THE Yarralumla Brickworks offers exciting urban infill opportunities as the pressure continues for government to release new land for housing in Canberra.
Filling in suburban blanks makes the best use of our excellent infrastructure – our roads, storm water and sewer and electricity connections – and taps into established community amenities.
The brickworks hold an important place in Canberra’s history – producing the “Canberra red” bricks for most of our early public buildings including around four million bricks for old Parliament House.
Later the old kilns were used for antiques sales and markets until safety issues closed the site in the late 1990s. Nearly 20 years later, the old kilns and surrounds have stood largely disused and inaccessible – despite sensible efforts by the ACT Government to reuse the site for residential development.
The most recent Government plan to rejuvenate the surrounds of the site and give a new lease of life to the area has been released. The strategy will facilitate restoration of the brickworks, establishing three new parks, including one on the site of the old quarry that looks set to become a spectacular facility for the community, and another in the Yarralumla railway remnants area. Next to the parks will be around 1600 dwellings, commercial opportunities and a public space for community and cultural events.
This exciting re-development proposal responsibly respects the heritage value of the site and amenity of existing residents, and provides new housing, open space and business opportunity in the inner-south.
Catherine Carter is ACT executive director of the Property Council of Australia.