Submissions strongly oppose Griffith property rezone 

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Griffith Narrabundah Community Association president David Denham.

MORE than 500 submissions have opposed a change to the current territory plan that could see a Griffith property rezoned to allow for medium-density units.

Part of the government’s Demonstration Housing Project, an initiative designed to help urban renewal, it would involve bulldozing a home on Blaxland Street to make way for a two-storey, four-unit “Manor House” with nine car park spaces.

It also requires a variation to the RZ1 criteria to allow for medium-density units on a residential block.

Written comments about the draft variation were invited until April 26 and out of the 526 comments only five of them supported what the government is proposing.  

Griffith Narrabundah Community Association president David Denham says this response highlights a local community that is angry.

“It is fed-up of poor planning outcomes that are degrading the desired characteristics of our city and of a government that does not comply with its own planning rules,” he said. 

“The Manor House would be just another example of a poor planning outcome.” 

David said the “Manor House” design has already been used in NSW, so questioned why it’s necessary to build a demonstration “Manor House” in the ACT, when there are examples in Sydney that can be used to assess its suitability for Canberra.  

“The block selected is in a low rise, predominantly single dwelling and low density in character residential housing zone (RZ1),” he said.

“If four-unit apartments can be built on this RZ1 site, they can be built anywhere in the suburbs. Residents do not want Manor Houses built next door in an RZ1 zone. This is not the desired, high-quality, preferred living they want. Why not consider it for medium density zones such as RZ2 or RZ3? 

“The largest investment for most families is the purchase of a home. It is crucial they know what could be built next to them. Families need certainty, confidence and trust in the planning system. They do not want the surprise of a four-unit, two-storey, apartment-style dwelling with nine car parks built next door and impacting on their privacy and amenity.”   

In 2018, David said Canberra’s south had the highest ratio of high-density dwellings.

Since then, more than 2000 new dwellings are in the pipeline, excluding the developments at Kingston Foreshore, he said.

“There is no need for more high-density areas in low density residential zones in this this congested part of Canberra,” he said. 

“The only beneficiaries appear to be the proponents, who currently live there already and are likely to sell the four units if the Manor House is built.  

“And finally, the Demonstration Housing Project is supposed to “test the effectiveness of different housing types through real examples and future review through post-occupancy modelling”. We do not know how the success of the project will be evaluated/tested, when the evaluation will take place, who will do the testing, or what criteria/methodology will be used?

“It is abundantly clear why the Manor House proposal has been rejected by the local community and the government should take note and not pursue this project any further.” 


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  1. Having been involved in opposing the redevelopment of the ABC Flats, I don’t hold out much hope for your overwhelming opposition. We had massive opposition to 10 storeys next to our 3 storeys, proposing 8 storeys as a compromise. ACTPLA came back with 15 storeys. We got that back to 12 after the Minister intervened. Now we have sunset at 3:30pm.

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