The Only Way is up for ACT – say planners/Govt

jakez 10 July 2008 16

The Canberra Times has been running a series of articles on future planning in Canberra, starting with a story on the ACT Government’s push to increase the height limits for buildings:

The ACT Government wants building height limits to rise from three to 10 storeys in new zones close to town centres, beginning with a 240-unit development in Lyons.

The Government’s drive for a more compact city through greater residential densities is being spearheaded by developer Hindmarsh and Housing and Community Services.

The ACT Property Council has come out in favour of high density planning.

I’m undecided on this.

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16 Responses to The Only Way is up for ACT – say planners/Govt
POK POK 2:07 pm 13 Jul 08

Definitely in support. A week ago I would have been more hesitant, but I’d prefer the eyesore of overlarge buildings rather than the eyesore of what is going on out at Gungahlin. Seems like I just can’t get what I want in this place. Either its a tiny “house” that tries to mimic a traditional suburban home (but ends up little better than an apartment but without the conveniences) or its a decent sized apartment..built right on lakefront/prime land where I can’t afford it.

If the apartment is not sardine sized, and the location is not in high demand, then its a good thing IMO. Young people and families can buy homes that can accommodate their living needs without punishing their wallets. I just want a home. Not status symbol, or highly profitable investment, or luxury item.

noodle noodle 5:07 pm 11 Jul 08

Higher density housing or apartments makes sense if we’re going to be serious as a city about addressing climate change.

I have small children and would be completely happy to live in a well-designed apartment in a decent location, near to shops & schools, especially given the amount of wonderful park land and open space we have in Canberra where children can play. Apartments don’t need to be slums.

Many people I know in other cities live in great apartments in good neighbourhoods, and one of the great benefits is that community feel of getting to know you’re neighbours.

Townhouses would be good too. It would be great if people in Canberra could have a bit more choice.

Jonathon Reynolds Jonathon Reynolds 10:00 am 11 Jul 08

And it appears that RiotACT itself doesn’t support Cyrillic (even though it showed up in the preview)… bugger!

Jonathon Reynolds Jonathon Reynolds 9:59 am 11 Jul 08

Ahhhh the days of the Soviet Eastern Block and cheap mass construction:

We could always replace the sign on the top with the following:
???????? Canberra ????????? ??? ????????????? ????? ?????????? ??????????? ?????? ???????? ???????????? Jon Stanhope

Canberra citizens strive for perfection through the social engineering of our glorious leader Jon Stanhope

(apologies to any one who uses a browser that doesnt support cyrillic text)

Spitfire3 Spitfire3 9:45 am 11 Jul 08

Former? You mean those countries aren’t in Eastern Europe anymore?

mamduhabib mamduhabib 11:07 pm 10 Jul 08

Ummmm… most of the former Eastern Europe.

seekay seekay 10:34 pm 10 Jul 08

How about making Canberra like the real world, where – gasp! – shops and houses sometimes are together, not quarantined and forgetting this obsession with planning. We already have a Brazilia in a colder climate in the ACT; a few large scale public buildings deserted at night surrounded by roads and plazas and entirely unfriendly to human beings.

How about recognising that there was an oil shock three and a half decades ago – and a few since – and not spreading a city with a tiny population out further and further, making public transport more expensive and forcing its inhabitants to use cars.

As for Deb Foskey and here “rezoning land to enable flats in a 10-storey building may not replace the Government housing that was in the former Burnie Court development at Lyons”, how about she admits she’s a hippie communist parasite who has done sweet FA to tackle the problems above and whose biggest interest in public housing has been hanging onto a place for herself and bumping out the genuinely needy.

Talking about public housing, when are we going to see the dynamiting of all the ghastly, space wasting and outdated public housing down Northborne Avenue? Is there any other country that has a grand entry to its national capital through a row of slums?

aussielyn aussielyn 7:39 pm 10 Jul 08

The current height limit in suburban residential areas RZ1 & RZ2 is 8.5 metres, many developments exceed this because it is not challenged as it is not clear on the plans on the ACTPLA website. These areas (RZ1 & RZ2) are medium density, then it cascades up to Civic & Group Centres which have greatest height & density. The thing with the Burnie Court site is that it is crossing the road.

Developers always want to maximise units on the blocks and thus make a profit, which is why they are in business. The agreed limits on height plot ratio and parking for visitors are always being challenged. The Australian Building Code Board that is stacked by the development lobby sets standards such as turning circles etc.

The big problem is when developments have an adverse affect on existing residents in suburban areas. There is very little protection in the legislation (Land Act & T Plan) for existing residents. They have no right to sunshine or views and shadow diagrams in the plans are often dodgy. Indented street parking on nature strips for visitors is now acceptable for ACTPLA.

The Property Council and MBA are there to look after the interests of their members and so know how to influence both major parties so the planning laws favour them.

Vic Bitterman Vic Bitterman 7:17 pm 10 Jul 08

Not for me.

I love to spend half an hour cranking my 20yo smokey 2 stroke Victa of a Sunday morning into life… whilst wearing my favourite pluggers and footy shorts. Spend an hour stirring up the dust over the weeds, of what was my lawn. A cold stubby of VB will ensue afterwards. Looxury!!!

Don’t get that sort of quality of life living in a concrete box in a high rise!! 🙂

The cat did it The cat did it 6:08 pm 10 Jul 08

Of COURSE the Property Council are pushing for increased height limits- it’s much more profitable for its members to build and operate a taller building with a high floor area to footprint ratio. It’s debatable whether we need to go to hi-rise, or whether 3-5 storey medium rise (think Kingston) is sufficient denser to meet planning goals, eg to make public transport viable. Think of the many cities around the world that have large areas of what is, in effect, 3-5 storey medium density housing, without going higher. Hi-rise is ok when it’s near other hi-rise, but pushing 10 story buildings into suburbs causes serious problems, and would probably be electoral suicide for any government that tried to make a policy out of it.

The proposal for development in Lyons apparently involves a 10 story structure at the north end of the site- shading the rest of the development (and possibly other areas of Lyons) in winter. This creates an immediate conflict with Greenhouse/energy policy- areas around any potential hi-rise development need to have their solar access guaranteed, or be paid generous compensation. Makes you wonder about Stanhope’s commitment to renewable energy. (Speaking of the Bellerive development, how long will it be before an enterprising graffiti merchant paints “Mum, Grandpa’s being senile again” on the billboard featuring the d*ckhead wearing the skateboard on his head).

Headbonius Headbonius 4:35 pm 10 Jul 08

I have no problems with it so long as it does not take over as the preferred development option. I feel sorry though for the people who pay a lot of money for inner city units only to discover that the unit next door has been pruchased by ACT Housing and some druggy filth live next door….Hooray.

Pesty Pesty 3:44 pm 10 Jul 08

It depends on the target occupants, if they are going to be for purchase by the more middle-class working people, or seniors etc well fine, but if aimed at the “lower income” / centre-link brigade then the planners may like to look at the post-war high-rise flats over in POMEland, a total disaster. Oh! and please, no more eyesores!

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 2:37 pm 10 Jul 08

Perhaps making life easier for smaller developers to build nice medium density housing in strategic suburbs would be a better all round result than having a few ten story giants amongst 30 year old family homes.

G-Fresh G-Fresh 2:12 pm 10 Jul 08

Who on earth not? This is long overdue. It’s not as if we’ll get sky-scrapers here as there isn’t a market for that kind of housing. As for moving to 10+ storeys, this may encourage more developers to look at building in the ACT rather than in other cities and could lead to greater housing options in Canberra.

PeraPHon PeraPHon 1:52 pm 10 Jul 08

I just hope I’ll always be able to afford to live out in the suburbs a little, to avoid the newer prefab little boxes made out of ticky-tacky with paper-thin walls. The place I’m in at the moment is probably early 90s vintage, and the walls provide sufficient insulation from the old couple next door having their TV just that little bit too loud.

fnaah fnaah 12:13 pm 10 Jul 08

More people living closer to where they work, ie not driving cars, seems like a good idea to me.

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