11 January 2022

Gold Creek development plans revised after community input

| Ian Bushnell
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Gold Creek in Gungahlin

The Gold Creek Homestead Precinct in Ngunnawal is to be redeveloped as an aged care facility, but its historic buildings will be retained and restored. Photo: File.

Development giant Lendlease has tweaked its plans for redevelopment of the historic Gold Creek precinct in Gungahlin in response to community feedback about parking and traffic, the safety of the site, landscaping and restoration of some of the buildings.

Lendlease has proposed 45 independent living units and a residential aged care facility for the Ngunnawal site.

In August 2021, the ACT Government selected the company to redevelop the 4.8 hectare site after a nationally advertised sale process.

About 8000 square metres of the site is home to the remnant Gold Creek Homestead, which dates back to 1860.

The Suburban Land Agency (SLA) ran the sale process, its second after a 2018 bid without any conditions provoked a campaign by the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) and the National Trust that forced it off the market.

But this proposal ensured the heritage value was protected through a precinct development brief put together by a community panel, including the GCC.

The deal means the original Gold Creek Homestead, Stone Hut Kitchen and Slab Hut will be conserved and restored.

Lendlease says the homestead site will be transformed into an intergenerational precinct, while restoring and activating the homestead and celebrating its heritage.

The company has been consulting the community on its plans and designing a masterplan for the site.

Overlay map of Gold Creek precinct in Ngunnawal

Overlay map of the Gold Creek precinct in Ngunnawal. Image: Lendlease.

Lendlease will present the latest revisions at an online Community Engagement Session on Thursday, 13 January, after which a recording of the session and the revised plan will be posted on the project’s website.

There has been strong community support for the aged care facility, which will have a cafe open to the public.

Parking will be increased and there will be better access to the site with improvements made to the internal street layout and to the Gungahlin Drive intersection to make it safer.

A range of measures are also planned to enhance safety and security, including appropriate fencing, building security, lighting and passive surveillance.

Support for the site’s rural heritage will be reflected in landscaping choices and plans for the restoration of the homestead building, kitchen and shed.

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There are also plans for an enlarged water feature with natural edging.

Engagement is continuing with First Nations representatives, which has already led to a more natural draft design for a bush tucker garden and the introduction of a yarning circle.

Lendlease is planning to lodge a development application this year, and is looking to complete the project in 2024.

Minimum requirements will apply to the redevelopment of the site such as a 5 Green Star Communities Rating, 30 per cent tree canopy cover, and 30 per cent permeable surface cover, as well as a public footpath and cycle link through the site.

Acquired by the ACT Government in 1998, the precinct is bounded by Monty Place, Gungahlin Drive and neighbouring residences in Ngunnawal.

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After the government’s refusal to heritage list the historic homestead this looks like a good outcome. Active use of the restored homestead is a good way to help protect it but no long term guarantee. Heritage listing would have allowed similar restoration and use and also given the place long term protection.

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