14 June 2019

Eight-storey development at Mawson shopping centre in ACT Government plan

| Lachlan Roberts
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The old Mawson shopping precinct. File photo.

A second supermarket and an eight-storey development will move into the local Mawson shopping centre as the ACT Government outlines its plans to rejuvenate and revive the centre.

The ACT Government’s territory plan variation 345 will allow new construction opportunities and rejuvenation of buildings within the centre and also rezones several areas including land along Athllon Drive between Woden and Mawson for high density residential and urban open space.

The variation puts key recommendations of the Mawson master plan into action, which will guide the centre’s development over the next two decades, with hopes the changes will improve the centre’s commercial viability by increasing foot traffic and shop patronage.

Despite the plan retaining the two storey height limit within the central area to retain sun access to the public courtyards, it proposes the development of four and six storeys to the east of Heard Street and six storeys to the west of Mawson Place.

It also allows for development up to eight storeys near the southeastern corner of the intersection of Athllon Drive and Mawson Drive as a marker development for the centre, as recommended by the approved master plan.

A draft of the plan was released for public comment for four months in 2017, with the ACT Government receiving a total of 21 written submissions.

Local residents wrote 12 submissions, as well as four submissions from local businesses, three submissions from community groups and one submission from a company with an interest in the centre.

ACT Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman said one of the main points the community stressed on was the retention of the surface car parking areas. He said that there was concern additional development will impact on parking.

Mr Gentleman said those fears will be allayed as the new plan will retain and capitalise on the plenty of available parking at the centre and believed Mawson residents will enjoy a more lively and accessible shopping centre.

“There are opportunities for moderately increased density in the centre and we have worked with the local community to identify suitable sites for higher-density development along Athlon Drive,” Mr Gentleman said.

“This redevelopment will be important for the ongoing viability of the centre. It’s also a great opportunity for business owners within the centre to rejuvenate their buildings.

“Mawson is close to a main public transport route and plenty of available parking and the new plan will retain and capitalise on these qualities.”

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Someonesmother12:00 am 21 Jun 19

Can someone sack Mick Gentleman please? He is approving developments that do not fit with the area they are planned for. You cannot park in Mawson now so where the hell are all these towering, concrete bedroom dwellers going to park? Oh right in the parking areas for shoppers. yet another shopping centre I will avoid as it will be impossible to get a park anywhere near the shops. People with disablilites are bever ever considered when they approve these crap flyby night developments.

HiddenDragon5:56 pm 16 Jun 19

“Mr Gentleman said those fears will be allayed as the new plan will retain and capitalise on the plenty of available parking….”

That presumably means reduced time limits and parking meters, which will do wonders for the businesses in that area.

This recent story from the ABC Business show may be relevant to the “rejuvenation of buildings within the centre” referred to above –


letterboxfrog11:17 am 16 Jun 19

As long as rents don’t explode forcing the likes of Jabal Halal out, this will be good. Mawson has so much potential as a multicultural melting pot, and as a facility that isn’t run by Westfield or one of the other major shopping centre chains.

The old club next to the Austrian club has been demolished. Does anyone know what is happening to this site. ?

petunia petal8:16 am 16 Jun 19

I used to hate any urban infill in Canberra but have completely come around to the idea because its actually the best way forward for the environment, other than reducing our immigration and birth rate to replacement only levels. We can’t keep building out and taking over animals’ habitats. In saying that, the dwellings being built are offensive, ugly, cheap, poorly designed and all about maximising apartments for profit. Imagine if the government actually mandated what comprises a liveable space, proper architectural design, large apartments with big bedrooms, green spaces around for kids, proper orientation etc. Imagine. In the meantime I happened to walk past on of the major developer’s offices in the city late on Friday night and it was a nightclub. These guys are swimming in money as we are the mugs paying for it all.

rationalobserver4:43 pm 18 Jun 19

Not convinced urban infill is good for the environment. More and more unsustainable units that use heaps of resources to build and with zero potential for growing local produce or solar generation are in fact the opposite.

I’m with you Rationalobserver.
Highly densely populated areas actually have a huge carbon footprint per person compared to other less densely populated areas. If anyone thinks people in Manhattan or Central Sydney have a lower carbon footprint and higher sustainability than the people of a town like Tumut or a Suburb like Richardson, than they are kidding themselves.

An economy class plane trip to Europe for a rich family uses roughly the same emissions as the family car does over two decades of use. There are Plenty of studies into the real greenhouse measurements of inner urban dwellers and the poorly captured data for high density city residents that ignores their real consumption costs.

It’s time to get honest on the actual cost of high density living as reality doesn’t necessarily match what developers say and what people think.

My 1 bedroom Braddon renters (2 year old, 5 story property) actually use more electricity a year than we use in our large suburban house. It’s crazy.

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