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4,000 residents challenge poor planning

By 4 August 2014 9

Representatives of Yarralumla residents braved the cold today (Monday 4 August) to present a petition at 8am calling for the withdrawal and reworking of current plans for the Canberra Brickworks and environs.

The Yarralumla Residents Association presented the petition to Member of the Legislative Assembly for Molonglo, Steve Doszpot, who will present the petition to the Assembly this week.

The petition, signed by over 4,000 Canberra residents, challenges the poor planning in the current proposal, which would create a town-­?centre scale development, with building heights of up to 8 storeys, but without the necessary infrastructure and community amenities.

The petition also questions the ACT Government’s plan to just “make safe” the heritage-­?listed Canberra Brickworks, starving them of the funds needed to preserve them. “This is a recipe for managed decay of these iconic buildings,” declared Marea Fatseas, President of the Yarralumla Residents  Association.

“Residents are not opposed to development,” she said. “We want to work with the ACT Government, the National Capital Authority, relevant experts, and other stakeholders to come up with a plan that is in character with the existing suburb and addresses major concerns.”

“More than 4000 Canberra residents have signed our petition, demonstrating strong interest across the ACT in planning for the Brickworks and environs,” she said. “The Government has an opportunity to create a genuinely sustainable development that provides community amenity, avoids traffic and infrastructure problems, and provides for conservation and adaptive reuse of the Brickworks.”

The petitioners are seeking reworked plans that:

  • Develop a plan in harmony with the existing suburb that reduces building heights; is less dense; provides more green space; conserves more existing trees; retains walking trails.
  • Address the significantly increased traffic flow within Yarralumla, Deakin and Curtin, build a traffic overpass near the Mint; and provide adequate parking.
  • Provide detailed and fully costed plans relating to the immediate preservation of the Brickworks and for the next stage of the restoration and adaptive reuse of the site.
  • Provide extensive public reports and costings on plans for the safe removal of asbestos and other contaminated material from the site and implications for health and safety.
  • Explain how existing infrastructure will cope with a doubling of demand, and provide detailed information on improved public transport options, community facilities and planned new amenities.

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9 Responses to 4,000 residents challenge poor planning
#1
davo1011:00 pm, 04 Aug 14

build a traffic overpass near the Mint

Not going to happen. This option was priced at $100 million which would eat into any profit they are planning on making.

#2
housebound3:00 pm, 04 Aug 14

I’ve seen firsthand the government’s total contempt for citizen petitions. Your only recourse is to vote them out at the next ACT election … as if!

#3
watto234:21 pm, 04 Aug 14

As I keep saying, just like every other development its sounding more like nimbyism and less like genuine well thought our arguments and reasoning. As soon as that happens your arguments get dismissed far quicker, whether they are valid or not.

Traffic is definitely a concern, but to suggest building a new overpass is never going to be taken seriously. However ensuring the current traffic can still flow without being on residential streets is not an unreasonable expectation.
Same with parking, if they can widen the road enough to put 45 degree parking in, that would help.

Asbestos comments show that the YRA have no expert knowledge of how best this is handled. Building on top of it pretty much eliminates asbestos being an issue.
There may be 400 residents opposed, but i bet there will be high demand for such an inner suburb location.

#4
HiddenDragon6:22 pm, 04 Aug 14

Do the Liberals have a detailed position on this? Steve Doszpot may be presenting the petition to the Assembly, but does that mean that a Liberal Government would only allow the development to go ahead if it was reworked along the lines suggested by the YRA?

#5
gooterz11:32 pm, 04 Aug 14

Has anyone noticed that Canberra is an island of green in a sea of brown?

Why cover when we can just build multistorey in all the group centres.

The whole brickworks development only makes sense if light rail went to woden and not gun-middle-of-nowhere.

#6
Acton2:39 pm, 05 Aug 14

Watto23: It is most unfortunate that some Canberrans should accuse others of nimbyism, when what is really happening is one group of residents is simply trying to protect those very aspects of this city we all love. There are many things wrong with the LDA’s proposal.
- backtracking on the 2011 plans and ignoring previous concerns and consultations;
- loss of green spaces, walking tracks, trees, bush and habitat;
- doubled in population size through the imposition of 1,600 new dwellings up to eight storeys high
- traffic congestion and adverse infrastructure impacts;
- inadequate parking at local shops;
- lack of detail on buried asbestos;
- failure to deal with heritage issues of the Brickworks.
Is it wrong for a group of residents to oppose property developers driven by financial self-interest?
Is it wrong to ask whether this local government is simply after land revenue to fund a light rail fantasy?
If residents are NIMBYs, then so too is any community, anywhere, that has a connection to their land and seeks to protect the natural environment and essential character of their home. Just think of the groups throughout history you could accuse of nimbyism.
When you suggest that residents do not have genuine, well thought out arguments and reasoning may I point out the numerous detailed submissions put up over the years on this subject. They are here: http://www.yarralumlaresidents.org.au/planning-development/brickworks/
Over 4,000 people signed the petition calling for the plans to be withdrawn and reworked.
It would be so much better if residents in Canberra stuck by each other in a common cause to preserve what we love most about the city we have all chosen to make our home.

#7
HiddenDragon4:58 pm, 05 Aug 14

Acton said :

…..It would be so much better if residents in Canberra stuck by each other in a common cause to preserve what we love most about the city we have all chosen to make our home.

That sums it up very nicely – what we have now is divide and rule, with too many people taking the “I’m alright, Jack” view of the world until they’re affected – by which time it’s too late.

I’m not affected by the plans for Yarralumla, and I don’t know anyone who is – so in that sense, I have no interest in it, but I am concerned at an increasingly common style of development which is over the top, and appears to have much more to do with maximising profits than with the now hackneyed arguments about environmental and health benefits. Dismissing people who have such concerns as selfish NIMBYs or BANANAs is glib and simplistic, and somewhat deluded when coming from individuals who think that more intensive development will be a magic panacea for high housing costs.

#8
Maya1238:56 pm, 05 Aug 14

The only way in the long term to limit developments like this is to limit population, and that’s up to the Federal Government (rather than local) and choices individuals make. The major parties would rather have more people. If you don’t want developments consider who you vote for, and don’t have large families, because after all people have to live somewhere.

#9
davo1018:58 am, 06 Aug 14

Maya123 said :

The only way in the long term to limit developments like this is to limit population, and that’s up to the Federal Government

Well the current and previous Federal governments are certainly trying to limit the growth of Canberra.

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