The Yarralumla Residents Association welcomes the government’s scaled down development plans near the Canberra Brickworks and looks forward to further discussion about the details within the new designated boundary.
We acknowledge the efforts of our members, local residents and people across Canberra who have raised their concerns during recent years. Such efforts have made the government rethink what had been a series of unacceptable proposals. We hope this marks a new era of improved government consultation with communities across the ACT.
The reduction in the maximum height of dwellings from 8 storeys to 3 storeys is in line with community requests and no longer contravenes the government’s own planning rules. The reduction in the total number of dwellings from 1,880 to a new maximum of 380 is more in keeping with community expectations.
The YRA is particularly pleased that the walking circuit that follows the ‘Old Uriarra Track’ and links Yarralumla to Dunrossil Drive will now be retained. While the track will still be dissected by a road that links the Brickworks to Dudley Street and the Cotter Road, we expect that it will remain serviceable as a circuit for all Canberrans to enjoy.
Big winners from the government’s announcement of a smaller scale development appear to be the Golden Sunmoth, the native grasslands and the Governor General, all now lying outside the designated boundary. The Governor General will not face the prospect of having to share a driveway with the brickworks.
Other big winners are future residents not being forced into an inappropriate grid design on the site, Canberrans who support the principles of the Griffin plan, and local residents that may have been subject to rat running through the suburbs.
While cautiously optimistic about the government’s new proposal, we are yet to see the details of street layout and location of residential sites within the new precinct boundaries. We also need more details on the protection of the public realm and funding for the brickworks, which should be at the heart of the development.
The development will also exacerbate the current congestion on Dudley Street, and put additional pressure on the Yarralumla Shops (which suffer a chronic shortage of car spaces). We will continue to press the government on how to resolve these issues.
We look forward to further consultation with relevant government agencies and stakeholders to ensure that any development is sustainable, in keeping with the character of Yarralumla, and contributes to the wider Canberra community.
(Photo: An artist’s impression of developments previously proposed for Yarralumla, via the Land Development Agency.)