Call to action! If you think the Lake War Memorials are a shocker … this is worse!

I-filed 25 February 2012 37

Does the Canberra public know about the ACT Government’s plans to build hundreds of flats abutting Anzac Parade, and that there’s an information session on 6 March?

Check the website and also google “section 5” and “anzac parade” for a wealth of links, including a PDF that shows that the flats are going to turn the strip of trees down the side of Anzac Parade into their front garden.

This is a truly awful plan that threatens to wreck the balanced aesthetic of Anzac Parade. From the PDF for download, it looks as though sheer walls of the flats will abut the very edge of the road, unlike the existing bungalows, that are quiet and well set back.

I have been told that because the (superb) ASIO building is nearby, the flats will be allowed to reach the same height as that enormous building.

Frankly, given a choice between the Lake War Memorials and this monstrosity, I’ll take the memorials thanks!

Canberrans, with plans to list Canberra on the National and World registers, let’s protect the heritage values of Anzac Parade that we cherish so much, from the ACT Government if the NCA won’t take its responsibilities seriously.

NCA advice from its website below:
– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Draft Amendment 74 – Section 5 Campbell

Section 5 Campbell is subject to the provisions of Appendix T8 of the Plan, including general principles and policies, and detailed requirements for urban and landscape structure, access and circulation, streetscape design, and building height and form.

A public information session will be held on Tuesday 6 March 2012, 6pm for 6.15pm at Campbell Primary School Hall, Chauvel Street, Campbell. The session will be run in conjunction with the public information session for the Anzac Parade and Constitution Avenue Intersection Works – Stage 2.

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37 Responses to Call to action! If you think the Lake War Memorials are a shocker … this is worse!
sepi sepi 10:04 pm 27 Feb 12

It is a bit shonky that they can build one monstrosity without fitting into any existing plans (ASIO Mega-Office), and then they can use the existence of that to justify other mega buildings.

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 6:55 pm 27 Feb 12

I remember seeing an article about this somewhere months ago, I remember submitting a comment too. I can understand that vacant block being developed and these days I would not expect cottages discreetly nestled on quarter acre blocks, but I remember thinking the scale of the proposed options was way too big for both a location so close to Anzac Parade and so close to the existing suburban homes. I hope they come up with something both aesthetically appropriate and quality built. While living in an apartment doesn’t appeal to me personally I think medium and high density has its role and it would attract less criticism if done well.

HenryBG HenryBG 4:23 pm 27 Feb 12

yimbo said :

Ridiculous Moth Used to hold up development. Just like that block of waste land across the road from the Minter Ellison building which has stupid signs up all over it about this waste-of-space moth.

As if there isn’t plenty of grassland elsewhere for moths to live in. I’m all for conservation and environmentally responsible stewardship, but self-serving idiocy like this gives the the whole deal a bad name.

dtc dtc 9:42 am 27 Feb 12

I think people are themselves exaggerating when they say there is a huge row of trees there. Firstly, the area with trees are on average only about 10m wide. In addition, most of the memorials are adjacent to or even slightly within that treed area. So the apartments will be quite close.

Secondly, the apartments will be built up a hill, as that area is slightly higher than Anzac Parade itself.

Thirdly, saying ‘there is already an existing building’ implies that the existing building adds to the area. It isn’t really within the memorial area anyway and its hardly enhancing the environment. Don’t you think the street would be preferable without that building?

JazzyJess JazzyJess 9:16 am 27 Feb 12

Having lived in Campbell until fairly recently I was intrigued by this. However, I’ve figured out exactly where they intend to build and guess what? It’s a huge empty block of vacant land. Frankly I’m surprised no one has bothered to put anything there until now. Who cares if they build some apartments????

astrojax astrojax 9:52 pm 26 Feb 12

i reckon they oughta bulldoze all those reminders of terrible wars and build huge monuments to living folk, and let live people see out their natural lives in a war-free country along the boulevardes of our nation’s capital. who wants to be reminded of our follies of the past and the gory remnants of yesteryear?

I-filed I-filed 9:16 pm 26 Feb 12

HenryBG said :

Typical NIMBY nonsense.

With all due respect, 1. I live nowhere near Campbell or Reid, and 2. you sound as though you have little concept of what matters in Canberra, heritage and history wise. If you aren’t prepared to take all of the federal/national issues into account, you probably shouldn’t be entering the debate, as this is not a local town planning issue.

milkman milkman 6:31 pm 26 Feb 12

Usermane said :

But will it be a slum?

I doubt it. I suspect it will be very expensive, due to both the price the land will be sold at, and the costs of construction.

HenryBG HenryBG 6:06 pm 26 Feb 12

I-filed said :

buildings that abut the row of trees (not a valid screen) are not the tallest, but starting low and building up back from the road,.

They can’t possibly “abut the row of trees”, because there’s a street between new buildings and trees.

Typical NIMBY nonsense.

It’s a perfect place to knock down all the rubbish, inefficient, environmentally-unfriendly 1930-1950’s houses and replace them with medium-density housing.

I-filed I-filed 6:00 pm 26 Feb 12

HenryBG said :

I think Reid/Campbell is an ideal centrally-located area to be building more medium-density housing.

Couldn’t agree more – and building those flats focused on Constitution Ave frontage, and stepping back carefully from Anzac Parade so that the buildings that abut the row of trees (not a valid screen) are not the tallest, but starting low and building up back from the road, would achieve both urban infill AND respect the heritage-values-laden Vista.

HenryBG HenryBG 3:16 pm 26 Feb 12

I think Reid/Campbell is an ideal centrally-located area to be building more medium-density housing.

Obviously it will be shoddy crap, but that’s builders in Australia for you – nothing new there.

miz miz 1:14 pm 26 Feb 12

The planning people in this town need to have a long, hard, look at themselves. There have been so few decent developments in recent years, and many, many follies that just do not accord with the ambience of this city.

Usermane Usermane 9:34 pm 25 Feb 12

But will it be a slum?

aussielyn aussielyn 8:37 pm 25 Feb 12

• Provides more housing choice, penthouse to ground floor. Secure Premises
• Landmark Development that introduces vertical interest and creates a vibrant atmosphere. Hang gliding possibilities from the roof
• Architect designed from open source software adapted by draftsman. Award winning Eastern European builder that has a reputation.
• Intimate lifts that hold six people and re-enforced block & tackle connection points on the roof to enable queen size bed removals
• Marketed by a realtor that knows the game and can talk under wet concrete taking liberties with the truth.
• All apartments have windows that let in light.
• Luxurious balconies for bonsai devotees
• Provides more opportunities for investors interested in negatively gearing. Opportunity to buy off the plan before the DA
• Passive surveillance will decrease crime in precinct. Opportunity to observe lost tourists and throw rocks at them.
• Occupants won’t need car parking space as they are within one kilometre of a bus stop and walking distance to ASIO & Russell. Secure Bicycle space
• Environmentally sustainable plastic sewerage pipes and high quality veneer external finish
• Body corporate already established to ensure bogan behaviour of tenants is minimised and only up-market personality types permitted

Thumper Thumper 8:15 pm 25 Feb 12


The ACT government flogging off land to the highest bidder? No matter what the consequences?


I think people should concentrate on the big issues, like Seselja’s timesheets.

Mark of Sydney Mark of Sydney 6:51 pm 25 Feb 12

OMG, they’re going to let people live in the centre of Canberra — what’s worse, in PRIVATELY DEVELOPED FLATS! Fellow Australians might actually see evidence of human life while pondering those monuments to death along Anzac Parade. Call to action indeed! I join with the OP in wanting to protect Canberra’s heritage and tourist icons — those dusty paddocks and car parks along broad avenues that make Canberra a truly unique national capital (though pictures suggest similar features in Naypyidaw and Pyongyang).

The OP is so sad. I grew up a couple of blocks away, and Constitution Avenue just about sums up the reason why I and much of my generation left as soon as we could — empty expanses where nothing happened, no one lived outside ‘quiet and well set-back’ bungalows.

Those ‘flats’, as you so quaintly call them, don’t appear to be any taller or any closer to Anzac Parade than the decades-old office building across the road. If it’s okay for people to work in this locality why can’t they eat, sleep, love and cry there? I guess it offends your tidy mind.

But regularly visiting Canberra now for work it’s great to see the town growing and evolving. When possible I walk around the lake in the evening and it gladdens me to see increasing numbers of happy people – many of whom no doubt live in nearby apartments.

People not monuments make a city. The great cities of the world are populated and pulsing – cathedrals, temples and galleries abut dwellings, shops and workshops. It’s the mix that makes it work. I’ll take Paris’s Latin Quarter over Versailles any day.

IMHO that type development along Constitution Avenue is just what Canberra needs.

c_c c_c 6:20 pm 25 Feb 12

OP is clearly a drug addled and perhaps mentally ill hermit.
That would certainly explain the incoherent rambling of the post and how the apparently missed the stories on television and print discussing the planned development in detail.

DeadlySchnauzer DeadlySchnauzer 5:30 pm 25 Feb 12

OP needs to calm down.

1. The proposed site is *not* on anzac parade, it is on the street behind it.
2. The site is seperated from anzac parade by a wide stand of trees, a road, and a further tree lined setback on the block itself.
3. In regards to “heritage”, the exisiting site is a mess of weeds and a hodge podge of overgrown shrubs.
4. We need more urban infill, and this ugly block close to the city is an ideal place for it.

I-filed I-filed 4:19 pm 25 Feb 12

It would be very unwise (and a planning no-no) to rely on screening by a row of trees to preserve the vista up Anzac Parade. Eventually those trees will have to be cut down and replaced – and the flats would be there in full naked view until the replacement trees re-grew. If the flats will show when you look up Anzac Parade from anywhere in, say, Reconciliation Walk, then the vista is badly interrupted and they are a bad development.
Clearly the developers are angling for expensive views from the flats – and that isn’t something that should have precedence over the vista and this internationally & historically important place.

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