6 February 2020

Limits set for proposed luxury hotel at National Arboretum

| Ian Bushnell
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Scott Saddler

National Arboretum senior director Scott Saddler walks through the site. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

The proposed luxury hotel or eco-lodge at the National Arboretum will be limited to two storeys in height and have only 40 guest rooms under conditions laid down by the National Capital Authority.

The NCA has set the design limits in the issuing for public consultation of an amendment to the National Capital Plan that would allow the development.

The ACT Government went to the market last year to gauge private sector interest in developing the hotel on Forests 69 and 76 south of Dairy Farmers Hill but an amendment is required to allow such a development in the Hills, Ridges and Buffer Spaces under the NCP.

The proposed amendment will allow commercial accommodation but excludes options including a caravan park and camping ground.

It also details conditions for the planning, design and development of the hotel, which must be low-set, with environmentally sustainable buildings that blend in with the landscape and existing Arboretum buildings.

Buildings on the eastern slope of Forest 69 must be no more than a single storey or seven metres in height and buildings on the western slope no more than two storeys while buildings on the southern slope of the site, within Forest 76, must be no more than seven metres high and two storeys.

Hotel location

Where the hotel will be developed. Image: NCA.

The hotel can only have a maximum of 40 guest rooms, which must all sit in Forest 69. Additional amenities such as a restaurant and supporting back of house facilities are permitted within the hotel where it can be demonstrated that they are necessary for its successful operation.

The NCA says the development should be energy efficient through building orientation, solar panels and shading to glazed surfaces, and water efficient through the collection and reuse of stormwater and use of greywater.

The building and landscape design should enhance the connection with nature, and contribute to the health and wellbeing of visitors. While it must consider the privacy and security of guests, fencing is not permitted and the landscape should be used to separate public and private realms.

Buildings should be sited to take advantage of views including those to the Brindabella Ranges.

Development proposals must include measures to deal with noise such as traffic from the Tuggeranong Parkway. This may include the use of building materials to reduce noise levels in building interiors, the use of landscape, and the siting and orientation of the guest rooms.

Buildings and landscape design must reflect the original design intent of the Arboretum masterplan. Within Forest 69, tree plantings must predominantly be Chinese Golden Larch, while in Forest 76 they must predominantly be Radiata Pine.

National Arboretum

Site layout and built form requirements for commercial accommodation at the National Arboretum. Image: NCA.

The main vehicle access to the site is to be from Forest Drive, and another access point, including for emergency vehicles, must be provided.

Car parking must be screened from view as much as possible from Forest Drive, Dairy Farmers Hill, and the Central National Area, and located on the western side of the ridge. There should be one space per guest room, 10 spaces per 100 square metres of bars, restaurant, function rooms and supporting back of house facilities, plus three spaces for every five employees.

All outdoor lighting must be designed and placed to minimise light pollution so as not to affect the Mount Stromlo Observatory, and views to the site from the Central National Area.

A public information session will be held on Thursday 13 February 2020, from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm at the National Capital Exhibition, Barrine Drive, Regatta Point, Commonwealth Park.

Interested parties can register their interest in attending by email: draft.amendment@nca.gov.au.

Submissions to Draft Amendment 94 can be submitted until close of business on 16 March. See https://www.nca.gov.au/consultation/draft-amendment-94-national-arboretum-commercial-accommodation

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I think this is fantastic.. a true point of difference for Canberra!
The Arboretum is such a beautiful peaceful place, what a wonderful oppourtunity to further bring people together to learn and live in (even for a day or 2) an eco friendly lodge… another great reason for friends and family to visit..

Capital Retro7:25 am 14 Feb 20

The site was even more peaceful before the place was converted into a theme park with some struggling exotic tree plantations.

You would not be happy CR unless not a single $ was spent on anything, and the whole of Canberra collapsed into a heap.

We get you hate everything any government ever wants to do.

Capital Retro3:12 pm 14 Feb 20

The arboretum was a pet project of a past chief minister. Everything was wrong about it from the start and vast amounts of money have been poured into it since. It has become a theme park for quirky quests and showy deeds, the “arboretum” theme was left behind long ago.

With the multi star “eco lodge” development it will become the exclusive playground for the rich and famous but we ratepayers will still underwrite it. Yep, I hate it.

Capital Retro8:36 pm 09 Feb 20

Will there be a Tesla Supercharger built in?

Capital Retro5:14 pm 09 Feb 20

At last, Canberra’s own dude ranch.

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