The owner of Pialligo Estate is looking to grow its food and wine business in the rural enclave near Canberra Airport by converting an adjacent five hectare block to a farmstay with 20 guesthouses.
Block 34 Section 2 Pialligo, on the corner of Kallaroo Road and Dapu Place, already has one guesthouse and a private residential single dwelling, and is being used for grazing but the proponent wants to expand to bigger farmstay, supported by cropping, horticulture and market gardening.
It is zoned NUZ1 and NZU4 for rural use, subject to the Pialligo Precinct Code and surrounded by rural enterprises and the landscape, nursery and cafe businesses the area is noted for.
Popular with Canberrans, the Pialligo area is also a significant attraction for visitors to the national capital, and Labor pledged during the election to upgrade infrastructure such as footpaths and parking in Beltana Road to make it easier for people to negotiate.
A farm tourism operation would enhance the area’s attractiveness and further diversify its economic base.
The development application says Block 34 fronts Kallaroo Road, but most of the proposed farm tourism guesthouses will be set back within 200 metres of the front boundary.
The block also shares a boundary with the Pialligo Estate car park.
The development application says the one and two-bedroom guesthouses/cabins will be located in the central northern section of the block, around the existing guesthouse, and not affect any existing agricultural activity.
There are four types of guesthouses, including two for people with a disability, and the DA says they are designed to be compatible with the surrounding landscape and are typical of rural farm stay accommodation.
No trees will need to be removed and the development will be screened by hedgerows on the southern and northern boundaries.
A 30-space car park will be provided, including five for staff, as well as overflow parking.
A heritage survey and Cultural Heritage Assessment has been prepared for the site because the Pialligo area is of considerable Aboriginal archaeological significance, with thousands of stone artefacts previously recovered from the Molonglo River floodplain.
The DA says if any artefacts or matters of heritage value are discovered during construction, they will be managed in accordance with the provisions of the ACT Heritage Act 2004.