21 Jul / 2020

North Curtin Diplomatic Estate and urban area – the future of Curtin horse paddocks

The DRA provided comments on the NCA Draft Amendment Plan 95 (DAP 95) which sought to to seek approval to change the land use policy of the Curtin horse paddocks to become a new Diplomatic Estate and a new residential area adjacent to Yarra Glen.

Key points in DRA submission:

• The consultation with interested parties such as ACT Equestrian Association has been inadequate
• The demand for new diplomatic missions has not been demonstrated
• There is a need for a long-term comprehensive plan to guide diplomatic development
• The paddocks and surrounding open space are home to significant species of flora and fauna. They are also a corridor and buffer zone providing shelter.
• The increased residential densification which will result from DAP 95 appears to be a plank to justify light rail expenditure, without adequate consideration of costs and benefits
• Bushfire risks need further consideration.

The submission is at the link. Horse paddock submission_NCA DAP 95 Swap

Under the ACT’s dual planning regime, the Australian Government and ACT Government share planning responsibility in the ACT. The NCA administers the National Capital Plan and it manages Canberra’s diplomatic estate on behalf of the Australian Government, including the sale and issue of Crown leases for diplomatic purposes, rent collection, lease variations, and lease compliance.
DAP 95 comes on the back of an agreed land swap between the Commonwealth and ACT Governments, involving transfer of Block 4 Section 106 Curtin and approximately 70 per cent of Block 5 Section 121 Curtin (totalling approximately 31.5 hectares in all) from the ACT Government to the Commonwealth, with a commensurate transfer of parts of Block 1 Section 89 Acton, which constitute a portion of the bed of Lake Burley Griffin, from the Commonwealth to the ACT Government.
The primary purpose of DAP 95 is to seek approval to change the land use policy of the Curtin holdings to become a new Diplomatic Estate to accommodate new offices and residences for foreign diplomatic missions and for the establishment of a new residential area adjacent to Yarra Glen. These areas are currently designated as Broadacre Acres which do not permit residential development and will need to be changed to Urban areas to accommodate the proposed land use changes. A number of smaller parcels of land in Curtin, Yarralumla and Weston Creek also appear to be included, but it is unclear where they fit in with DAP 95.