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Dickson supermarket development rejected

By Paul Costigan - 21 May 2015 12

dickson-shops3The ACT Planning and Land Authority has announced that the controversial Dickson Coles-DOMA development has been officially rejected. The proponent has 28 days to appeal for a review of that decision by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT).

Dickson Residents Group spokeswoman and urban planning consultant Jane Goffman said:

“The plans we saw at the start of this year failed the common sense test. Apparently the amended plans did too.

“The Dickson Master Plan spells out a progressive urban design agenda, which the community strongly supports and the proposal ignored.

“Business as usual doesn’t cut the mustard, we need high quality proposals with real vision based on the best of modern urbanism and sustainable design.

“We congratulate the government’s planning officers for having the courage and conviction to stand up to powerful interests and insist on a better outcome for this city as a whole.”

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12 Responses to
Dickson supermarket development rejected
vintage123 1:34 pm 28 May 15
devils_advocate 12:26 pm 28 May 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

Perhaps a re-used shipping container theme might impress?

logged in to give you a digital high five just for this.

sepi 12:20 pm 28 May 15

I want Dickson to be a nice place so I don’t have to shop in an unpleasant dysfunctional place (?)

I don’t cre what it looks like, modern / heritage / daggy 60s like the rest of Dickson. I just want it to actually work. At the moment i quite like going there. I don’t want it to turn into a place that most people avoid like the plague.

wildturkeycanoe 6:51 am 28 May 15

sepi said :

Building this ugly blank lump in the middle of dickson will ruin what it already working well – the library and the several little outdoor squares of shops and cafes.

If they insist on dumping another supermarket into dickson, they should just do that – no need for the inevitble apartments.

Or if they do want to do the mega-building with apartments, then at least make it interesting and try hard to integrate it with what is already there. dickson is a pleasant place to wander and have a coffee. there is no need to turn it into a deserted bleak wind-tunnel like woden.

I like the idea of an open air bottom floor – nice wide eaves would be interesting – and I love the idea of a victoria markets style space.

I see no benefit for anyone in the current proposal – except people who don’t care at all about their surroundings and want the cheapest possible groceries – in which case to to Aldi at civic or Gungahlin, or get home-delivery and leave Dickson as a nice spot for future.

I don’t understand what leaving Dickson as a nice spot has to do with things. What is so nice about it? The area in question is just a car lot at the moment and the shops in Woolley street are lined with asbestos and eventually will probably be knocked down and rebuilt, hopefully before they crumble down into a pile of rubble during the next storm. The Fast food outlets and service station don’t exude a “traditional” or “historic” aura either.
Apartments are required, so that the government has justification for building the tram. More housing is needed in the tram corridor and this is one opportunity to create it AND make some good rates revenue at the same time.
Dickson already is a wind tunnel. there is nothing to stop the gale blowing from the open air car park straight through the passageway in front of Woolies and the bakery. Something like this apartment building could actually block the gusty north-wester. An open air bottom floor also enhances this same effect. Nice way to argue against yourself in two consecutive sentences.
Epic, only a few minutes up the road, holds a Victoria markets style event every Saturday. Why build another, which would only host stalls once a week? What purpose would it serve for the remaining six days except be a “deserted bleak wind-tunnel”.
I also don’t want more bland, grey, same old pitiful design brick looking structures. Perhaps the architects could make the multi-story building appear vintage by adding some pretty tiles, fancy colonnades or cladding with recycled Canberra red bricks. But who wants old? Maybe more people want something new and innovative? Whatever it will end up looking like, not everybody will be happy. Cost of construction often demands a conventional approach, fancy things are too expensive. Perhaps a re-used shipping container theme might impress?

sepi 5:24 pm 27 May 15

Building this ugly blank lump in the middle of dickson will ruin what it already working well – the library and the several little outdoor squares of shops and cafes.

If they insist on dumping another supermarket into dickson, they should just do that – no need for the inevitble apartments.

Or if they do want to do the mega-building with apartments, then at least make it interesting and try hard to integrate it with what is already there. dickson is a pleasant place to wander and have a coffee. there is no need to turn it into a deserted bleak wind-tunnel like woden.

I like the idea of an open air bottom floor – nice wide eaves would be interesting – and I love the idea of a victoria markets style space.

I see no benefit for anyone in the current proposal – except people who don’t care at all about their surroundings and want the cheapest possible groceries – in which case to to Aldi at civic or Gungahlin, or get home-delivery and leave Dickson as a nice spot for future.

vintage123 3:55 pm 27 May 15

I am not sure what’s wrong with it? It looks modern without being too over the top. I think it’s a little hypocritical for Dickson residents to be stipulating this ultra modern urbanisation agenda when absolutely nothing else in dickson remotely comes close to such specifications.

tooltime 2:19 pm 27 May 15

Im with you on this one Dungfungus,

The last thing Canberra needs is more ugly, poorly designed shops. There’s acres of commercial space available for lease in Fyshwick & Mitchell (admittedly, not a lot of these are prime sites) yet we continue to build more. This proposal was a shocker in its original form, and I reckon the developer might have dodged a bullet here, one they didn’t see coming…

dungfungus 9:19 pm 23 May 15

I think ACTPLA have done the developers a big favour by knocking this back.
Take a drive around Canberra now and see how much empty retail, commercial and industrial space there already is.
Things have well and truly tanked – last thing we need (beside a light rail) is another huge development like this.
I think IKEA must be wondering also.

yoyoyo 8:29 pm 21 May 15

Good on Actpla for doing there job. Now for all the NIMBIES who take ACPLA to ACAT. Shut up and let them do there job.

oh_ 8:07 pm 21 May 15

Good. It was a poor proposal. Dickson could do with a spruce up/revitalisation but This proposal had serious flaws – ugly 6 storey apartment building on the main car park, backing onto Antill St, poor traffic flows, not sympathetic to the character and whats good about Dickson currently. Go back to the drawing board and come up with something that aces the brief.

rubaiyat 6:32 pm 21 May 15

You sound like the developer.

Of course there is an “outcome” in sight to upgrade Dickson, just not this awful proposal.

A proposal does not have to be the worst of all possible worlds to be viable. Although some seem to think that that is a litmus test for “success”. It is just pure laziness to fill up the box, and as I have observed too often to test its limits. If you fall for that old schtick there never is enough, because there can always be more. The only limit being what you can get away with.

It would be nice to think that there are developers and architects out there who actually take pride in their work and like to look back on a legacy of more than just cash in the bank. A favourite fantasy of mine.

Gone are the days where there was a single intelligent driving force behind almost anything.

Except for the worst of the developers, who are obsessed with cutting corners and trying to make a fast buck, most developments now come out of committees from funds who have trouble telling anything from a plan except how many square metres you have crammed in, and who have no personal stake in it whatsoever.

The sort of people who constantly remark on the size of a meal, instead of the quality, and despite all appearances to the contrary, act and talk as if they are on the verge of poverty and starvation unless they get everything they are asking for.

Sadly, few commentators show any concern about the environmental concerns or the looming cold shadow it will cast on not just the local spaces but the ambience of Dickson and its immediate surrounds. Developments like this are like Harry Potter dementors, sucking the soul out of everything around them, with their faceless frontages, bad connections to everything but the underground parking (rarely even getting that right) and the dull generic retailing that they enforce.

As in politics, we get the architecture we deserve. Remain silent and ignorant and you get to live with it and its consequences for a very long time.

gosh 11:31 am 21 May 15

frustrated and annoyed that there is no outcome in sight to upgrade the Dickson shopping area. government and residents have agreed that something needs to be done but the recent plan was axed due to functionality and aesthetics. Meanwhile, current functionality and aesthetics at Dickson shops are terrible.

To those who opposed the plan, please negotiate and work together on an outcome as quickly as possible – Woolworths are the only winners while this drags out.

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