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Protests over Deakin McMansions.

By farq - 7 January 2013 134

Protests over Deakin McMansion

Personally I think it’s time for this kind of thing to come to and end. Big houses right to the edge of the block don’t belong in established suburbs!

I live in West Belconnen, we had one of these cheap Rietveld-Schröder House knock offs built across the road. It’s big(almost 3 stories, right up against boundaries), ugly (purple), it looks into the neighbours yards and is so poorly designed the main living areas all face west. It goes without saying that not a single tree is left on the block (and the garden is now too small for anything but a patch of fake grass).

We are just thankful it was not built next door.

The big worry is that as our street is full of 3-bedroom single bathroom houses on big blocks (all built in the early 70s) and unless things change it’s only a matter of time before stuff starts getting demolished and the street ends up claustrophobic and over-crowded like Gungahlin.

What’s Your opinion?


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134 Responses to
Protests over Deakin McMansions.
31
thegirl 1:14 pm
07 Jan 13
#

rosscoact said :

thegirl said :

thebrownstreak69 said :

ACTPLA approved it – take it up with them. You would also have had a chance to comment on the application.

They wouldn’t have have had the opportunity to comment. There is no requirement for a development application for single dwellings (assuming the development complies with relevant codes which seem to be very broadly drafted)

That only applies in greenfields, they always notify in established areas

You only need to notify adjoining neighbours. I suppose those neighbours directly affected could then make comment if they wanted but I cant see how there would be any point as there’s no development approval needed in established areas. Perhaps you could object on the basis that the development doesn’t meet the suburb code but those suburb and building codes seem to be very broad.

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32
Very Busy 1:19 pm
07 Jan 13
#

Holden Caulfield said :

Yes, I agree that would suck. But it’s ACTPLA that should feel the brunt of any objections. It’s pretty poor that the new homeowners will now also feel crap about their new home/neighborhood.

Has anyone bothered to consider the position of the new homeowners at all? I’m guessing moving in and pissing off all the neighbours and gaining media attention wasn’t on their list of hopes and expectations.

I do agree, too, that the house pictured in the CT article is pretty fugly, and I wouldn’t like it next to me, but as far as I’m aware nobody has made me judge and juror able to declare what is good and bad taste.

….and to quote from the article “broadbrush residential codes need to be more precise to protect people from themselves”.

I couldn’t agree more. It is amazing that someone could be clever enough to be a high level public servant, but dumb enough to have the inability to visualise the end result from drawings and plans. Either that, or some people are quite happy to have an arrogant and contemptuous anti social disregard for those around them.

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33
Holden Caulfield 1:24 pm
07 Jan 13
#

farq said :

I was refering to the house across the road from me in West Belco, not the house in the article.

Fair enough.

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34
aussielyn 1:27 pm
07 Jan 13
#

Up until last year, next-door residents did not have to be notified about knockdown/rebuilds happening on adjacent properties. Knockdown/rebuilds are not on the ACTPLA website. A nine-bedroom house in O’Connor had outraged residents and was raised at the Planning & Development Forum. After the Greens Caroline Le Couteur proposed an amendment, Planning Minister introduced an amendment that made notification compulsory but no appeal rights. Currently a development next door can block your solar access and you have no redress. The govt response to DV 306 was due on 19 Dec 2012.
If you buy into a street you like it may be re-developed with very high plot ratio houses that will change the character. Chalk & cheese developments like this are now commonplace in established suburbs. ACT treasury benefits more from knockdown/rebuild than renovation and ACTPLA will push this, as it is an arm of revenue raising. A private certifier who is paid by the developer and licenced by ACTPLA does building inspection.
The rise of the McMansions in existing suburbs will see further de-forrestation of existing suburbs. There is no room for trees and landscaping, total dominance of the built form. It is interesting to see the solar panels but a lack of windows facing north. The architect/draftsman/owner has shown a total disregard for solar passive design.
Many RAs may dismiss DRA as NIMBIES but they just want a say in how their suburb changes and new developments that are sympathetic and complimentary to what is already there. Transplanting Gungahlin into Deakin is not good planning. Future residents have more rights than neighbours under both the Territory Plan and Planning & Development Act.

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35
greyswandir 1:30 pm
07 Jan 13
#

That house is totally hideous, but having said that, if it complies with the relevant laws and regulations then *shrug*

I’d be thankful that the crappy neighbour on the block just has an ugly house rather than a whole host of other issues which would actually, you know, be problems. (Barking dogs? Loud cars/music? D***heads who scream abuse at eachother at all hours?)

I had a bit of sympathy until the “this isn’t Gungahlin” comment – just reeks of self-impressed snobbery. And I don’t like Gungahlin either.

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36
gazket 1:39 pm
07 Jan 13
#

farq said :

For those who don’t know what I mean by Rietveld-Schröder, check this out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rietveld_Schr%C3%B6der_House.

the house looks nothing like what you posted. You Fail at pushing your own barrow.

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37
Ben_Dover 1:43 pm
07 Jan 13
#

Can we have a Riotact photo-stream competition; “Hideous McMansions of Canberra”?

There’s one Aranda (looks like a municipal toilet on steroids,) and one in Cook (“we let our toddler choose the colours”) that deserve recognition.

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38
Deref 1:44 pm
07 Jan 13
#

54-11 said :

I’ll do a Masquara (ie totally irrelevant comment), and just note that Mr Kefford used to be a senior advisor to John Howard.

That’s not irrelevant at all – it puts the house in a context in which it makes perfect sense.

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39
rosscoact 1:51 pm
07 Jan 13
#

thegirl said :

rosscoact said :

thegirl said :

thebrownstreak69 said :

ACTPLA approved it – take it up with them. You would also have had a chance to comment on the application.

They wouldn’t have have had the opportunity to comment. There is no requirement for a development application for single dwellings (assuming the development complies with relevant codes which seem to be very broadly drafted)

That only applies in greenfields, they always notify in established areas

You only need to notify adjoining neighbours. I suppose those neighbours directly affected could then make comment if they wanted but I cant see how there would be any point as there’s no development approval needed in established areas. Perhaps you could object on the basis that the development doesn’t meet the suburb code but those suburb and building codes seem to be very broad.

That is simply not true. All redevelopments of this type in existing urban areas have, for at least the last 10 year, been subject to full notification and require a DA.

What you are referring to are IIRC small, class 10A (non habitual structures)

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40
farq 1:51 pm
07 Jan 13
#

gazket said :

farq said :

For those who don’t know what I mean by Rietveld-Schröder, check this out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rietveld_Schr%C3%B6der_House.

the house looks nothing like what you posted. You Fail at pushing your own barrow.

You failed to read the original post.

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41
farq 1:56 pm
07 Jan 13
#

aussielyn said :

Up until last year, next-door residents did not have to be notified about knockdown/rebuilds happening on adjacent properties. Knockdown/rebuilds are not on the ACTPLA website. A nine-bedroom house in O’Connor had outraged residents and was raised at the Planning & Development Forum. After the Greens Caroline Le Couteur proposed an amendment, Planning Minister introduced an amendment that made notification compulsory but no appeal rights. Currently a development next door can block your solar access and you have no redress. The govt response to DV 306 was due on 19 Dec 2012.
If you buy into a street you like it may be re-developed with very high plot ratio houses that will change the character. Chalk & cheese developments like this are now commonplace in established suburbs. ACT treasury benefits more from knockdown/rebuild than renovation and ACTPLA will push this, as it is an arm of revenue raising. A private certifier who is paid by the developer and licenced by ACTPLA does building inspection.
The rise of the McMansions in existing suburbs will see further de-forrestation of existing suburbs. There is no room for trees and landscaping, total dominance of the built form. It is interesting to see the solar panels but a lack of windows facing north. The architect/draftsman/owner has shown a total disregard for solar passive design.
Many RAs may dismiss DRA as NIMBIES but they just want a say in how their suburb changes and new developments that are sympathetic and complimentary to what is already there. Transplanting Gungahlin into Deakin is not good planning. Future residents have more rights than neighbours under both the Territory Plan and Planning & Development Act.

The only people who can`t see a problem losing solar access have never had it and are happy living indoors 24/7/365.25

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42
chilli 2:14 pm
07 Jan 13
#

For medium density developments, the relevant planning code mandates a plot ratio of 65% for two storey developments (RZ3) and 80% for three storey developments (RZ4).

Perhaps a similar code could be introduced for single houses, limiting the plot ratio of new houses depending on the height of the building, the size of the block and it’s location (greenfield or brownfield).

Surely this wouldn’t jeopardise the freedoms fought for in WW1 and 2?

People could still build a miniature Buckingham Palace on their land if they wished to, but if the maximum plot ratio is 65% in brownfield areas and 80% in greenfield, they will only offend other’s aesthetic sensibility and not their solar access and privacy, nor the overall integrity of the streetscape.

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43
thegirl 2:38 pm
07 Jan 13
#

rosscoact said :

thegirl said :

rosscoact said :

thegirl said :

thebrownstreak69 said :

ACTPLA approved it – take it up with them. You would also have had a chance to comment on the application.

They wouldn’t have have had the opportunity to comment. There is no requirement for a development application for single dwellings (assuming the development complies with relevant codes which seem to be very broadly drafted)

That only applies in greenfields, they always notify in established areas

You only need to notify adjoining neighbours. I suppose those neighbours directly affected could then make comment if they wanted but I cant see how there would be any point as there’s no development approval needed in established areas. Perhaps you could object on the basis that the development doesn’t meet the suburb code but those suburb and building codes seem to be very broad.

That is simply not true. All redevelopments of this type in existing urban areas have, for at least the last 10 year, been subject to full notification and require a DA.

What you are referring to are IIRC small, class 10A (non habitual structures)

Not true. New single dwellings (and alterations and additions) do not require approval if they comply with certain codes. As per aussielyn’s post above, until recently there was not even a requirement to notify adjoining properties.

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44
buildingquoteHQ 2:44 pm
07 Jan 13
#

rosscoact said :

thegirl said :

rosscoact said :

thegirl said :

thebrownstreak69 said :

ACTPLA approved it – take it up with them. You would also have had a chance to comment on the application.

They wouldn’t have have had the opportunity to comment. There is no requirement for a development application for single dwellings (assuming the development complies with relevant codes which seem to be very broadly drafted)

That only applies in greenfields, they always notify in established areas

You only need to notify adjoining neighbours. I suppose those neighbours directly affected could then make comment if they wanted but I cant see how there would be any point as there’s no development approval needed in established areas. Perhaps you could object on the basis that the development doesn’t meet the suburb code but those suburb and building codes seem to be very broad.

That is simply not true. All redevelopments of this type in existing urban areas have, for at least the last 10 year, been subject to full notification and require a DA.

What you are referring to are IIRC small, class 10A (non habitual structures)[/quote

Incorrect. Here is ACTPLAs number, 62071931. They will tell you that single residential developments in established suburbs do not need to be assessed by them if it is a complying application. This includes knock down rebuilds including two storey. The adjoining neighbors are required to be notified but only for information purposes and there are no objection rights if it is compliant.

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45
thegirl 2:45 pm
07 Jan 13
#

Madam Cholet said :

What I don’t think is a good idea is for existing and obviously disgruntled residents to compare their area to somewhere else, and allude to the fact that their area is better, and then add the caveat, ‘not that there’s anything wrong with (insert suburb name)’. Houses should be built with sustainability in mind in any area. And if that is done, it will minimize these complaints. For the record, I don’t live in either area.

I agree that houses in all areas should be built sustainably and consistent with block orientation etc but I’m not sure common sense can be made mandatory.

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