Proponents of a medium density redevelopment near the Australian War Memorial say twice the number of car parking spaces will not impact traffic on Limestone Avenue.
In plans lodged with the federal planning agency, the National Capital Authority, Canberra developer Doma Group says the new residential development will generate less peak traffic. Access and egress via Limestone Avenue will avoid use of local streets in Ainslie and will not have any direct traffic flow through other residential streets in Campbell or Reid, the developer says.
More than 560 parking spaces are proposed, twice the number of 250 previous office car parks. The developers say the site has an expected traffic generation of up to 145 vehicles in the morning and afternoon peak hours.
On four hectares near Limestone Avenue and Campbell High School, the former CSIRO headquarters has been demolished. Doma bought the site for $20 million, and has scaled back plans for 500 dwellings originally proposed. About 241 residential apartments and town houses will be built in two eight-storey, three-storey and two-storey buildings, the highest fronting Limestone Avenue.
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Residents will park in either a basement under the two apartment blocks at the front of the site or in garages integrated into the town houses. Visitors will park off the internal roads around the site.
The southern boundary near Campbell High School will contain landscaping, courtyard walls and fencing. In sections of the southern and eastern sides, the boundary will be set back, allowing a landscaping strip to be planted.
Named “Foothills’’, the redevelopment will, according to Doma Group, contribute to inner city redevelopment which in turn allows for better use of existing facilities and services.
When construction begins next year, workers will use existing on-site car parking. But once construction meets the existing car parking area, it will be removed.
Two to eight-storey buildings near the high schools will be screened by existing trees and new on-site plantings along the southern boundary will minimise the impact on student and teacher privacy. Doma’s documents say the development will not be of a scale large enough to noticeably impact any views of the Australian War Memorial from significant viewpoints around the city or be seen from key vantage points on the AWM site.
The medium-rise apartments will be visible from parts of Campbell High School and nearby residential areas. “However, the abundance of mature native vegetation filters views from all directions,” the proponent says.
“It will not have a significant visual impact on the established fabric of inner-north Canberra or have a negative visual impact from more distant public viewing places including the forecourt of Parliament House and the AWM, as well as lookouts on Mt Ainslie and Black Mountain.”
Parts of the site have views across to Lake Burley Griffin and beyond, as well as to Mount Ainslie to the east. Redevelopment work will remove all existing trees, including ones identified as significant, on site. Trees on the school boundary are on school property, and will be retained.
North Canberra Community Council members had concerns over the loss of environmental values and uncertainty over traffic impacts.
The main noise generator will be traffic along Limestone Avenue. This can be addressed by appropriate window and acoustic glass treatments. It is noted that another residential property is located along Limestone Avenue, the developer’s planning consultant says.