Are you part of “A huge groundswell of anger”?

johnboy 30 July 2010 41

The Canberra Times is leading with John Thistleton’s supposition that:

A huge groundswell of anger is brewing among residents of Canberra’s inner suburbs over unit developments.

Which is curious, because as a long term inner northican I look at the developments with some hope that they might one day lead to prices low enough that I too may buy.

So maybe it’s land owners of Canberra’s inner suburbs getting grumpy?

Personally I find the character of the area suffers more when an ex-govvie share shouse is knocked down to build a multi-storey mcmansion than a block of apartments.

Dense development in the inner suburbs

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41 Responses to Are you part of “A huge groundswell of anger”?
sepi sepi 9:09 pm 26 Sep 10

People talk of Gungahlin streets being thin, but I’ve since realised that many of the smaller loops streets in Dickson and surrounds are just as small. Unfortunately these seem to be the areas where huge blocks of units are being built.

caevstroy caevstroy 4:32 pm 26 Sep 10

I think the main concern is that they shove this stuff through without proper community consultation – they say they do but really it’s not done properly and they rush it so that nobody has the time to amend or protest. And it’s not just a matter of stubbornly blocking things either, the local council is meant to be a sort of small scale government so that community members can ask for amendments or say “no this carpark border is too close to the neighboring property” or what have you, but when they bulldoze over local residents they make mistakes just because nobody seems to care what they do anymore. And it affects the surrounding residents. I realise there is a need for stuff to be built occasionally but these people have no ethics

But no the main thing that angers me is the ad “If you give a shit about how people order their steak one way or the other these are the apartments for you”. which is ironic since I’m guessing the whole thing was… well at first i thought a jab at pretension but then with the steak, i thought it might be more like “hey. you’re young and pretentious. Are you gonna let DOWN TO EARTH PEOPLE get in the way of your RARE STEAK?”. I really can’t place this ad properly. does anyone know what i’m talking about? … maybe I missed that episode of gruen transfer… anyway enough about media studies, I’m not personally against development where the need arises – But the developers are having an impact on surrounding infrastructure and not doing the right thing by the community so to hell with them, why shouldn’t people kick up a stink if this is how they’re going to treat us? They have to realise that people really only throw spanners in the works if they aren’t being listened to

stonedwookie stonedwookie 2:44 pm 02 Aug 10

belcompton is still gettin its mini sky scraper sardine living for all!

sepi sepi 12:56 pm 02 Aug 10

The inner north used to be better served by buses til the recent improvements/cutbacks. our bus was abolished, the next closest one had the route cut short so it no longers goes to Russel.

Similarly there is no school within walking distance of where we live. Most people would not let their 5 year olds walk many kilometres to school, across several really busy roads, one that I struggle to cross at peak hour with a pram. And preschoolers also need dropping off, as do kids at daycare.

A car free inner north sounds cute, but it will never happen.

Walking across busy roads to get to a shop is a big disincentive (Woden is ringed by busy roads – very poor urban design). A better solution would be revitalising local shops, which are often a pleasant walk through leafy streets or little parks.

Time to reopen Downer shops already!

Ryoma Ryoma 10:56 am 02 Aug 10

I can understand the concerns of people who are seeing things change around them, but as has also been noted, Canberra needs to change. Do those who live in single-storey houses in the inner suburbs seriously expect that things will stay the same forever? The change to higher density in other cities has been going on for a while, so why wouldn’t it happen here? That’s like hoping that winter won’t arrive each year – understandable, but ultimately pretty deluded.

Building lots of apartments may not bring property prices down in the areas where they are built, but it may help to take pressure off the housing at the edge of the city. Somethig has to be done to relieve the pressure, and given that there’s a limit to how much we can build outwards, the next step is to build upwards.

For those who are whinging about parking, give up your cars and get off your bums. If you are lucky enough to live in much of the Inner North, then you have access to better bus services than much of the rest of Canberra. If you don’t want to, then move elsehwere and let those without cars appreciate living in suburbs where facilities are actually within walking distance.

I agree completely that our town centres should be hosting far higher density than currently exists. But as usual with the Stanhope Government, none of the policies actually fit together or think ahead. Both Belconnen and Woden have apartment buildings rising nearby, but I (and I’d imagine many others) do not want to live in them because of the 1970’s style of the shopping centres. To get to either place, pedestrians have to cross acres of carpark to do something as simple as a litre of milk.

Hands up how many people (especially females) feel safe walking through these areas at night? Is it what you’d call convenient? Does it count as cutting-edge urban design?

What if the bus stations were built next to apartments, and both shopping centres actually had shops, restaurants and other things open past 5.30pm, instead of just the Westfield vampires that suck the life out of any small businesses nearby? The current Belconnen “redevelopment” is just a rebuilding of access roads, and a massive wasted opportunity.

What if (even better) there was light rail linking the town centres with a park-and-ride place available at spots along the way?

Finally, as far the architecture being offered, if you don’t like it, do something about it. Get in touch with both ACTPLA and also the developers themselves. They will respond to feedback if they are smart, and they may well respond a lot faster if a group of citizens suggest a city-wide boycott of their designs in favour of their competitors….

Thumper Thumper 9:10 am 02 Aug 10

If we are to address the housing problem in canberra then we need to develop older sites with higher density properties, however, developers need to be aware of being sympathetic to the area.

Some areas in Braddon are a good example of what can be done, others not so…

troll-sniffer troll-sniffer 11:09 pm 01 Aug 10

sepi said :

All those parents dropping off kids have to park somewhere.

Dearie dearie me, and therein lies just one symptom of why the problem arises in the first place. How many parents actually need to drop their lazy little PS3 playing fashion-conscious darlings at school? Hardly any, it’s symptomatic of a society in decline when kids who should be getting the exercise walking or riding to school are instead treated like some sort of misplaced royalty in this manner.

Not to mention all the other gym junkies who could save a packet by doing some meaningful outdoor exercise instead of the useless machine driven crap they think is doing them good.

indigoid indigoid 1:26 pm 31 Jul 10

nhand42 said :

Let’s get Canberra back to 200,000 people. Anybody who enjoys high-density sardine living can fuck off back to Sydney.

Already there! 🙂 And I’d suggest that if you are parking your motorcycle somewhere that requires payment, you are doing it wrong, regardless of which city you are living in.

Also, what caf said

2604 2604 11:33 pm 30 Jul 10

Anyone else find it odd that these multi-unit developments are springing up all over suburban streets, while Civic and the town centres have relatively few apartment blocks?

Seriously, there is almost nothing in Woden, Tuggeranong, Gungahlin or Belconnen (although Belco is starting to a few now), and what little there is is generally limited to 3-5 stories.

Surely town centres, with their existing office, retail and transport infrastructure are a far more logical place for high-density residential living.

caf caf 10:34 pm 30 Jul 10

nhand42: Stick yer head back in to #canberra sometime you old fart 😉

moneypenny2612 moneypenny2612 9:09 pm 30 Jul 10

I’d be less angry if the unit developments weren’t so butt ugly to look at. Plus the lack of energy efficiency and soundproofing (especially the latter) is appalling.

The newer units are very small and very expensive. You get the worst of both worlds.

Plus I think it is a bit of a pity that so many of the old cottages in Braddon, Turner, and Ainslie are being razed. The new mcmansions or dual occs are like proverbial sore thumbs around the older properties. No sense of proportion or style.

3 Elder Street Braddon and 68 Elimatta Street Braddon – I like your old stuff better than your new stuff.

sepi sepi 8:36 pm 30 Jul 10

Dickson is a poor location to try to force people onto street parking and out of their cars. Dickson has about 4 schools within the suburb. All those parents dropping off kids have to park somewhere. And not everyone is rat running from gungahlin to civic – plenty of people actually live in these suburbs, or have kids at school or childcare in these locations.

I doubt that anyone seriously expects that providing a lack of parking spaces will make anyone get rid of their car. It is just a neat little excuse for letting developers cram more housing onto small blocks, and not waste any with parking spaces.

Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 7:27 pm 30 Jul 10

nhand said:

Let’s get Canberra back to 200,000 people. Anybody who enjoys high-density sardine living can fuck off back to Sydney.

I said: It’ll only take a year or two if you let the road toll take effect, otherwise, firing squads might be the go.
Perhaps Captain RAAF might be able to adapt his cat control methods to aid human population control as well…

nhand42 nhand42 6:24 pm 30 Jul 10

indigoid said :

How does it burden infrastructure, exactly?

Low density housing is exactly what Canberra cannot sustain if it is to “grow up” as a city. I’m very happy to see these apartment blocks being built. It does help to build them with parking spaces, though.

How about Canberra doesn’t grow? There was nothing wrong with Canberra before they started in-filling between the suburbs, with poorly built high-density housing. Now we have traffic jams at all hours, pay-parking everywhere (used to be free even in Civic), everything is crowded and expensive, and all for what? So we can get a bunch of useless clothing shops and an expensive row of coffee shops in Civic?

Let’s get Canberra back to 200,000 people. Anybody who enjoys high-density sardine living can fuck off back to Sydney.

PS: hi goid!

Funky1 Funky1 5:42 pm 30 Jul 10

And it’s not only inner North.
It has already started in Woden with a number of such developments (2 ajoined properties catering for 10, 12 or 16 ‘apartments’) springing up in suburbs such as Chifley.

Now how is that staying “within the current character” of the suburb?

hax hax 5:11 pm 30 Jul 10

Braddon Boy said :

What a lot of people don’t realise is, some of the “problems” people complain about are in fact intentional. Despite what you might think, these things seldom happen without reason.

Social engineering only works when people do what you want them to do, but it doesn’t appear to be having the desired results, and is an insult to people’s intelligence.

You can’t actually force people to, say, get rid of their car – but maybe if you intentionally build inadequate infrastructure they will be frustrated into doing what you want them to.
When they don’t, you just end up with a whole heap of frustrated people and inadequate infrastructure.

caf caf 5:07 pm 30 Jul 10

I think you’ve got it wrong JB – it’s mostly the renters that are against infill. Owners are all for it, because developers buying up houses to knock down and replace with blocks of apartments are what’s responsible for house values in the area being so high. (High house values also tends to mean high rents…)

Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 5:00 pm 30 Jul 10

JessP said :

Winge winge winge. Its OK to build more units in ‘outer suburbs’ (hello Crace) but not in the inner areas? Get real.

NIMBYs rule! Ans also the NOTE!

We all know the NIMBYs….but there is also the

Not Over There Either group.

Have you thought that people might buy in the inner suburbs because they like tree lined streets and low set houses next door and not fukn skyscrapers…

dtc dtc 3:53 pm 30 Jul 10

Braddon Boy – you are correct if there is only one development. But what happens when there are 20 developments and 80 extra cars that have to be parked on the narrow roads. In front of your house, blocking the rubbish truck so your bin never gets emptied? Or people park on the next street – I doubt walking 100m from their apartment is going to make someone get rid of their car (its probably a shorter walk than to the bus stop).

These developments are within 200m of the shops, so few people are going to drive to the local shops anyway. Other than that, where do you think people are going to start walking instead of driving? (assuming, of course, that people are physically able to walk or ride). And given that they are close to the shops, they are close to arterial roads anyway, so there isnt any benefit to rat runnning through these streets (or the streets dont go anyway useful to a rat runner).

While this thread is about the inner north, remember that the same issue applies to more outer suburbs, where walking and public transport etc is much less an alternative.

astrojax astrojax 2:51 pm 30 Jul 10

Those who decry the increase in traffic should either adapt (and contribute to lessening traffic by walking and riding)

it isn’t the traffic density per se, it is the lack of effective traffic furniture to curtail unsafe traffic flows. a skinny dickson street, as cited above, has three previous single dwelling houses being demolished for thirteen units, on a route that runs just inside nthbourne, on a curve, making it both a local access road and a thoroughfare for general city-bound/outer inner north-bound traffic and some time soon, if nothing is done, a serious consequence will occur; and i don’t want that to be me, my family, anyone i know – indeed anyone at all!

i do walk locally, ride a little further and take greta care when i do have to drive – nonetheless, i have had three or four near-hits in the past month with idiots who drove as if the previous conditions remained.

i guess i am not against development, just against morons. 🙂 but the government who authorises these developments must recognise the likely effects and enact solutions, before something tragically awry occurs.

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