Rural landholders have failed to overturn approval for a lease variation which could see a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility built on Paddy’s River Road near Tharwa.
A development application for the Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm on the ACT Government owned block is currently being considered by the ACT Planning & Land Authority.
The Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm is planned to be a therapeutic retreat that reconnects participants with their land and culture to foster rehabilitation, with a strong focus on Aboriginal spirituality and principles. The centre would accommodate up to 16 people at a time.
To allow such a facility, the Government successfully sought a change of use ruling to allow an organised camp to be established on the land.
However the ACT Rural Land Holders Association and private land owners took to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT), claiming there would be unacceptable environmental and social impacts and expressing fears it would undermine the area’s ‘rural character’.
ACAT has ruled that the proposed change falls within the zoning requirements for the area, clearing the way for the development to be considered.