11 December 2006

Gubbmint gives up on planning

| johnboy
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The Chief Minister is engaged in some astonishing turd polishing with a media release announcing that he’s leaving 500 new homes in West Macgregor entirely in the tender mercies of the developer.

The ACT Government will release a further 500 residential blocks to the market next year in a special test of the private sector’s ability to design and deliver a high-quality and affordable residential estate, Chief Minister Jon Stanhope announced today.

Under the 500-block englobo release, probably in West Macgregor, responsibility for roads and the division of land into blocks will rest with the developer. These tasks are normally undertaken in the ACT by the Government’s Land Development Agency. The release, which will take place in early 2007, comes in response to growing demand and is consistent with the Government’s determination to explore ways of improving housing affordability.

You mean to say the award winning, much lauded, and expensively advertised LDA will have nothing to do?

This is all part of a new land supply strategy.

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well they need to bring more young families into the area to justify the Supercool – sorry Super-school…

Sonic was saying on the radio todays that all of those thousnabds of partments built over the last few years have been sold.

So what is an extra 500 houses on blocks too small to have a vegie patch?

People who were born in Canberra have grown up, moved out and are now first home buyers. That is a whole raft of houses that are needed, without adding to population growth.

I see vacant houses still unoccupied 6 months after construction was completed in some of the most idyllic scenery in Canberra (within 50 metres of a bar).

Tell me that there is a housing shortage again will you ?

But 1000 public servants plus 2000 contractors (which is a fairly conservative estimate of what the figures probably are) probably do…

Agreed, but 1,000 more public servants never required 3,000 more houses.

As noted recently, Mael, there are more federal public servants now than there were when the Howard government started.

That’s not including the number of higher-paid consultants and contractors, who are raking in way more than most of the public servants, and whose ranks bulged as most of the departments embarked on outsourcing arrangements…

Who are these people ?

Where did they come from ?

You all know what I’m talking about – there’s a lot of building going on around here, doesn’t seem to be a lot of business growth matching the housing growth though.

What that equals is fat-cat public servants lapping up their EL1 status while living it on the high life (some even in public housing), protesting at the 2nd house tax imposed by NSW to combat the retirement purge of Canberrans towards coastal climes.

So in turn they have turned to their own market based upon the over-inflated equity of their current houses.

I can’t wait for this bubble to burst…

On these narrow road estates there is no room to park for extra tenants or visitors.
Parking on the nature strip or small front yard area causes a dustbowl effect in summer and a muddy pothole quagmire when it rains.
With house frontages getting closer to the road and kids wanting to play ball sports, there is no buffer from noise and stray footballs.
If you are squeezed too close to your neighbours house you better hope they dont get a dog.
Parks are a waste of space to some developers however there is a minimum requirement that often falls short of the local needs.

If ACTPLA/PALM do the planning, it will be shithouse, if private developers do it it will be similar, but at least some people make some $$.

Don’t forget that when Molonglo Valley gets developed over the next 20-30 years, a lot of that is planned (by ACTPLA) to be medium density anyway.

Ultimately, there’s not much point being unhappy about developers doing their thing if the rental market is as tight as everyone believes.

Of course, ACTPLA could plan things, but we all know how efficient and competant an organisation they are, don’t we?

yeah i got one.

I did some modifications to my bathroom in a property i used to own and at the time, didnt get approval – in my defence, the work i was going was all according to spec, i just skipped over the approval bit because i think they are a pack of idiots.
Anyway it turns out that i had to get it done when i sold the house anyway. In doing so, i discovered that the plumbing in the house had NEVER been up to scratch despite being approved by palm when the place was built, and nothing being identified when i purchased it the first time around. The only bit that was ok, was the work i had done.
lucky me, it cost me $6000 to have it corrected

Chris S:
I’m pretty sure you’ll find the roads and infrastructure in Gungahlin were an ACT Govt. responsibility. The houses being arms-width apart might be developer’s responsibility. The fact that for 7 years they had only one road out, no petrol station or shopping centre might be a different matter too (and certainly a reason that I bought in Dunlop. Also, in my original post, I meant ‘bang-up’ not ‘bag-up’ 😉

I don’t think that it would be a good marketing ploy to have narrow streets etc – but I’m sure it is probably a trend that will continue as the mighty $ seems all powerful nowadays, over any sense of decency, morality and as in this case, facilities… Anyhow, I’ll continue to give them benefit of the doubt until their plans come out – I don’t reckon they could do (much) worse than ACTPLA/PALM…

which reminds me of an interesting ‘little’ story, bear with me here: When building my front retaining wall using railway sleepers, PALM wanted me to get an engineering certificate and soil samples, as well as signed approval from my neighbours, all ’cause I wanted to go to a max. height of 1200mm instead of the 1000mm allowed before those requirements. This would add about $1000 to the cost of the wall (doubling the price) – all because PALM’s planing rules had to be followed. However, when I pointed out that we could stand at our back fence at touch the neighbours roof, the guy said that due to the “small size of blocks” (i.e 850m2 in this case – small? I’ll let you decide), that sometimes they “let things go”. I wonder how much they’ll “let go” with much smaller blocks likely in the new McG West.

Anyone else have a fun PALM/ACTPLA story to share? 😉

And 500 more properties requiring water. That means we’ll all have to move to Stage 4 so that these new developments can have their share of the diminishing water supplies.

I’m not advocating closing the borders, but some constraint is needed until such time as the govt sorts out future water strategies. Whether that is a new dam or whatever, needs to be decided, but more and more restrictions for longer and longer are not the answer.

And Gerry-Built, private developers are responsible for the planning abomination known as Gungahlin; sure, ACT planners are pretty poor, but when this role is handed over to private enterprise the results are even worse.

No good public schools, no decent health services, and soon nowhere decent to build a house. Time to move to Queanbeyan?

My god!!! It will be interesting to see what the roads & block sizes end up like. Surely economics will dictate painfully thin one way roads & tiny block sizes. This will be interesting.

I happily live in Dunlop – with lovely views over looking the (as-yet-to-be-developed West Macgregor). So I guess I frakking wanna’ live here Pandy ;-P

Having attended the WMcG “public consultation” meetings (i.e. this is what we ARE gonna’ do – we just wanna’ see how you *feel*), we were a little suprised to find Pendon Associates study of the WMcG site suggested 1500 dwellings of mixed density (I’d say they had pretty mixed density too). Particular considering the lack of suitable access to the site. (i.e 2 off Osborne Raceway, 1 possibly off Ginninderra Street and 1 off Southern Cross Freeway)

Dunlop is nice. Besides, who wants to catch buses nowadays after Mr Stanhope’s hatchet job? Like anyone in the ACT really wants buses, schools, libraries and health services anyhow…

Oh, and also, could a developer (really) do any worse than the ACT Govt? Especially considering the bag-up job they did of Gungahlin???

who the frack wants to live in Dunlop?

This is how dunlop got those tiny driveway sized roads that busses can’t go on.

Awesome, I always wanted to build a house on a 250 square metre block. I also enjoy the challenge of avoiding collisions on single-lane grid-pattern roads.

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