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Albert Hall development finally shelved

By johnboy - 22 June 2009 14

The National Capital Authority has announced that they’ve formally and finally given up on Draft Amendment 53 which would have seen eight story residential development in the Albert Hall precinct.

    At its Authority meeting on Thursday 18 June, the National Capital Authority agreed to withdraw Draft Amendment 53, which proposed a change to the land use policy of the Albert Hall Precinct.

The DA’s been on hold since February last year.

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14 Responses to
Albert Hall development finally shelved
ant 11:47 am 24 Jun 09

Mark of Sydney said :

The NCA needs to start listening to a broader audience — including Australians outside Canberra — insterad of the predictable bleats from aging NIMBYs with too much time on their hands and little capacity for lateral thinking

I imagine that if Sydney people got to control development in the NCA bit of Canberra, we’d have jet-skis on the lake.

sepi 11:19 am 24 Jun 09

I’d actually be in favour if I thought they could create something lively yet liveable and usable – a bit like Southbank in Melbourne. With Albert Hall still prominent and surrounded by a bit of space and some great pedestrian malls with sculptures etc, and a couple of nice cafes and restaurants.

But in reality what this govt would do is build 8 storey units right up to the eaves of Albert Hall, and only new unit dwellers would get any benefits of retaining the heritage building. They’d probably move in a maccas too.

Belco lake dvpt anyone – units up to the road blocking the view, and a few tacky fast food restaurants on the shoreline. Classy.

trevar 11:09 am 24 Jun 09

Mark of Sydney said :

Trevar says: ‘I don’t think anyone should live there, but I see no reason to send just about all private businesses across the lake.’

Why not?

Why not what? Why not have anyone live there, or why not send private business across the lake?

I don’t think anyone should live there because the population base would be too centralised, making us just another big city, and we already have enough of them so there’s no reason to create another. What the country doesn’t have many of are mid-sized cities without densely-populated centres.

And I don’t think there should be such a limit to private businesses in/near the Triangle because it could do with a little livening up. I like the car race idea, actually; maybe the Rally of Canberra could start with a leg up Parliament House?

Overall, Mark, I think you presume that everyone is like you, and appreciates the same things you do. Many people do enjoy overcrowded places with a lively human atmosphere, and find that magical, but others (like myself) find magic in grandeur and peace. If you compare the population of Australia who live in our major cities with the population who don’t, they’re pretty evenly divided (with a trend towards cities that may be influenced by the increased availability of work rather than personal preference).

I find the places you describe as magical to be great for a visit, but not for a life. I do prefer the Champs de Mars over the Left Bank (and the Domain over George Street), probably for the same reason that Mark prefers the other.

Burley Griffin’s plan provided a space for both of these preferences, with the ‘equivalents’ of the Left Bank on the other side of the lake and in Manuka (although I don’t think he was thinking of the Left Bank or that they’ll ever compare); but with open spaces for the pomp and the grandeur in the Triangle. There’s no harm in livening it up, but there’s no reason to try to add yet another nightspot or business hub when the ones we’ve already got are still developing.

caf 4:27 pm 23 Jun 09

Yeah, somehow I doubt bunging up a few towers of the usual hastily-constructed apartments in the parliamentary triangle is going to recreate the Left Bank on Lake Burley Griffin.

sepi 3:25 pm 23 Jun 09

Maybe if development in Canberra didn’t always consist of skinny awful street filled with cheap and nasty units we might have been more enthused about this idea.

Mark of Sydney 1:57 pm 23 Jun 09

Trevar says: ‘Strangely, I don’t entirely disagree with you, but I hardly think that having people live in a place makes it attractive. Both of the example cities you cite are surrounded by huge swathes of suburbia that are monotonous, ugly and ecologically unsustainable.’

Seems a fairly accurate description of much of Canberra’s suburbia.

Trevar says: ‘Neither Paris nor Sydney can be put forward as great examples of urban planning, and yet both have some very endearing qualities, most noteworthy of which are Paris’ big, open spaces like the Champs de Mars and the Place de la Concord, which are not dissimilar to the Parliamentary Triangle in purpose.’

I think that for most residents of and visitors to Paris it’s not the Champs de Mars and Place de la Concord that make it special but the Marais and Left Bank. Canberra’s problem is that it’s got too much of the former (grandiose) and too little of the latter (magical).

Trevar says: ‘I don’t think anyone should live there, but I see no reason to send just about all private businesses across the lake.’

Why not?

peterh 1:27 pm 23 Jun 09

just liven up the triangle with another car race. better than an 8-story building.

Thumper 1:09 pm 23 Jun 09

Excellent. The hall stays and the developers can all go get stuffed.

trevar 12:49 pm 23 Jun 09

Mark of Sydney said :

Saying something is preposterous and ridiculous doesn’t make it so.

Perhaps not, but something being preposterous and ridiculous does.

Mark of Sydney said :

The area around the Albert Hall is an exemplar of what so many visitors to this city find unattractive about it. That area needs a reasonably dense mix-used development including residential, to populate it. What makes the world’s great cities such as Paris or even Sydney? People, not empty expanses of dead grass with the odd struggling tree.

Strangely, I don’t entirely disagree with you, but I hardly think that having people live in a place makes it attractive. Both of the example cities you cite are surrounded by huge swathes of suburbia that are monotonous, ugly and ecologically unsustainable, despite being densely populated (Mount Druitt and Macquarie Fields are hardly great examples of a populace improving a place). Neither Paris nor Sydney can be put forward as great examples of urban planning, and yet both have some very endearing qualities, most noteworthy of which are Paris’ big, open spaces like the Champs de Mars and the Place de la Concord, which are not dissimilar to the Parliamentary Triangle in purpose. And places like these have been the site of some very vehement protests, which are great things (I’m thinking mainly of The Mall in Washington DC, but it also occurs to me that we may have had more protests in the Triangle if the 1970s Aboriginal Protest wasn’t still happening there).

Nonetheless, I agree that making the place more people-friendly would be better than pumping water onto the golf course that’s there, and I think you’re right to suggest that the NCA listen to a broader audience, because that lady in the mailroom who comes up with all their ideas obviously isn’t the quickest fish in the lake.

I think one of the biggest ongoing barriers to livening up the triangle are the limitations on commercial development. While they have protected it from becoming an eyesore, they have also prevented it from attracting people. I don’t think anyone should live there, but I see no reason to send just about all private businesses across the lake.

Mark of Sydney 10:45 am 23 Jun 09

Saying something is preposterous and ridiculous doesn’t make it so. How much taxpayer’s money has been wasted on the cloverleaf road that is rarely used and on watering that boring (to me) expanse of grassland?

The NCA needs to start listening to a broader audience — including Australians outside Canberra — insterad of the predictable bleats from aging NIMBYs with too much time on their hands and little capacity for lateral thinking at a time of great environmental changepre

The area around the Albert Hall is an exemplar of what so many visitors to this city find unattractive about it. That area needs a reasonably dense mix-used development including residential, to populate it. What makes the world’s great cities such as Paris or even Sydney? People, not empty expanses of dead grass with the odd struggling tree.

puzzlepunk 6:10 pm 22 Jun 09

8 story buildings!!!!! ARGH!!!
thats city slicker talk!

Thank god we can continue to fully utalise this part of central Canberra for leather jacket and persian rug liquidation sales.

– Its a real shame they don’t develop the parliamentary triangle more thoroughly like in the Griffin plans instead of all these huge ugly open air car parks. (which of course you all desperately need)

GardeningGirl 3:54 pm 22 Jun 09

The eight story building was a bl**dy ridiculous idea. But I wish they’d do something with the area. I often comment driving past that it could be really nice.

Steady Eddie 3:23 pm 22 Jun 09

I wonder how much taxpayers’ money was wasted on this ridiculous idea?

muFasa 1:23 pm 22 Jun 09

fantastic… this was preposterous in the first place!

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