25 July 2017

Former Red Hill public housing set to come down

| Ian Bushnell
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Demolition of the former public housing in Red Hill will start early next month to pave the way for redevelopment of the precinct, the Environment Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate announced today (Tuesday).

Deputy Director-General of the Environment Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate Brett Phillips said the demolition of the old public housing blocks would allow the site to be sold.

The site is listed on the ACT Government Indicative Land Release Program for sale in 2017-18 and the Minister for Urban Renewal will make a decision on the sales method by September.

Mr Phillips said specialist contractors would first remove hazardous material including asbestos before moving on to demolishing the buildings.

“Measures have been put in place to limit any impact on residents, including defined working hours, management of dust, restricting all contractor parking to the site, and truck movement routes,” he said.

According to the Suburban Land Agency, trucks will exit the site onto Monaro Crescent or La Perouse Street to access Hindmarsh Drive, with no truck movements from 8 – 9 am and 3 – 4 pm, Monday to Friday.

Cygnet Crescent from La Perouse Street to Endeavour Street will be closed for the duration of the demolition, while pedestrian access from Beagle Street through to the Red Hill shops will be maintained.

Demolition was expected to be completed by March 2018.

street and trees

Mr Phillips said the site would yield a maximum of 252 dwellings, consisting of 108 single dwelling sites and four multi-unit sites.

“A key focus has been maintaining the character of the area with six green spaces at the heart of the precinct, connected by a pedestrian network that enables immediate and surrounding residents to move around the site,” he said.

“A feature of the plan is Lady Nelson Park as the central focus of the community which will add to the area’s landscaping and greenery.”

apartments and park

He said the Directorate had worked closely with representatives of the Red Hill community, including local business owners and resident groups, to develop the future plan for this site.

Community consultation included four community workshops between June and December 2016 which informed the design of the plan.

“The final approved Estate Development Plan sets out the subdivision layout and block sizes of the development, as well as height limits for each area, which are lower in some cases than what is permitted by the Territory Plan,” he said.

The precinct is located opposite the Red Hill shops and is bounded by La Perouse Street, Discovery Street, and Monaro Crescent.

The site is one of 13 multi-unit public housing developments identified for redevelopment as part of the ACT Government’s public housing renewal program.

The Directorate said the site was also part of the Asset Recycling Initiative which is an agreement with the Federal Government to sell ageing assets and reinvest the sales proceeds in infrastructure.

The Federal Government will provide an additional 15 per cent of the sales price to the Territory to fund infrastructure. Under this program, settlement on the site must occur by July 2019.

For more information go to http://suburbanland.act.gov.au/en/red-hill-public-housing-precinct-redevelopment

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Kiriel said :

And will they be using the money for infrastructure in the form of public housing elsewhere?

No. It will go into consolidated revenue. And will then end up against a wall somewhere.

Kiriel said :

And will they be using the money for infrastructure in the form of public housing elsewhere? Or will they require some of the sites to be set aside for public housing?

Not in Red Hill, no. They will probably build more public housing in (lower) Narrabundah, which already has a high percentage; likely higher than many other parts of Canberra. So much for sharing it about.

Kiriel said :

… will they require some of the sites to be set aside for public housing?

Not with formidable opposition from the burghers of Red Hill and the developers!

And will they be using the money for infrastructure in the form of public housing elsewhere? Or will they require some of the sites to be set aside for public housing?
The way that Canberra was developed, with public housing scattered among other housing, prevented us from getting the “slums” that other countries and cities have had, and where we did have areas that became close to slums was where we ignored this commonsense approach, and lumped all our disadvantaged together (eg. the horror that was the Melba flats). The growing rates of homelessness across the country are directly influenced by the diminishment of provision of public housing. The societal and financial cost of dealing with the homeless are significantly more than that of building and providing homes to them!

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