Letters / ‘Urban vandalism’ threatens Woden town square 

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The Woden Valley Community Council is pushing back on a 24-storey building that’s going to create wind and overshadow public space, says president FIONA CARRICK. 

WITHOUT consultation, a 10-year-old development application was approved in March for a 24-storey building on Borrowdale House, the old Post Office on the north-west perimeter of the Woden Town Square.

We have strong concerns that this development will create more wind and overshadow our public space – the east west connections to the library and the town square – diminishing the potential for activity and entertainment where people want to socialise and spend time.  

While we support urban infill, we expect it to be underpinned by a plan to attract people to the centre, to create social environments where people want to gather and visit again and again.

In a similar situation, on May 22, 2018, “The Canberra Times” reported that the ACT Greens rejected Geocon’s proposed high-rise hotel at Garema Place on two grounds – overshadowing of Garema Place and the squeezing-out of entertainment and nightlife. They said if the proposal was to go ahead it would cause long-term damage to the city as a “place to spend time and to run businesses”.

The planning regulations exempt the Woden DA from ACAT review meaning there is no pathway for an independent review of this damaging proposal.

Our public spaces and business opportunities are important to us – 24 storeys on the Town Square is urban vandalism and we request positive outcomes with the government purchasing the three-storey building for an arts centre.

Fiona Carrick, president, Woden Valley Community Council

Rose-tinted glasses

I’M not sure which pair of rose-tinted glasses Jack Kershaw, of Kambah, is looking through (“Two big towers with very different design stories”, CN, November 5), but I find his preference for 1950’s Soviet-style architecture (Sky Plaza, Woden) compared with “downmarket Melbourne” Grand Central Towers quite amazing. 

Given my druthers, downmarket Melbourne seems to me to be a vast improvement on the bereft design criteria applicable to many current Canberra apartments. 

We could learn a lot from Melbourne’s willingness to accept innovation and a bit of whimsy in its approach to an enlightened cityscape design.

Brian Franklin, Fraser 

Christmas is safe!

COLUMNIST Jon Stanhope is concerned that under the new ACT government the Christmas public holiday is “in danger of being cancelled” (CN, November 12). No Jon, only the Grinch can steal Christmas.

Russell Wenholz, Holt


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