8 February 2019

Molonglo community declares victory after another apartment complex rejected

| Ian Bushnell
Join the conversation

A drawing of the Zapari proposal. At left is the site of neighbouring town houses.

Another proposal for an apartment complex in Coombs, described by residents as ‘outrageous’, has been sent packing by the planning authority.

Zapari Group had proposed an eight-storey building comprising 212 apartments with basement parking, landscaping and associated works, at Block 3 Section 12, on the corner of John Gorton Drive and Terry Connolly Avenue.

Zapari also sought to change the lease so it could increase the dwelling limit from 44 to 212 – almost five times that allowed when the block was sold.

The refusal comes days after Pod Projects Group’s proposal for its apartment complex on the corner of Arthur Blakely Way and Colbung Street was knocked back, to general acclaim from Molonglo residents.

Zapari’s development application received 145 representations, and the planning authority’s reasons for refusal echoed those given for the Pod Projects proposal.

The development was too big and dense for the site, did not suit the site, would overlook and overshadow neighbours, was sub-standard and would not make a positive contribution to the neighbourhood and the character of the area.

The locator graphic showing the site when it was on the market in February, 2017.

Like the Pod projects proposal, there was also a concern that it could have an adverse effect on the remaining urban development in Molonglo.

It breached many rules of the Multi-Unit Housing Development Code, including those to do with the number of storeys and height, setbacks, and open space, with little room allowed for deep-rooted trees.

Units and balconies were too small, limited to one and two bedrooms and the number of units in the application form conflicted with that shown in the plans.

There was also a shortfall of parking spaces.

“The assessment of the proposal furthermore concluded that the amenity of the future residents within the block and residents on surrounding blocks will be restricted as a result of the proposed layout, scale and siting of the buildings within the block,” the decision said.

“The density, scale and layout also restricts the possibility of achieving a sufficiently high standard of residential amenity that is generally expected on land zoned RZ5 High Density Residential.”

According to the Save Molonglo website, the community is ‘celebrating victory’.

Molonglo community member Ryan Hemsley had expected the Zapari development in Coombs to meet a similar fate as the Pod projects proposal, saying both developers should go back to the drawing board and come back to the community with proposals that actually adhere to the rules.

The decisions are being seen as the planning authority taking a tougher stand on development proposals, and sending a message to developers to lift standards and abide by the planning rules.


Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
perpetuallyoutraged11:49 am 12 Feb 20

I’m all for expanding our city but what they have done to the Molongo Valley is a disaster, it already looks like a slum. Release 350sqm blocks so families have no back yards but then next door zone a 7 storey 200 apartment development. Denman Prospect had so much potential for the views and lifestyle but again just cramming as many apartment blocks in as possible. For the life of me I cannot understand why we are building more and more apartments in the burbs

Andrew Barr will not be happy.

Yes. Any missed opportunity to make some cash for property developers will not make Barr happy.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.