BY assistant Prof Bruce Baer Arnold
MICK Gentleman says three Territory Plan variations which rezone public housing sites in Narrabundah, Griffith and Red Hill have now been signed, following changes that reflect extensive community consultation.
“Variation 332 for Gowrie Court in Narrabundah, Variation 333 for the Stuart Flats in Griffith and Variation 334 Red Hill propose to rezone the sites as part of Canberra’s urban renewal program to stimulate renewal in our already developed suburbs,” Mick said.
“All sites are of a size and proportion to accommodate high density residential development with good access to local shops, Manuka and the key employment nodes of Parliament House, Parkes, Barton and Fyshwick.
“Importantly these changes will support an increase in housing choice, giving residents of the Inner South the opportunity to ‘age in place’, as they look to downsize from larger homes without having to leave their local community.
“Extensive pre-consultation was undertaken as part of the public housing renewal program, followed by statutory community consultation for the draft variations.
“Overall there was support for redevelopment of the sites although there were some submissions that raised concerns about height, density, traffic and parking.
“In response to these concerns strict provisions to guide the re-development of the site have been introduced into the Narrabundah, Griffith and Red Hill precinct codes.
“The provisions include building height limits of two to six storeys for the Narrabundah and Griffith sites and up to four storeys on the Red Hill site.
“The Red Hill variation attracted 97 submissions.
“Following careful consideration of the community’s concerns and the findings of supplementary traffic study, the Red Hill variation was amended to reduce the maximum height limit to four storeys.
“There was also an additional condition that La Perouse and Cygnet Crescent be included in the TAMS Residential Street Improvement Program to address the potential impact of the proposal on roads in the area.
“The precinct codes for all three sites include conditions in relation to the desired character and landscaping of the sites.
“The codes contain measures to ensure a transition from taller buildings at the centre and rear of the sites stepping down in height as buildings get closer to existing residences.
“The variations do not specify building types, allowing a range of development including two storey townhouses and low rise units. If this is the product mix that is in demand and the best value use of the site, the market will deliver that.
“All three variations are consistent with the ACT Planning Strategy which calls for 50% of new housing to be delivered through urban renewal,” Minister Gentleman concluded.
Following today’s approval by the Planning Minister the variations will be tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly in March.
As part of its public housing renewal program the ACT Government will provide nearly 1300 new, modern homes for the territory’s public housing tenants. The program, including construction and purchasing, will ensure tenants have the high quality accommodation they deserve. As part of the program, Housing ACT works with tenants to find suitable new homes.