Greens push for higher density housing

johnboy 11 March 2009 32

The Greens Spokesperson for Planning, Caroline Le Couteur, has announced that she wants the new North Weston development to have higher density housing.

    Key recommendations of the submission include:

    — Ensuring housing is medium-density, given the demand for housing in prime central locations, as it is close to Cooleman Court and also handy to Woden, Barton and Civic;
    — ensuring housing and block orientation are highly efficient, including block and building planning, materials and appliances;
    — protecting potential Pink-tailed Worm Lizard habitat, and ensuring landscaping protects these values;
    making the areas cat containment zones;
    — make public transport accessible from the outset, including ensuring that the public bus route runs nearby and cycle lanes are accessible.

Do we want to be throwing up higher density housing in new developments? Or is more infill of desirable older suburbs the answer, and bugger “preserving the character” for the lucky few?

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32 Responses to Greens push for higher density housing
chrispy chrispy 8:36 am 12 Mar 09

From the comments in this topic it seems everyone has a different idea of what they want in a home and I think that’s great. But I suppose we missed the point from the greens which is that we will have to massively reduce our energy use soon. This means living without heating and cooling as much as possible and no fossil fuels used in your daily commute.

Aeek Aeek 11:32 pm 11 Mar 09

Sepi: Exactly, friends have a serious McMansion in Forde with barely a yard but with plenty of core greenspace right across the road. That works.

sepi sepi 10:52 pm 11 Mar 09

If they want medium density in order for people to save on travel etc, then they need to live up to their end of the bargain with local parks, decent roads, public transport, shops and schools, so that people can actually live in their local area.

Otherwise it is just cheap spin – ala saying they were building on all the carparks to make us all use public transport, and then failing to actually deliver enough busses for all the people queueing up to catch them.

affordable affordable 10:44 pm 11 Mar 09

FFS let the market decide what the buying public seek, Actpla controls all land developments and imposes all the conditions, several specific attempts of social engineering in Gungahlin have failed, as well TAMS with there road disasters, when will these idiots realise people WILL live their own lives and do as they please not told or directed.
with the price of land at the moment, not many people can afford low density, so medium density will be peoples choice because of cost.
what needs to be seen to is Actpla and the governments uncontrollable lust for social engineering and then walk away from it with no enforcement,care or responsibilty of the result.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 9:23 pm 11 Mar 09


Very Busy Very Busy 9:22 pm 11 Mar 09

The type of development the Greens propose will not fix the distinct two types of people we currently have in Canberra; 1) those that live in Tuggeranong, and 2) those that want to!!!

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 9:04 pm 11 Mar 09

If you want better quality houses, you need to sort out how the certifiers do things…

MrPC MrPC 9:00 pm 11 Mar 09

I’d love to see one of the new development districts built as a medium density region. Walkable neighbourhoods with very short distances to local shops and services and quality public transport services.

Give people a choice. Those who want to live in 1980s spwawl with traditional houses can live in Tuggers. Those who want oddly designed 1990s houses with no eaves but lots of weird and wonderful architectural features can live in Gunghalin. Those who want to live in medium density with that sense of urban community, built from the ground up as that, can live in Molonglo. Those who want a 2010s suburban block can build at the Kowen Plateau.

However, regardless of what goes ahead, I’d very much like to see what is built to be affordable, with the average 2 bedroom flat or ordinary house and land package being 3x the average person’s salary, the way it’s meant to be.

Tempestas Tempestas 8:09 pm 11 Mar 09

Letting the market decide, what a great success that has been.

Many builders and developers like nice easy to build on flat blocks with no easements, no wide roads for buses so they can get in get out and make a nice profit and go live in their quasi-rural lots.

If building quality was enforced with bulldozers and betterment tax was based on profits not some vague “change of use” formula we might get quality houses. Remember any builder who hates architects/quantity surveyors is probably dodgy.

On topic. Sensible planning requires a government with a lot more *balls* than what we have or have had. It also requires some cultural change from all of us, which is always easier said than done.

monomania monomania 7:47 pm 11 Mar 09

Medium density housing is the most appropriate addition to a community where the vast amount of housing is on 800 -1200 square metre blocks. I would love to give up my large house and block and build in the area on a smaller single titled block. My biggest objection is that the interests of those living in Weston Creek were not taken into consideration. The investment scheme Defence Force Housing already has one sizable enclave in the area but gets about half of this new development.

damien haas damien haas 6:43 pm 11 Mar 09

Medium to high density is fine as long as the public transport infrastructure is in place before they are built.

A lot of gungahlins road problems relate to a: inadequate roads in and out and b: inadequate public transport.

This can be avoided by building scalable public transport in new development areas, or areas undergoing redevelopment. ACT Light Rail put in a submission on the proposed Molonglo development suggesting light rail go in before the houses start to be built. this will give developers the impetus to build medium to high density housing, let prospective residents know they dont need a second car and will alleviate future road congestion.

old canberran old canberran 5:48 pm 11 Mar 09

Why not let the suburb develop according to what the Canberra real estate market wants?

Interesting comment. This is what has been happening since 1988, unbridled expansion and population growth without regard for the impact on the infra structure. Why is more medium/high density needed. Is all the existing and near completed stuff full?
Does anyone know what the current population growth rate is these days. Prior to self govt it used to be 7-8% or less.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 5:24 pm 11 Mar 09

Obviously, but the govt trying to push developers down a path for arbitrary political goals does not make for good planning.

Inappropriate Inappropriate 5:19 pm 11 Mar 09

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

I’m with Clown Killer – let the market decide. Govt interference does nothing more than drive up prices for everyone.

You can’t whack medium density housing wherever you like – it needs approval from the govt first.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 5:13 pm 11 Mar 09

‘The environment’ has very little to do with why the US car makers are buggered. They’re buggered because of their out of control manufacturing costs (thankyou unions and idiot execs) and the fact that their product quality is poor, so noone but yanks really want what they make. They’ve turned out a few good engines in their time, but their overall product quality sux.

Furry Jesus Furry Jesus 4:55 pm 11 Mar 09

Clown Killer said :

This is another example of eco-mentalists advocating government interference where it is not needed. Why not let the suburb develop according to what the Canberra real estate market wants?

No-one listened to the eco-mentalists in the US when they argued that the car industry should stop producing gas-guzzlers. The manufacturers said they were just giving the market what it wants (with no mention of the effect their advertising had on perpetuating the US love affair with big cars). Look who has their hands out now….

and just today on Life Matters (ANC Radio National – home of the hair shirt and tie): How will the impact of climate change affect life in suburbia? Suburban living is resource intense – some writers and academics even forecast that climate change will mean the end of suburbia and the collapse of a system that is so dependent on cheap energy and oil…

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 4:47 pm 11 Mar 09

I’m with Clown Killer – let the market decide. Govt interference does nothing more than drive up prices for everyone.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 3:15 pm 11 Mar 09

PreciousLilywhite said :

Medium – High density living in outer suburbs is not desirable and it just doesn’t work.
The last thing we want to see is another co*kup in planning that results in housing abominations like Gungahlin (sorry Al), adding heaps more traffic to an already chocked parkway.
Let them infill areas like Forrest & Barton so more people can enjoy the benefits of inner city living like riding a bike to work and using already existing public transport.
People who choose live in the outer areas enjoy the space, peace & quiet.

No offence taken PLW. I am on the record many times as saying that the way the LDA and ACTPLA (and the GDA before them) went about the Gungahlin town centre had some serious flaws. The “main street” approach has led to a town centre (I think) far better than any of the other shopping centre-dominated inward-looking centres around Canberra. But the immediate surrounding of the town centre with the relatively low density of twon houses is silly.

We have argued that there needs to be a transition from the core through higher density, to medium density. The flip side of this increased density closer in, is that there should be blocks that are larger (just a bit, please?) in the suburbs themselves. Enough to have somewhere for the kids to play and to plant a tree or two…

The arguments against “sprawl” have gone entirely too far, and been hijacked by the development industry as an excuse for obscene yields.

I think this is what Caroline is getting at, with the additional spin off being that the increased inner density may allow more of the environmentally sensitive areas to be preserved instead of sacrificed.

Remember: Molonglo will have a Dickson-scale retail core, and it will become another of Canberra’s satellite centres – just not a key employment base in its own right, owning to being nearer to Woden, Civic and Belco. I think therefore that what Caroline is proposing is quite reasonable.

R. Slicker R. Slicker 3:09 pm 11 Mar 09

“The pink-tailed worm lizard”?

I suppose the earless dragon was out to lunch when Caroline wrote the press release.

kobez_outlaw kobez_outlaw 2:43 pm 11 Mar 09

High density is good. Why build more sprawl? That would make the situation for public transport harder than it already is. Gunghalin may look ugly but in order for a city to function properly it needs its suburbs to have at least medium density. If you want to live in low density don’t expect to live in a capital city, move to the country. The inner city suburbs like Braddon, Campbell, Manuka and Kingston etc should have very high density units and appartments. The majority of office towers should be in Civic, screw all this sprawl, having offices in Woden, Belconnen is dumb, centralization is the key. That’s why Civic’s height restrictions are a joke and are a burden on this cities oppurtunity to prosper.

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