policy responses to the identified issues
    Whether other matters should be addressed (noting that other provisions of the Plan are also relevant to the precinct)
    Downsizing properties.
    Incentives in budget likely to bring more of these proposals
ISCCC Strategic planning
    Submission by ISC see on NCA Draft DCP Manuka Circle, Canberra Avenue

Many Deakin residents use the Curtin shops and have an interest in the shops and their future. A planned re-development of 6/7 stories, overshadowing the public square, is likely to be taken as a precedent for higher scale development at other shopping centres currently subject to height limits of two storeys. Curtin shops is classed as a ‘Group Centre’ (as are the Manuka and Kingston shops) and Deakin shops is a ‘Local Centre’. Group Centres and Local Centres currently have regulated height limits of two storeys. [ See current height regulations here.]

On January 13th DRA was asked for support on this issue by the newly formed Curtin Residents Association (CRA). They advised that “ the proposed development is for a six-storey building, including a double-height ground-floor level and 5 residential floors, with 3 levels of car parking underground. The total height above the square would be 24 metres, which is equivalent to a normal 7 (if not more) storey building”. The proposed development is opposed by a large number of Curtin residents and many have signed a petition to this effect.

DRA agreed to assist the CRA to publicise a ‘protest rally’ about the development to Deakin residents.

This rally will be on Saturday 21 January at 11 am at the Curtin shops.

The CRA is hoping people attending will also sign the CRA’s petition.

DRA intends to provide a supporting Submission on the current Development Application. The date for Submissions has been extended to 31 January 2017 .

The CRA would also encourage individual residents to provide Submissions supporting the CRA position.

DRA encourages Deakin residents who use and have an interest in the future of the Curtin shops to make their own Submissions.

Advice about the proposed development and a link for making a Submission on the proposed development, can be found at http://curtinresidents.asn.au.

Di Johnstone
Vice-President

[THIS POST  REPLACED OUR NORMAL FRONT PAGE DURING THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN ENDING 15 OCTOBER 2016.]

On 27 September DRA sent a set of issues and questions to all candidates for the seat of Kurrajong for whom we had email addresses. This included all candidates of the major parties and some independents.

The purpose was to give Deakin residents specific information from each candidate relevant to the issues our members have identified as important right now for this suburb.

All responses received from candidates are collated against each question, in the order in which they were received by DRA. The Liberal and Greens parties have provided a single response to cover all of their respective candidates, although each candidate was invited to provide an individual response.

___________________________

1. The DRA considers that Garden City Principles and Values must be applied to all developments in Deakin.  We are especially concerned that any development approvals in Deakin should require strict adherence to these Principles, in particular those relating to solar access, minimising overlooking and retaining existing vegetation on the block.

  • How do your policies support the Garden City Principles and Values for developments in Deakin?

 LIBERAL PARTY

Canberra Liberals believe in the Garden City principles. That’s why we are encouraging development pressure away from the suburbs and into built-up town centres. Our lease variation charge relief will ensure that town centres that have become moribund and run-down can be revitalised, while the ‘bush capital’ character of our suburbs can be retained.

Labor’s tram will mean the wholesale extermination of mature trees right across town. The tall trees along Northbourne Avenue distinguish our city gateway and soften the look of surrounding high rise buildings. This forest-high tree line will be and replaced with a cobweb of tram wires by Labor and the Greens. The miniature ornamental trees that replace them will not soften the look of the new tram wires and poles.

The impressive trees on Commonwealth Avenue, from Albert Hall south wil lalso go. The tall trees on Adelaide Avenue will go. Tram poles and wires will cause the destruction of the dominant urban vegetation on too many of Canberra’s main boulevards.

THE GREENS

Our Better Development package includes a review of the Territory Plan to support smarter, greener developments that ensure the protection of the look and feel of our existing suburbs.

The ACT Greens support solar access and the solar access requirements which have been introduced.

The ACT Greens support garden city principles, our Keeping Canberra Green package includes investing $5.6 million a year in planting an additional 7,000 trees to maintain and enhance our urban forest. We also commit to establishing a canopy target of 25% summer shade for Canberra’s streets.

MAREA FATSEAS (Independent)

I have a strong commitment to the Garden City Principles and Values, demonstrated by my strong advocacy on behalf of Yarralumla residents and inner south Canberra residents on major developments such as the massive proposed development near theCanberra Brickworks. As former President of the Yarralumla Residents Association, led a strong community campaign that resulted in a backdown by the ACT Government from a development of 1800 dwellings to a maximum of 380 dwellings,thus helping to preserve significant areas of green urban open space. I cooperated closely during this campaign with the Deakin Residents Association, Inner South Canberra Community Council, and other stakeholders.

Besides my proposal for a root and branch review of the planning system, I will advocate for a clearly articulated urban, suburban and streetscape masterplan for Canberra supported by precinct and suburban character plans including green infrastructure. That would aim to identify areas where high density is appropriate, for example in town centres, and how the character of existing suburbs can be respected in future development. The review of the Planning Strategy 2012, due in 2017, provides an opportunity to do this.

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2. The DRA believes that that where a development does not accord with an approved application, the developer should be required to take action to strictly meet the requirements of the approved application.

  • As a member of the Legislative Assembly, what action will you take to ensure developers comply with approved applications?

LIBERAL PARTY

As with any area of regulation, we will expect and require officials to enforce the rules they are administering. It is tempting for builders to cut corners in an attempt to increase revenues from projects. The Canberra Liberals will require site visits by Planning Directorate officials to be undertaken before certificates of occupancy are issued to large multi-unit sites.

THE GREENS

The ACT Greens strongly believe that developments should meet the approved application. As an MLA Shane Rattenbury has made representation to the Minister for Planning on behalf of constituents to take action to ensure that unapproved works are rectified in accordance with the approved DA. As part of our Better Development package we have committed to independent auditing of private certifiers, to address this issue and to improve the quality of construction.

MAREA FATSEAS (Independent)

A core element of my platform is root and branch reform of the planning system. I will advocate for an inquiry into planning and land development to review governance, legislation and regulations, administration, the use of Ministerial call-in powers, enforcement of planning rules, and appeal mechanisms.

In that context, if elected to the Assembly, I will use my role on the cross-bench to make the Government accountable for enforcement of its own planning rules. If a legislative change is needed to ensure that developers build according to the approved applications, then I will advocate for that.

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3. Deakin residents have long argued for a detailed Deakin Precinct Code with measurable and mandatory planning requirements to prevent inappropriate development in residential areas.

  • Will you support the funding necessary for the development of this Code and will you commit to working with the DRA to finalise it?

 LIBERAL PARTY

A Liberal Government will commission an independent comprehensive review of the Territory Plan, to be completed in 2017. We will also introduce a heritage grading system, to give certainty and clarity about heritage listed property.

A Canberra Liberals government will also consider appropriate amendments to the Deakin Precinct Code.

Canberra’s planning system needs greater simplicity and fairer enforcementof the existing rules. Part of the current problem is that the Governmentis too quick to take over projects that are not commercially viable and toinvoke call-in powers too often, provoking community cynicism about theeffectiveness of the planning framework.

THE GREENS

The ACT Greens are committed to genuine community consultation as outlined in our Better Development package. The ACT Greens are committed an independent planning authority to undertake tasks such as developing master plans and precinct codes, and have allocated additional funds for professional staff resources.

MAREA FATSEAS (Independent)

Yes, I will advocate for the funding necessary for the development of this Code and will be committed to working with the DRA to finalise it.

The trialling of the development of precinct codes in consultation with the community was a major priority that I worked on with DRA as former President of the Yarralumla Residents Association and former member of the committee of the Inner South Canberra Community Council. After our significant efforts, the ACT Government informed us that there were insufficient resources to undertake the trial. I consider that putting resources into this kind of planning at suburban scale will save future resources consumed in addressing objections about inappropriate and spot development.

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4. Deakin residents have sought a 40km/hour traffic zone around the Deakin shopping centre to improve pedestrian and driver safety. There are similar zones around shopping areas in Manuka and Kingston.

  • Will you commit to extending the 40km/hour zone around suburban shops to Deakin?  If no, why not?

 LIBERAL PARTY

Over the past 4 years Liberal MLAs for Molonglo have held regular mobile office meetings at the Deakin shops and are well aware of the difficulties caused by lack of parking, exacerbated by cars that stay well beyond short term shopping needs, and the inappropriate pedestrian crossing. They have seen at first hand the near misses on the pedestrian crossing and the cramped car parking. We will expedite examination of options for alternate pedestrian crossing points and consider the speed limit in that context.

THE GREENS

The ACT Greens strongly support slow speed zones around areas where there is higher pedestrian/cycling activity, such as schools, shopping areas and community facilities, as well as areas where we want to encourage more walking/cycling. The Greens lead the push for the 40kmh zones that have now been implemented in all town centres and group centres. We agree that these zones can be extended to local centres as well, and that Deakin shops would be a good place to do this, subject to some analysis to determine if there are any unforeseen impediments.

MAREA FATSEAS (Independent)

I commit to engage with the Deakin community on this issue. I will seek accident and other statistics to gain an understanding of the current situation. I would also like to draw on the outcomes of similar zones established in Manuka and Kingston in advocating for a 40km/hour traffic zone around the Deakin shopping centre.

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5. Deakin residents consider that the current location of the pedestrian crossing on Hopetoun Circuit is incorrect and that it needs to be moved to ensure pedestrian safety.

  • Do you agree to ensure that the pedestrian crossing on Hopetoun Circuit is relocated to where it is needed?

LIBERAL PARTY

See answer to Q. 4

THE GREENS

We agree to review the crossing location in consultation with Deakin residents.

MAREA FATSEAS (Independent)

I am very concerned about pedestrian safety. I commit to engage with the Deakin community and with relevant government agencies to identify and relocate the pedestrian crossing to where it is most needed.

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6. Deakin residents place high importance on protecting and preserving existing public land and access to public land in Deakin.

  • What policies do you offer to ensure the protection, preservation and continuing access to public land in Deakin?

 LIBERAL PARTY

See answer to Q. 1.

THE GREENS

The ACT Greens are fully committed to the protection of public land, including land that was granted to clubs for community uses.

Our Keeping Canberra Green package includes an initiative to invest $8.5 million to improve the quality of public spaces, particularly high use parks and public spaces around shopping centres, through better landscaping and maintenance.

We will also invest $300,000 per year to employ community co-ordinators to support volunteers in urban areas such as Park Care, Water Watch, and community garden volunteers.

MAREA FATSEAS (Independent)

Given community disquiet about the loss of public land to the private sector, I will give priority to improving transparency, consistency and community engagement with respect to any proposals to change a lease purpose from community facility/urban open space to a commercial or other private use.

We must ensure that adequate public land remains to meet community needs, and that Canberrans have access to green open space for enjoyment and active recreation.

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7. Many Deakin residents are concerned about growing parking pressures in Deakin as it becomes more densified. Parking restrictions are needed in affected streets and action is required to enforce restrictions and prevent a growing problem of illegal parking on nature strips.

  • How will you ease parking pressures in Deakin, enforce parking restrictions and ensure commuter parking does not encroach on Deakin residential zones?
  • What action will you take to prevent parking on nature strips?

LIBERAL PARTY

We will encourage development pressure away from the suburbs like Deakin and into built-up town centres. Our lease variation charge relief will ensure that town centres that have become moribund and run-down can be revitalised, while the ‘bush capital’ character of our suburbs can be retained. We will consult residents groups on parking issues that arise from development.

THE GREENS

We support measures to prevent problem parking – such as enforcement to prevent parking on nature strips, and parking restrictions to prevent problem parking in residential areas, in consultation with residents. More broadly our transport and planning policies – which support public and active transport – are designed to try and ease issues of car dependence. Without this approach issues of congestion and parking pressures will only worsen. 

MAREA FATSEAS (Independent)

I appreciate the parking pressures in Deakin as I have many times found it difficult to secure parking to attend meetings or other functions in the suburb.

If elected to the Legislative Assembly, I will engage with Deakin residents, relevant government agencies and my Assembly colleagues to identify the areas facing the greatest parking pressures, and agree on appropriate parking restrictions and enforcement action to prevent parking on nature strips.

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8. Residents in West Deakin are especially concerned about parking pressures in that part of the suburb resulting from pay parking in employment zones.

  • Will you commit to working with the DRA and West Deakin residents on parking solutions in West Deakin?

LIBERAL PARTY

See answer to Q.7

MAREA FATSEAS (Independent)

Yes, I will commit to working with the DRA and West Deakin residents on parking solutions in West Deakin.

THE GREENS

Yes, as noted above we are happy to work with local residents to help find solutions to parking pressures. 

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9. Deakin residents are concerned that there should be genuine public consultation on any major developments in Deakin and those that will have an impact in Deakin.

  • How will you ensure Deakin residents and the DRA are consulted on plans for major planned developments in Deakin and in surrounding areas?

LIBERAL PARTY

A Canberra Liberals Government will develop a Planning App or mobile site to encourage community participation in planning decisions, including through a feedback function for Development Application consultation. The current Government engages in sham consultation and oversteps its role as both a regulator and a developer. We will also ensure thorough consultation with interested groups and individuals on the Territory Plan, other planning legislation and major developments.

MAREA FATSEAS (Independent)

The need for genuine public consultation is an issue dear to my heart and one of the factors that led me to stand as an independent in the ACT elections, given my frustration with the way such consultation is undertaken currently.

If elected, I will advocate for the community to be engaged from the beginning on an issue, and at different stages of the decision-making process, and with a range of approaches. I will use diverse approaches myself in engaging with the community, and will evaluate those approaches to see if they could be improved.

I will support community engagement approaches consistent with the core values of the Quality Assurance Standard for Community and Stake holder Engagement (https://www.iap2.org.au/documents/item/391), especially:

• The right of those who are affected by decisions to be involved in the decision making process.

• The promise that the public’s contribution will influence the decision.

• The importance of input from participants in designing how they participate.

• The provision to participants of information they need to participate in a meaningful way.

• Communication to participants about how their input affected the decision.

THE GREENS

As part of the ACT Greens Better Development Package we commit to a process of genuine community consultation. The Greens want to re-establish trust with the community regarding future directions of the City. There is a need for dialogue across the demographics to ensure that our city works for young and old, for today and into the future.

The ACT Greens are committed to facilitating and engaging broad, inclusive and meaningful conversation around the future of our city through a process of deliberative democracy. This could include citizens’ forums on planning and development, to provide an opportunity for lively and constructive conversations between different groups that have different aspirations. This will help build understanding and foster ideas that can respond to currently competing interests. This could include for example existing residents who wish to maintain the qualities of the communities that they have helped develop and where they may want to age in place. It would also involve younger people who aspire to live in a vibrant city with housing options to rent or buy, including in established areas.

As a minimum the Core Values for the Practice of Public Participation (as defined by the International Association for Public Participation) would be applied in a genuine way. These are that:

  • those affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process.
  • there is a promise that the public’s contribution will influence the decision.
  • sustainable decisions recognise and communicate the needs and interests of all participants, including decision makers.
  • those potentially affected by, or interested in a decision are sought out and their involvement facilitated.
  • participants have input in designing how they participate.
  • participants are provided with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way.
  • participants are communicated with on how their input affected the decision.
20 Sep / 2016

Current Issues updates

Our Deakin Matters  newsletter distributed on 28 August updated subscribers on current issues in Deakin:
• Latrobe Park,
• Pedestrian safety at the shops,
• West Deakin commuter parking,
• Formation of a Forrest Residents group,
• ACT Election candidates public forum.

Meeting with Girls Grammar and ACT Govt on Latrobe Park future.
After several postponements, DRA finally had a meeting on 8 August with both CGGS and the relevant ACT Government office – formerly TAMS, now known as “Transport Canberra and Community Services” (TCCS).

The meeting was not to make decisions, but to gain information and ensure that all parties were aware of different interests and what would be required for any proposal to be considered.
There has been no change to the CGGS proposal since the 12th May public meeting. DRA representatives have made clear that our role is to convey views of residents and keep residents informed, not to agree to anything that does not have community support.

The situation was left with Girls Grammar to consider whether they would make a proposal on the basis of a licence (non-proprietory) rather than a lease (proprietory).

Bedford Street/Latrobe Park parking
Following complaints by residents about all-day parking hampering access to Latrobe Park, Deakin Pre-school and Bedford Street residences, the government has contacted Bedford Street residents regarding time-limited parking on at least one side of Bedford Street. Consultation is not complete and we understand residents have different views on the best solution.

Pavement safety barriers at Deakin shops
DRA has been working with business operators at Deakin shops for several years lobbying to to improve the safety of pedestrian traffic. This follows a number of incidents where vehicles have mounted the pavement outside shops and caused significant damage.

Visitors will note that substantial protective barriers have recently been installed between the car parks and the footpath, to the benefit of all users.

Pedestrian crossings and speed controls on Hopetoun Circuit.
Danger to pedestrians and to vehicular traffic on Hopetoun Circuit between Adelaide Avenue and Stonehaven Crescent has been raised repeatedly by residents, and by DRA, with the ACT Government.

We continue to seek a proper meeting with officials to discuss solutions. Options might involve a 40kph speed limit, relocated pedestrian crossings, improved signage, or other traffic engineering elements.

West Deakin pay-parking impact on residential streets
An active group of local residents has been negotiating effectively to reverse the trend of commuters to the West Deakin Business Precinct lining residential streets (Jersey, Nathan, Lawley, Norman, Fuller and Beauchamp Streets), following the ACT Government’s action to impose pay- parking in the Geils Court parking area.
The residents have successfully lobbied the ACT Government to reinstate free all-day parking for about 150 parking spaces in Geils Court and the removal of all parking meters in that car park, other than some 30 spaces that will remain for 2 hour parking. There are already signs that the reinstatement of free parking has had a definite impact and reduced the number of vehicles parked in residential streets. The ACT Government, via Roads ACT, has also responded positively to the group’s concerns about the need for a review, to address the provision of sufficient parking in new Precinct developments such as the Deakin Bowling Club and elsewhere in the Precinct.

While welcoming the initial response by the ACT government and the promise to undertake a full review of the Precinct’s parking problems, affected residents plan to maintain community pressure to ensure changes made to date become permanent and that, in the absence of a stated timeframe, the review is undertaken in a timely manner.

Formation of Forrest Residents Group
DRA is in contact with a growing group of Forrest residents who are in the process of establishing a formal residents group, similar to DRA. We anticipate future cooperation on many issues of common interest. A public meeting to establish the Forrest group is scheduled for Tuesday, 30 August.

ISCCC “Meet the Candidates” Forum – 27 September
On 15 October Deakin residents will vote to elect 5 members to represent us in the ACT Assembly in our new electorate of Kurrajong. Make sure you know where they stand on the issues that matter to you – planning, transport, parking, heritage, public housing, rates, development on public land, transparency in government, etc etc.

The Inner South Canberra Community Council is hosting a “Meet the Candidates” Public Forum on 27 September 2016, 7.00 pm, at Eastlake Football Club, 3 Oxley Street, Griffith. Hear what candidates have to say and question them, to decide who earns your vote!

Here is the ISCCC flyer for the Meet the Candidates Public Forum.

After several postponements, DRA finally had a meeting with both CGGS and the relevant ACT Government office – formerly TAMS, now known as “Transport Canberra and Community Services” (TCCS).

The meeting was not to make decisions, but to gain information and ensure that all parties were aware of different interests and what would be required for any proposal to be considered. There has been no change to the CGGS proposal since the 12th May meeting. DRA representatives have made clear that our role is to convey views of residents and keep residents informed, not to agree to anything that does not have clear community support.

The situation was left with Girls Grammar to consider whether they would make a proposal on the basis of a licence (non-proprietory) rather than a lease (proprietory).

The summary below is as agreed by the participants.

DRA, CGGS and TCCS Meeting – Latrobe Park

Date: Monday 8th August 2016, Time: 10 – 11am,

Location: Canberra Girls Grammar School

Present: John Bell, Richard Thwaites, Di Johnstone (DRA), Matt O’Brien (CGGS), Fleur Flanery, Julie Garbode (TCCS), Emma Wright (sec)
Documentation provided

  • Summary of information session dated 12th May 2016
  • Summary of CGGS proposal for La Trobe Park
  • Map of La Trobe Park

VIEWS PRESENTED:
Deakin Residents Association
An information session was held in May; formal community consultation is still needed
Since May, the DRA received many comments from concerned members of the community regarding the proposal.

  • Overall loss of public space is the primary issue, whilst some fear the potential for changes to land use.
  • Community seems more interested in improvements to facilities, such as toilets and picnic areas, rather than upgrade to the land.
  • Fences viewed by many as restrictive and exclusive.
  • CGGS girls’ parking in the Latrobe Park carpark and along Bedford Street has restricted public vehicle access to Latrobe Park and resulted in residents’ requests for time-limited parking, however girls continue to park all day and many residents consider the school responsible.
  • Community considers the term ‘lease’ implies a change in proprietorship of the land and that long term leases may also be converted to other uses. The nature of a ‘license’ for use may avoid these assumptions. Provided appropriate clauses are agreed upon and there is sufficient transparency, a license proposal may receive less opposition.

Canberra Girls Grammar School

  • Initial proposal from May remains unchanged.
  • Facilities would be offered to the public outside of school hours.
  • Parking not likely an issue. Matt can discuss vehicle access in future if need be.
  • CGGS is not necessarily chasing up either a lease or a license at this stage; still early on in the proposal.

Transport Canberra and City Services

  • Community’s wishes set the framework for what goes ahead.
  • Fences are popular with dog owners in dog parks.
  • Permits are not appropriate in this case; they are for short-term, periodic, event-type use of public space.
  • License would allow Government to retract with short notice. Government would have to compensate the license-holder in that case
  • Cost of license or lease depends on the conditions agreed upon in the contract, such as what contributions CGGS is making and maintenance of the park
  • TCCS to provide a more comprehensive summary of the differences between permits, licenses and leases.