LDK Seniors’ Living’s proposed aged care facility next to Yarralumla Horse Paddocks is too high, too big and should be scaled back, the National Capital Authority (NCA) has been told.
In its submission to the NCA, the Inner South Canberra Community Council (ISCCC) says an aged care facility is an acceptable use for the site (Blocks 1151 and 864 Weston Creek) but the proposed bulk and scale of the development clashes with the National Capital Plan Policy and Principles, the Lake Burley Griffin and Foreshores Precinct Code, and the National Capital Open Space System.
The $143 million development on 5.4 hectares of designated land off Cotter Road includes 55 single-storey two and three-bedroom villas/townhouses, 261 one to three-bedroom units across four buildings up to five storeys high, with basement level car parking, 11 high-care rooms, and a care hub and associated clubhouse with community facilities.
The multi-storey buildings are to be situated on the northern and central sections of the site, and the one-storey townhouses/villas at the rear.
The aim is to have the apartments clustered around resident amenities such as cinemas, hairdressers, cafes, gyms and community spaces.
It will house about 550 residents and 120 staff.
The submission says the site is in an ‘open space’ area of the Lake Burley Griffin and Foreshores Precinct, which is part of the National Capital Open Space System, intended to provide a visual backdrop and landscape setting for Canberra as the national capital.
It says the National Capital Plan Policy calls for the hills, ridges and other major open spaces separating towns be kept largely free of urban development, but this project will be a “large incursion into the green open space separating the Inner South and Weston Creek”.
“A development of lower building height and lower site coverage would be more consistent with the above-stated objective and principles,” says the submission.
The submission says the development would also impact the vistas, and calls for the height of the buildings to be reduced.
Its says while LDK plans to plant a number of trees to screen the development, the tallest buildings would be located on the highest part of the site, requiring any screening to match the five-storey height.
The ISCCC is concerned the building heights will impact the important vistas from the National Arboretum and Government House lookout.
The submission says buildings in Canberra central should not be higher than the mature tree canopy, or three to four storeys, except where otherwise permitted by the National Capital Plan Policy.
The ISCCC is also concerned about traffic issues on Cotter Road, saying the development would generate about 900 traffic movements per day.
“This is especially so for people travelling to the facility on Cotter Road from the Inner South and Curtin, who will have to turn right across the city-bound lanes to enter the facility,” says the submission.
LDK lodged its Works Application on 11 July, 2021. Submissions closed on Friday, 17 September, 2021.