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Shock shift in Kippax plan replaces ovals with development

wildturkeycanoe 8 November 2016 23

Kippax Redevelopment

Last night when shopping for a few items at the Kippax centre, I noticed a display at the entrance which I initially thought was a competition, as they had a red spinning barrel like you see in most competitions.

Upon taking a closer look, I discovered it was actually another government [see comments below, the writer has since been corrected, this proposal and related consultation come from Kippax Fair, not the government] “consultation” on the redevelopment of the Kippax area. Now the second stage of consultations had already taken place and the government is now developing their master plan. But one thing that really irked me was that in this final “consultation”, the plan has drastically changed. On top of the multi-story buildings and relocation of parks, addition of cycling infrastructure and so forth, the ovals to the east of Kippax shops are now going to become a supermarket and terrace style housing. This has never before been mentioned in the discussions and has been snuck in during the final phases of planning.

Of course many people have placed their objections to this last minute addition, but I wonder if they will be taken seriously at all. The ovals are supposed to be relocated to the south, incorporated into the other sports areas. Once this has happened, there will be no open spaces specifically for community use apart from the token few square metres for which the government are asking what the public wants included. We only recently started using these ovals for flying kites as most other open areas have trees and power lines nearby. Once this oval is closed down, there won’t be any other suitable open spaces to go flying in, not ones that have been properly maintained anyway [Holt and Macgregor ovals are usually always knee high in semi-mowed grass].

I have included my letter to the government in response to this new addition to their plans and my disappointment that they are releasing it so late into the proposals.

“To the ACT Planning Department,

I am writing this to have my say about the Kippax Master Plan which in its current format I am opposed to.

Earlier this year during public consultations, I wrote in response to the Kippax Master Plan through the ACT Government’s “Have Your Say” forum. I had concerns about quite a number of the changes presented for consideration. The most important of these was a lack of transport infrastructure to cater for the population increases due to the condensed housing arrangements and construction of the new West Belconnen suburbs, meaning the existing roadways from West Belconnen to the City [where employment opportunities are obviously located] would not cope with the increased traffic. The plans presented in stage 2 of consultations also had multi-story buildings looming over the street, which would block the sunlight from the westward facing external shops, which the government was selling as outdoor “alfresco” dining areas. These would become dark places, affected by a wind tunnel effect as happens in Garema Place in Civic. The positives of promoting these areas for dining would be negated by the overshadowing of adjacent multi-story carparking.

I had many more objections but none of those concerns have been taken into consideration in the final draft master plan which is now being presented at the Kippax Shops for comment.

Most importantly, the current presentation for comment by the ACT Government includes what looks to be a supermarket and more high density housing, to be built on top of the sports ovals to the east of the Kippax shops. Up to this point in time, there were no plans for these ovals to be used for any other purpose. I noticed at the display outside the entrance to the Kippax shopping centre that there are many people opposed to the development of the oval, as it will also remove public space for dog walking and other activities that can not be done in the other open spaces to the south of the Kippax Centre, as they will be designated sporting fields and not necessarily unoccupied for the general public to use.

Sneaking in a variation like this, so far into the process, is not how consultation works. I object to the plan and believe the ACT Government has pulled the wool over the eyes of the public, in order to please its developer mates and offer them public land to make financial gains.

Leave the ovals behind the Kippax Centre for public use as they are now, do not propose or commit to re-zoning it for more unsightly high density housing in an area that does not need it and does not want it.”


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23 Responses to
Shock shift in Kippax plan replaces ovals with development
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Nightshade 10:03 pm 10 Nov 16

kippaxfair said :

Thank you for your comments – we appreciate feedback and welcome your questions. Some of the questions can be answered by information in the ACT Government draft master plan. You can view the full Kippax Fair proposal on our website, http://www.kippaxfair.com.au. To allow us to provide you with detailed responses please send us an email with your questions and contact details (please email to community@kippaxfair.com.au ). We’d be happy to answer your questions.

Why not just answer the questions here? And surely you can briefly summarise the differences between your plan and that of the government. It must be something significant to justify going to this effort at such a late stage.

JC 6:42 pm 10 Nov 16

wildturkeycanoe said :

JC – The hockey fields are barely 60 metres wide [treeline to treeline] and both rugby codes require 68 to 70 metres, unless the plan is for a sub-standard amenity. How does it fit exactly, especially with trees growing on the sidelines of the footy field? I think there may be some OH&S considerations to overcome if they aren’t chopped down.
Also, as mentioned by Risible2, the oval is definitely a floodway. To build on the oval would require substantial stormwater piping to keep the flow going or it’d back up onto Flack Street. There are already easements under the ovals behind the Raiders Club, and if my memory serves, you cannot build on top of an easement. Any piping placed there to continue the path of runoff would prevent construction of a supermarket, or am I incorrect? It just makes sense, considering Icon water needs to be able to dig up the pipes if they become blocked or collapse. The whole thing just seems to have so many technical complications, public backlash being just another one on the list.

The hockey fields look smaller because of over growth of the bushes. The width is the same along all those ovals. In years gone by those ovals were used for football too.

As mentioned previously the ovals are NOT a flood plain and the stormwater infrastructure actually already exists under the ovals in the very easement you mention. Look at all the concrete drains, where you reckon they lead? Hmmm

The ditches on the side of the ovals allow water run off from the ovals to get into those stormwater drains. The ditches carry to the water to the drains, they are not what carries the water to the creek. Mean to say the give away is next to the shopping centre where is the ditch? If what you is saying is true water would build up on the southern side of flack street as there is no surface flow through to the creek. The water goes into the stormwater system.

Your point about an easement between the shopping centre and ovals is probably valid, though to me looking at how the ovals next to the shopping centre are graded and where the stormwater entry drains are located it looks like the drain turns right just after flack srteet and then runs along Moyes Crescent and then behind the tennis club on to the pollutant trap across Southern Cross Drive.

I am awaiting your next post about the possible destruction of the Kippax woodlands.

wildturkeycanoe 5:27 pm 10 Nov 16

Kippaxfair – I find it odd that with your assertion of this plan being an “independent initiative” by the owners of the Kippax shopping center, to be forwarded to the government once surveys are complete, you now suggest we contact the A.C.T government for answers. Why would they be able to answer questions surrounding YOUR proposal unless they are already part of the process? Should not the answers be coming from you, as the proposers of the idea?
I have already asked the government many questions when consultation was taking place but have not received a response, nor have they replied to me about any of these new supermarket plans either. Anyway, I have emailed the same questions to you, in case you’d prefer to have the replies unpublished. With my concerns though, I’d suspect that if the answers weren’t satisfactory, I would probably end up ranting back here again.
JC – The hockey fields are barely 60 metres wide [treeline to treeline] and both rugby codes require 68 to 70 metres, unless the plan is for a sub-standard amenity. How does it fit exactly, especially with trees growing on the sidelines of the footy field? I think there may be some OH&S considerations to overcome if they aren’t chopped down.
Also, as mentioned by Risible2, the oval is definitely a floodway. To build on the oval would require substantial stormwater piping to keep the flow going or it’d back up onto Flack Street. There are already easements under the ovals behind the Raiders Club, and if my memory serves, you cannot build on top of an easement. Any piping placed there to continue the path of runoff would prevent construction of a supermarket, or am I incorrect? It just makes sense, considering Icon water needs to be able to dig up the pipes if they become blocked or collapse. The whole thing just seems to have so many technical complications, public backlash being just another one on the list.

JC 5:15 pm 10 Nov 16

Risible2 said :

Do the proponents know that the playing fields were located there because the land is prone to flooding? It sits in the drainage channel from the top of Higgins. Water flows from Davidson Street across a park, through a large concrete pipe under the old Higgins primary school, then under Starke St into the area behind Kippax Fair which is built on high ground. From there, it flows under Southern Cross Drive until it joins Ginninderra Creek. Given that we can expect much heavier storms in future, does it make sense to build on this site now? Early planners did know what they were doing.

As I mentioned above the runoff already goes into under ground stormwater drains. Yes there is a ditch between the ovals, but look at either end and along it and you will see where the water goes into the drains, which end up at the pollution trap near the corner of Florey Drive and Southern Cross drive.

Have a look at the corner of Starke and Fullagar streets in google street view and you will see one of the pits that leads to the under ground storm water pipe. Then look at the ditch between the ovals and again you see regular entry points to the stormwater. The point being the area is NOT flood prone hence why the ovals are there. The issue is the ovals are vast open spaces that produce run off and the ditches combined with the stormwater take that away to prevent flooding. Subtle difference.

And have a look at the two ovals ‘in question’ (again street view on the corner of Moyes and Flack street) and you can see the ditch disappears into a drain near where the goal posts are stored. Yes the ovals are lower than Kippax Fair but still higher than the southern ovals and at this point there certainly no surface drain or ditch running to the creek though there as it is all underground.

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-35.2225297,149.0223979,3a,23.1y,228.74h,81.76t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1ss-DRgggaIuiOl4rvKzekNA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Vanessa Jones 4:44 pm 10 Nov 16

Hi Wildturkeycanoe,
Thanks for writing about Kippax. What a shame the plans are confusing- I think many people are confused about the 2 plans. I do NOT support building on local ovals- we need our greenspaces.

JC 3:25 pm 10 Nov 16

wildturkeycanoe said :

[- You say you are going to move the existing rugby fields to the disused hockey fields, but judging from Google maps the hockey fields are not wide enough to accommodate this. Are you going to encroach on the adjacent cricket pitch or remove parking spaces on Moyes Crescent?
– How are you going to stabilize the area beneath the mall where natural water run off from the southern fields passes to the creek? Drainage pipes?

Couple things, the hockey fields are wide enough. In times past those fields had hockey nets and football goal posts.

Re the run off, what natural run off to the creek? There is none there already. It all goes to storm water, which then runs into the pollution trap on the Latham side of Southern Cross drive (near the corner of Florey Drive). Then it flows ‘naturally’ into the creek. What may appear as stormwater channels are in fact the bike/pedestrian paths.

Risible2 3:23 pm 10 Nov 16

Do the proponents know that the playing fields were located there because the land is prone to flooding? It sits in the drainage channel from the top of Higgins. Water flows from Davidson Street across a park, through a large concrete pipe under the old Higgins primary school, then under Starke St into the area behind Kippax Fair which is built on high ground. From there, it flows under Southern Cross Drive until it joins Ginninderra Creek. Given that we can expect much heavier storms in future, does it make sense to build on this site now? Early planners did know what they were doing.

kippaxfair 10:51 am 10 Nov 16

Thank you for your comments – we appreciate feedback and welcome your questions. Some of the questions can be answered by information in the ACT Government draft master plan. You can view the full Kippax Fair proposal on our website, http://www.kippaxfair.com.au. To allow us to provide you with detailed responses please send us an email with your questions and contact details (please email to community@kippaxfair.com.au ). We’d be happy to answer your questions.

wildturkeycanoe 5:20 am 10 Nov 16

kippaxfair said :

We would be happy to further discuss the proposal and answer any questions you may have. If you’d like to arrange a time to talk please feel free to send us an email at community@kippaxfair.com.au or give us a call on 6274 3300.

Further to Nightshades questions,
– You have improved the east/west pedestrian access but what are your plans for the cycling/pedestrian traffic that travels from north to south presently? At the moment it is the only cycleway connecting residents from the south of Kippax shops to the sporting ovals and Kingsford Smith School. Are they to deviate through the increasingly busy shopping centre facade, travel along Moyes Crescent where they have to regularly cross the street to stay on a path or detour all the way around Starke Street?
– With a new supermarket and increased retail in the plans, where is the extra parking for all the new customers? It doesn’t appear to have any on the plans, unless you are envisaging the government do multi-storey on the current outdoor parking.
– You say you are going to move the existing rugby fields to the disused hockey fields, but judging from Google maps the hockey fields are not wide enough to accommodate this. Are you going to encroach on the adjacent cricket pitch or remove parking spaces on Moyes Crescent?
– How are you going to stabilize the area beneath the mall where natural water run off from the southern fields passes to the creek? Drainage pipes?

Nightshade 10:42 pm 09 Nov 16

kippaxfair said :

We would be happy to further discuss the proposal and answer any questions you may have.

Kippaxfair:

1. Do you currently hold the lease over those ovals?
2. Why is a shopping centre proposing to build housing?
3. How does this proposal differ from the government’s draft plan?

kippaxfair 11:44 am 09 Nov 16

Formal planning for growth and change in Kippax has been underway since 2013. At the end of 2015 both the ACT government and Kippax Fair ran simultaneous consultation on draft master plans. This will be the second submission to the ACT government by Kippax Fair in response to their draft master plan. The current amended proposal takes into considerations our discussions with the community and key stakeholders earlier this year. We would be happy to further discuss the proposal and answer any questions you may have. If you’d like to arrange a time to talk please feel free to send us an email at community@kippaxfair.com.au or give us a call on 6274 3300.

Heavs 8:32 am 09 Nov 16

OMG …. it’s an UNSOLICITED PROPOSAL. Just like what they tried to do down at Manuka. To the ramparts …. we must fight them to defend our disused hockey fields.

wildturkeycanoe 9:15 pm 08 Nov 16

Well, I shall eat my hat! Thank you Thatsnotme and others for pointing out that this isn’t a government thought bubble but one from the Kippax group. I guess I was thrown off because it is so similar to the government’s Master Plan propaganda, which I am reasonably certain adorns the windows to the right of this new proposal. The layman might not be able to tell the difference with such similarity in not only the glossy posters, but also the language and references to the government’s plans.
I am surprised and a little concerned that even though the government’s consultation process has been ongoing for two years and the public consultation process finished on 5th February this year, we now get a last minute addition by the Kippax Group. Why didn’t they bring this up before the close of second round of consultation? Why bother asking for our opinion on this if the government is already in the process of wrapping up the final draft, which does not incorporate such amendments?
I guess we will see if developers actually do have any sway in the government. Perhaps they [Kippax Group] were waiting to see if Labor would be re-elected before trying to push this on the planning department, knowing that a Liberal victory would have ruined any chance of it gaining traction.

Masquara 8:12 pm 08 Nov 16

It shouldn’t be a “shock” to anyone when the developer-driven ACT Government pulls a planning swiftie on a neighbourhood!

bringontheevidence 6:35 pm 08 Nov 16

Hang on, this is not a government consultation process!

If you had bothered to read the details, you’ll clearly see that this is an ‘alternative’ proposal being pushed by the owners of the Kippax Fair shopping centre.

kippaxfair 4:21 pm 08 Nov 16

Thank you for your interest in the future of Kippax Fair. By way of clarification, the current proposal out for community consultation has been prepared by the owners of Kippax Fair, not by the ACT government. It is an independent initiative to explore options for the expansion of the shopping centre in response to anticipated future demand. Kippax Fair intends to send to the ACT government the outcomes of our engagement with the Kippax community. We hope that the proposal will be considered as part of government’s finalisation of the draft master plan for the broader Group Centre.

This is an exciting time as we prepare for a growing population in West Belconnen. Kippax Fair will have a significant role to play in ensuring that the Group Centre is a vibrant destination that meets the needs of the local community. The Kippax Fair consultation will be open until Monday, 14 November and we welcome the community’s feedback. Please find details about the proposal and a link to the survey on the Kippax Fair website: http://www.kippaxfair.com.au

JC 3:29 pm 08 Nov 16

wildturkeycanoe said :

JC said :

How can it be stealth? The government is going through a lengthy process that is incorporating community consultation and even if the master plan is accepted any variation to the zoning still needs to go through separate planning processes later on.

I call it stealth because the process is isually community consultation x 2, then the draft final master and then approval. These changes, which include re-zoning community space, were introduced after stage 2 of consultation. If this ends up in the master plan and goes through approval after consultation has already taken place, then it is deceptive. The “tell us what you think” barrel does not ask if we agree to this rezoning, rather it is asking what the community wants to have incorporated in their little square that is left over after supermarket and housing is plonked on the oval. The inference of any replies suggesting suitable amenities is that the community doesn’t object to rezoning the land. There is no outright question that spells out “Do you want your oval to become a commerical/ residential area?”. To me, that says the government has already rubber stamped the construction of dwellings and commercial premises on a piece of land that is currently designated for use by the community.
It doesn’t matter that they want to move this sports space to the land down south. Where do the people who use that particular area go when sports are being played on it? Presently they have those disused hockey ovals for dog walking and other things that normally interfere with sporting events. If more sports are crammed into this southern zone due to the closure of Kippax east ovals, it leaves no open space for those who want a plain old field that is just for random family activities, such as kicking a ball around, throwing a frisbee or laying on the grass and getting wet by the sprinklers.
Perhaps the short distance to the shops is a drawcard for having sports events at this location.
Maybe it shouldn’t be built on due to the nature of water runoff into the Gininderra Creek from the rest of the ovals.
Another important contradictory fact is that building supermarkets and units on the oval goes against one of the principal aims of upgrading Kippax, in that pedestrian and cycle movement from north to south will be impeded by this development. It is in the draft master plan in colour, black and white, Figure 16 page 25. Kippax shops and the oval are pedestrian and cyclist barriers whilst the back of Kippax shops has a pathway for traffic. Building extra shops and residences on the oval not only creates an even greater barrier to east west traffic, but cuts out the cycleway from the underpass of Southern Cross drive to Flack Street. How will people get to the sports ovals from the residential areas to the south, when a giant mall is in the way?
On page 33 of the master plan draft, in relation to environment, it is stated that to “Reduce city heat and increase amenity in outdoor spaces for healthy living” there must be an increased use of vegetation. So far, there seems to be little emphasis on increasing greenery but totally the opposite. I am no Greenie by any stretch of the imagination, as many rioters will testify to, but when it comes to turning a great oval into more concrete jungle, I must have a voice on the matter.
It seems to me that the town planners need to stick to their original research notes and not contradict their own words when considering the dollars being offered by developers, or they will quickly start to look very foolish.

I just had a look at the pictures above a little more closely and noticed the Kippax Fair Logo on them.

Then I went to the Kippax Fair website and guess what, what you are getting worked up about is an ALTERNATIVE proposal from KIPPAX FAIR, it is NOT the GOVERNMENT. Ooops. The government hasn’t incorporated any of these proposals at all, so no stealth, no deception and the whole Kippax master plan has been going on for 2 years now with community consultation. And community does include organisations and businesses like Kippax Fair.

http://www.kippaxfair.com.au/what-s-on-specials/item/kippax-fair-master-plan

That said, I still personally don’t have any major issue with that block being used as an extension to Kippax Fair with home units on two. And BTW I know the area very very well having grown up and lived in that area from 1978 until just earlier this year. I even played Minkey as a kid on the now disused ovals. As mentioned the hockey fields have been disused for sometime, yeah people might walk their dogs, but they will still be able to do that if the other ovals moved just as they did when hockey was played on those ovals. And yes people will still be able to practice golf and hit their balls into the road, I got a cracked windscreen from a stray golf ball driving along there about 5 years back.

thatsnotme 3:05 pm 08 Nov 16

This isn’t a Government proposal. This counter proposal has been put forward by Kippax Fair. The Government proposal hasn’t changed at all. You’re complaining about the wrong people here.

wildturkeycanoe 2:36 pm 08 Nov 16

JC said :

How can it be stealth? The government is going through a lengthy process that is incorporating community consultation and even if the master plan is accepted any variation to the zoning still needs to go through separate planning processes later on.

I call it stealth because the process is isually community consultation x 2, then the draft final master and then approval. These changes, which include re-zoning community space, were introduced after stage 2 of consultation. If this ends up in the master plan and goes through approval after consultation has already taken place, then it is deceptive. The “tell us what you think” barrel does not ask if we agree to this rezoning, rather it is asking what the community wants to have incorporated in their little square that is left over after supermarket and housing is plonked on the oval. The inference of any replies suggesting suitable amenities is that the community doesn’t object to rezoning the land. There is no outright question that spells out “Do you want your oval to become a commerical/ residential area?”. To me, that says the government has already rubber stamped the construction of dwellings and commercial premises on a piece of land that is currently designated for use by the community.
It doesn’t matter that they want to move this sports space to the land down south. Where do the people who use that particular area go when sports are being played on it? Presently they have those disused hockey ovals for dog walking and other things that normally interfere with sporting events. If more sports are crammed into this southern zone due to the closure of Kippax east ovals, it leaves no open space for those who want a plain old field that is just for random family activities, such as kicking a ball around, throwing a frisbee or laying on the grass and getting wet by the sprinklers.
Perhaps the short distance to the shops is a drawcard for having sports events at this location.
Maybe it shouldn’t be built on due to the nature of water runoff into the Gininderra Creek from the rest of the ovals.
Another important contradictory fact is that building supermarkets and units on the oval goes against one of the principal aims of upgrading Kippax, in that pedestrian and cycle movement from north to south will be impeded by this development. It is in the draft master plan in colour, black and white, Figure 16 page 25. Kippax shops and the oval are pedestrian and cyclist barriers whilst the back of Kippax shops has a pathway for traffic. Building extra shops and residences on the oval not only creates an even greater barrier to east west traffic, but cuts out the cycleway from the underpass of Southern Cross drive to Flack Street. How will people get to the sports ovals from the residential areas to the south, when a giant mall is in the way?
On page 33 of the master plan draft, in relation to environment, it is stated that to “Reduce city heat and increase amenity in outdoor spaces for healthy living” there must be an increased use of vegetation. So far, there seems to be little emphasis on increasing greenery but totally the opposite. I am no Greenie by any stretch of the imagination, as many rioters will testify to, but when it comes to turning a great oval into more concrete jungle, I must have a voice on the matter.
It seems to me that the town planners need to stick to their original research notes and not contradict their own words when considering the dollars being offered by developers, or they will quickly start to look very foolish.

thatsnotme 2:04 pm 08 Nov 16

This proposal was NOT put forward by the government at all – 2 minutes research would have shown you that this is a counter-proposal raised by Kippax Fair themselves.

You can find all the information at http://www.kippaxfair.com.au/what-s-on-specials/item/kippax-fair-master-plan

So everyone can hop of their high horses, the Government isn’t trying to be all sneaky and slip changes in at the last minute.

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