The ACT Government has applied for planning approval to have the Stuart Flats in Griffith demolished in preparation for sale and redevelopment as part of its public housing renewal program.
The flats have been home to public housing tenants for more than 40 years, and they have been told of the decision to demolish the flats and the Government is in the process of finding new accommodation for them. About half have reportedly already moved out.
Three separate development applications prepared by GHD have been lodged, covering B, C and D Blocks, and refer to demolition of the 12 existing residential housing blocks; demolition of the car parking structures and associated internal access, demolition of infrastructure such as waste disposal areas and communal areas, tree removals, disconnection of services; and rehabilitation of the site.
The 30,137 square-metre site bordered by Light Street and Captain Cook Crescent is zoned RZ5: High Density Residential, and in a prime location 2.5 kilometres south-east of Capital Hill and about 300 metres to the east of Manuka Shops.
The cost of demolition is estimated to be $4.2 million.
Building plans indicate the presence of asbestos and other hazardous materials, but a survey of the site will have to wait until after tenants move out to determine the situation before demolition proceeds.
Planning and Land Management Minister Mick Gentleman said it was expected that all of the Stuart Flats would be demolished by the successful purchaser of the site.
“However, it would be up to the purchaser to design any redevelopment and determine if and when all of Stuart Flats is to be demolished. The community will have the opportunity to comment on the redevelopment design through the development application process,” he said.
“The successful purchaser will be required to complete any redevelopment within an agreed timeframe.”
GHD says in the DAs that demolition will pave the way for new residential development close to facilities, services and public transport, and consistent with its current zoning and the original pattern of density.
It says that while future residential use is to be determined, the proposed demolition will allow for the provision of future affordable and sustainable housing choices in Canberra.
Construction of the Stuart Flats – comprising 101 two-bedroom flats, 18 two-bedroom maisonettes and 29 bed-sitting room flats – was completed in 1960.