Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Business

The voice of business in Canberra

Dickson residents declare victory

By johnboy 31 January 2012 25

The Dickson Community Planning Alliance is celebrating a win in the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal:

Developers had planned to replace 2 houses with 10 units. The Tribunal confirmed that the
development violated a number of planning requirements and was inconsistent with the Territory Plan.

Ms Jane Goffman, a town planner and resident of Dickson, was a key organiser of the appeal. “This development threatened the long-term amenity and liveability of the area, which attracts a culturally diverse mix of household types, and that’s one of many positive features we want to safeguard. Very importantly, the approval initially given by the government violated its own planning laws.”

Wayne Sharwood, a local resident and barrister, led the appeal at the tribunal with assistance by Clare Carnell.

“The appeal demonstrated the difficulties for residents seeking constructive input to government decisions,” Ms Goffman said.

“Despite over 130 objections, the community was unfairly viewed by the planning authority as anti-development NIMBY neanderthals. But the Tribunal’s decision shows that the opposition was based on solid factual evidence. This approval should never have been granted and the community should not have been required to do the government’s job.”

The residents are calling for an easier planning system in future.

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
25 Responses to
Dickson residents declare victory
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
Bramina 11:55 pm 06 Feb 12

aussielyn said :

Is there a problem with existing residents wanting to protect their street from a development that is not sympathetic and complimentary to what is already there? Should we have a scorched earth policy for the inner suburbs to be replaced by developments that are objected to by the existing residents? The smart developers will consult with concept plans with the neighbouring residents and adapt their plans to their legitimate objections. They should negotiate in good faith, at an early stage, to allay legitimate concerns. They must appreciate that they are making a change to the street and neighbourhood. ACTPLA is working on early consultation so the smart developers will listen and not lose time & money on appeals that they knew were coming. Early negotiation is the key, not confrontation in the legal process that lawyers on both sides make money. Developers should be aware that residents are getting better organised with experts and legal opinion. Time is money!

Absolutely there is a problem. What a person does with their own property is their own business unless they are causing legitimate and significant harm to others.

And the cost in lost aesthetic value is insignificant – compared to the benefit to those 8 households of living close to the city.

And the tribunal supported this. As bystander_effect pointed out, of their 130+ claims, they only succeeded regarding technical regulations designed to protect the apartment buyers.

Which begs the question, of why the Dickson Residents Association is so damned concerned about the right of people to have balconies, but not to their right to live in Dickson.

sillysausage said :

Just want to remind a few people that housing affordability usually worsens when an area is redeveloped or rezoned for higher densities.

Prices go up because the development had added value to the land. Adding value to things is good.

But as I said before, developers do make a ridiculous profits at their customer’s expense. The best protection against this is to increase competition by making it easier for people to develop land/apartments.

aussielyn 10:25 pm 01 Feb 12

Is there a problem with existing residents wanting to protect their street from a development that is not sympathetic and complimentary to what is already there? Should we have a scorched earth policy for the inner suburbs to be replaced by developments that are objected to by the existing residents? The smart developers will consult with concept plans with the neighbouring residents and adapt their plans to their legitimate objections. They should negotiate in good faith, at an early stage, to allay legitimate concerns. They must appreciate that they are making a change to the street and neighbourhood. ACTPLA is working on early consultation so the smart developers will listen and not lose time & money on appeals that they knew were coming. Early negotiation is the key, not confrontation in the legal process that lawyers on both sides make money. Developers should be aware that residents are getting better organised with experts and legal opinion. Time is money!

Bramina 8:53 pm 01 Feb 12

sillysausage said :

The practice in the last 5 years has been that 70% of development in the RZ2 zone for North Canberra has been dual occupancies. Most of the other stuff has been renovations. But there have been a few multi-unit applications, all of which have been approved, and many of those involved fights where the community tried to argue that this wasn’t what they signed up to back in 2002 when they gave the Garden City variation the nod. But the cost of taking an appeal through to a hearing is astronomical – 20 years ago barristers were charging 10K a day, does anyone know what these guys make now? I guarantee a four day hearing is no picnic!

This is what makes developers so rich. All of these rules and regulations for developments and all of the opposition from neighbourhood groups create barriers to people investing land. Only people with deep pockets and a knowledge of how to game the system and local residents groups are able to develop land.

People with such wealth and knowledge are few and far between so they face little competition between each other. Less competition means they make bigger profits.

If we didn’t obstruct development so much, there would be far more people developing land and competing with each other. Competition would reduce their ability to extract profits from their customers. The developers would be in intense competition to provide the apartments that people wanted. This competition negates the need for the government to protect people from developers.

Everybody would win, except the developers and who cares about them.

sillysausage said :

The idea that developers are altruists is rather funny really.

Do you think the members of the Dickson Community Planning Alliance are being altruistic? By demolishing those two houses and building apartments, 8 more households people can enjoy the convenience of living close to the city and Dickson Woolies. This convenience is of substantial and real value to each new household.

Is the Dickson Community Planning Alliance being altruistic and taking these potential residents’s welfare into account? No! They are selfishly protecting their idealistic leafy green suburb close to the city because the existence of an apartment block would so deeply offend its aesthetic appearance.

sillysausage said :

High prices for apartments are direct evidence that lots of people really want apartments. Should we as a society not conspire to give people what they want – what the value? Should we not release more apartments to lower prices?

sillysausage 4:15 pm 01 Feb 12

The land is zoned for RZ2, according to the transcript. There were no zones as such until 2008, but there were land use policies and the one that covered this same part of Dickson was called A10. It was introduced in the Garden City variation together with several other policies to produce modest increases in density within short walking distance of shops (usually 300-400m). Strangely, Ainslie was an exception – most other Canberra suburbs with shops were given A10 areas and the reasoning was that it would focus dual occupancies into those spots and relieve the pressure on established areas.

The practice in the last 5 years has been that 70% of development in the RZ2 zone for North Canberra has been dual occupancies. Most of the other stuff has been renovations. But there have been a few multi-unit applications, all of which have been approved, and many of those involved fights where the community tried to argue that this wasn’t what they signed up to back in 2002 when they gave the Garden City variation the nod. But the cost of taking an appeal through to a hearing is astronomical – 20 years ago barristers were charging 10K a day, does anyone know what these guys make now? I guarantee a four day hearing is no picnic!

NoImRight 3:17 pm 01 Feb 12

Where has anyone said developers are altruists?

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site