Seven Storey Simon strikes suburbs

Kerces 17 August 2005 25

Zed Seselja has put out a press release about Simon Corbell’s varying the Territory Plan to allow a seven-storey development in Deakin.

This is despite the Planning and Environment Committee, which includes some of Mr Corbell’s own Labor colleagues, recommending only three to five storeys in the area.

The Planning Minister has also apparently ignored a petition of 450 Deakin residents opposing the proposed development on the Embassy Motel site.

Basically this is a fairly ordinary complaining presser, but I do like Zed’s new nickname for Corbell: Seven Storey Simon. More poetic than Earring Boy I think, and rather appropriate given his recent spate of high rise approvals.

(The Libs were getting poetic today, with Jacqui Burke also telling us all is not well at Ainslie Village)

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25 Responses to Seven Storey Simon strikes suburbs
Chris Chris 3:36 pm 22 Sep 05

Someone should tell Simon that ‘recommendations’ and ‘occur’ are Basic Spelling (especially if you’re an ACT MLA) also that a seven storey construction would not be in the best interests of the denizens of the Diplomatic Quarter (a sniper would have a field day potting the occupants of DCs licence plated vehicles from that seventh storey. Has someone notified the feds ?

Maelinar Maelinar 1:05 pm 06 Sep 05

Simon, do you or do you not have responsibility over policy regarding maximum height as set out within the land use policies ?

Yes or No would be fine, but I’ll understand if you want to talk around the subject a little.

Maelinar Maelinar 12:32 pm 22 Aug 05

Have we hit a nerve Simon ?

We can’t play Simon Says without Simon.

Is realistic and unbiased public opinion a little bit too hard to fathom ?

Thumper Thumper 3:39 pm 19 Aug 05

I was of the opinion that you wanted to have a seven storey building whereas the NCA and your consultative committee did not want such a height. is this correct?

As well, I can appreciate that the site in question looks like a derelict suburb of Belfast and development could only be of benefit to the area and to Canberra as a whole.

Maelinar Maelinar 3:38 pm 19 Aug 05

So you are effectively saying that there is not one single item covering maximum height in the ACT Government land use policies ?

Just what kind of policies are we talking about, because I would have assumed that a policy governing height would have been right up there in my own priority books.

I just cannot accept that there is no ACT Government land use policy governing height restrictions. For starters it opens you up to civil negligence charges when buildings happen to fall over because they are too tall.

You might want to have a quick meeting to rustle something up Simon before this one gets out of hand. I’ve got two words to say to you.

Risk Assessment.

Simon Corbell Simon Corbell 3:22 pm 19 Aug 05

Thanks for your comments.

In relation to the most recent questions from johnboy, I would like to emphasise that at this stage there is no development application in place for the Deakin site.

The change to the Territory Plan allows multi unit residential to occour on this site, however the owner would still need to lodge a development application to proceed with any form of development and this has not occoured.

In simple terms, there is no development to assess at this time, and the issue of maximum height is set by the NCA. I cannot override their statutory powers in this regard.

johnboy johnboy 7:43 pm 18 Aug 05

Simon, your comments are much appreciated.

Sadly an explanation of your decision is still not available online. We would love to link to such a document to balance our reportage.

If the height is undesirable, and you have no control over it, then why not use your power to halt the development until appropriate assurances are given in writing?

Kerces Kerces 5:32 pm 18 Aug 05

We have every reason to believe the comment is genuine and from Simon himself.

But bonus marks for actually ringing his office Sam.


Samuel Gordon-Stewart Samuel Gordon-Stewart 5:22 pm 18 Aug 05

About half an hour ago I rang Mr. Corbell’s office to find out if the comment was actually his…the staff didn’t seem to know about it, but were unable to contact Simon at the time as he was in the assembly chamber.
As much as I’m not a fan of his work, I would rather that comments made under his name are actually his.

They said they’ll look into it, so I guess that if it isn’t his comment we may hear more about it.

kimba kimba 5:16 pm 18 Aug 05

I don’t know why we in Canberra have such a phobia of tall buildings…there must be a name for this???? The Embassy site would be a great spot for a high-rise, it would be a landmark on boring Adelaide Ave. And anyway there is nothing around the site but a club, gas station and football field but still the NIMBY’s want to have a whinge…what sooky la-la’s!

Maelinar Maelinar 4:55 pm 18 Aug 05

And Mr Corbell, after we’ve finished discussing the policy, I would like to chat about how much light rail you could purchase for the infrastructure of this city instead of a new palace for yourself.

Maelinar Maelinar 4:10 pm 18 Aug 05

Mr Corbell, I ask you how you can abide by a Territory plan policy, and allow another lobby group (NCA) to steamroll your department and assembly into allowing such a variation to go ahead without consulting the general populace ?

You cannot state that you oversee a policy that covers depth and width but not height, it falls outside all known rules of building and construction.

Thumper Thumper 3:46 pm 18 Aug 05

Maybe he is Mel Torme?

How do we know he is not Mel Torme?

Chris S Chris S 3:24 pm 18 Aug 05


This case points out everything that is wrong with the current planning system – a plethora of planning rules that no-one understands, the usual pointless round of “consultation” with residents, a developer-driven approach to planning decisions, and an anti-resident bias to everything that you and the planning authorities (plural) undertake.

What bothers me is that the proposed “reform” of the planning system is equally skewed against residents.

Chris Shelling

Spitfire3 Spitfire3 2:52 pm 18 Aug 05

Hi Simon. I appreciate you giving us your side of the story.

Thumper Thumper 2:10 pm 18 Aug 05

You cannot be Simon Corbell as I would expect he could spell ‘recommendations’ correctly and not ‘reccomendations’

Then again, I could be wrong….

Simon Corbell Simon Corbell 1:49 pm 18 Aug 05

Unfortunately the comments on this planning issue, and many others, are inaccurate, and unfair. The ACT Government cannot regulate the maximum building height for this site, only the National Capital Authority can. The reason for this is that the Deakin site is on a national approach route, and therefore the NCA have some planning responsibility. Importantly the NCA sets maximum building heights through Development Control Plans for these sites. The role of the ACT Government is to set the land use policies, this is why there is a Variation to the Territory Plan for this site, to include multi unit residential as a land use, along with accomodation ( i.e hotel/motel) uses. The proposal to include multi unit residential as a land use for the site was unaminously endorsed by the Assembly’s Planning and Environment Committee. I have not ignored the Committee’s reccomendations, however it is not within my power as ACT Planning Minister to set maximum building heights in this case.

Spitfire3 Spitfire3 1:02 pm 18 Aug 05

Right, gotcha. Now it kinda works.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart Samuel Gordon-Stewart 10:50 am 18 Aug 05

It would have been more effective if I had mentioned that seven story buildings should roll down Black Mountain

Spitfire3 Spitfire3 9:47 am 18 Aug 05

“(pun most definetly intended)”

There was a pun?

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