17 November 2022

Canberra Southern Cross Club plans 140-unit build-to-rent project on portion of Pitch 'n' Putt land

| Ian Bushnell
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Ian Mackay

Canberra Southern Cross Club CEO Ian Mackay: the build-to-rent project would fulfil the club’s community brief and meet market demand for affordable rental accommodation. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

The Canberra Southern Cross Club is negotiating with a community housing provider as part of its plans to build a 140-unit build-to-rent project as the first stage of development on the former Pitch ‘n’ Putt site in Phillip.

But first, it must have a draft variation of the Territory Plan approved so the Pitch ‘n’ Putt land, part of a 36,150 square metre irregularly shaped site on Yamba Drive, can be rezoned from Commercial CZ6 Leisure and Accommodation to Commercial CZ2 Business.

DV382 will also make changes to the Phillip Precinct Map and Code so development up to 12 storeys, with an additional four storeys allowed for one tower, is possible.

A concept plan developed by Stewart Architecture for the club shows a mixture of residential apartments and independent living units (ILUs) for ageing in place across six buildings with a total of about 800 dwellings and 2500 sqm of commercial space.

But CEO Ian Mackay said the concept only shows what is possible on the site, and there were no immediate plans to fully develop the land if DV382 was approved.

Mr Mackay said at this stage, the club was looking at a community housing option next to its Stellar Health and Wellness Centre on the southern third of the site.

Under DV382, this would allow six or eight-storey buildings as heights step down for the northern end near the roundabout and the Ivy apartments towards Stellar.

Site plan

The concept plan developed by Stewart Architecture for the Pitch ‘n’ Putt site in Phillip. Image: Supplied.

He said of the 140 one to three-bedroom units, half would be affordable build-to-rent housing.

Stellar – with its pool, health and fitness facilities and cafe – would be able to provide amenities for the community housing development.

“We see a benefit for selecting that part of the block to build build-to-rent because there is immediate available amenity there,” Mr Mackay said.

A development application for that project could be expected in about a year.

Mr Mackay said the club was leaving its options open for the rest of the site, although it was looking to develop it within five years.

“We will assess that should the variation be approved,” Mr Mackay said.

He said the build-to-rent project would fulfil the club’s community brief and meet market demand for affordable rental accommodation.

“It is part of our community brief and philosophy that we should be doing more for the community as we diversify out of gaming,” Mr Mackay said.

Aerial view of the development site

An aerial view of the Pitch ‘n’ Putt site. More residential towers have gone up on the site next to the Ivy on the roundabout. Photo: Canberra Town Planning.

The 18-hole Pitch ‘n’ Putt facility closed in 2013 due to dwindling membership and financial losses.

The pitch and putt course is grassed, includes numerous trees and contains the old course clubhouse.

The concept plan for 800 dwellings envisaged shops and services activating ground levels and providing community interaction.

It said vehicles would access the site from a new entrance from Yamba Drive, but the expected traffic increase from a fully developed site had been a concern for the community.

The Traffic Report accompanying the concept plan said solutions canvassed include part-time traffic lights on the Yarra Glen approach to the Yarra Glen/Yamba Drive/Melrose Drive roundabout during the morning peak period and conversion of the roundabout to lights with a restricted number of movements.

Comments about the draft variation close on 25 November.

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No to twelve storeys, no to ten, eight and no to six. All the world’s attractive cities stop at 3–4. Woden Town Centre has quickly become a centre that suburban dwellers choose to avoid –much like Civic– as their ease of access has been sold to developers.

The Southern Cross Club, a club for Catholics and their friends. All those years raking in profits from gambling, miserableness and addiction. Good to see they are now fulfilling their community brief and philosophy by doing more for society and diversifying out of gaming.

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