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Two-thirds oppose six storeys at Curtin shops according to reader poll

By Charlotte Harper - 31 January 2017 10

CurtinRally

A clear majority of RiotACT readers who participated in our poll last week on the Curtin Place development application for Curtin shops held the view that six storeys was too high for the site overlooking the main square.

Approximately two thirds of voters (227 of 344) felt six storeys was too high “whichever way you look at it”, while just over a third (34% at 117) were of the view that the developer had taken appropriate steps to ensure the new building would fit in with its surroundings.

Several hundred turned out to the protest against the six-storey development held the day we ran our article and poll.

Organisers from the Curtin Residents Association say around 800 people attended the rally with 700 adding their signatures to their petition (many at the rally had previously signed with around 1600 having signed by the end of the rally).

Co-organiser Nick Isaacson also noted that while all Ministers and southside MLAs were notified of the event a few days beforehand, no representatives from either of the two major parties attended (Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur did attend).

“A sub-plot to the rally is that the major parties are losing touch with communities, especially when it comes to development applications (as if we didn’t know that),” he told the RiotACT in an email.

Speakers at the event discussed the charm and village atmosphere of the shopping centre and the development’s potential impacts on this as well as parking, shadowing, traffic, access and amenity.

Following the formal speeches, about half a dozen members of the crowd, of various ages (one aged 24), approached the microphone and made impromptu statements, all opposing the development. One new issue raised was the potential threat of having residents living around the village square (in the five upper stories of the proposed building) as this could limit future live evening music performances in the square.

The developers behind the proposal said after the rally that the owners of the site (the Haridemos family) “have heard all the views expressed”.

“They have made an assessment that the current building is uneconomical to continue operation and that it would not be a commercially viable development if the scale was changed,” a spokeswoman said.

“In response to community feedback other than scale, the owners have included:

–        an additional basement level of car parking

–        more off site landscaping on the ground level

–        installation of a new awning above the ground floor for the privacy of courtyard users

–        lightweight aluminum screening to the building façade to improve the aesthetic and for natural temperature control within units

–        improvements to current infrastructure by installing a new substation in the Strangways Street verge

–        commercial space for the existing traders and a few more shops as well.  Note: The leases for the existing businesses expire in September 2017 apart from one lease that has a longer period with a clause that takes account of redevelopment.”

They said an access road to the dentist and doctor would remain open throughout the construction period, and that they were working with adjacent property owners to ensure the chemist would also remain open within the precinct. 

CurtinPlacePoll

The next most popular poll this week asked what Australia Day meant to you. Almost a third viewed it as being just like any other public holiday (32% and 86 votes). The same number viewed it as an important day for celebrating our nation. As for whether the date should be changed, 22% (59 votes) were for a replacement date given the symbolism of the current date of atrocities committed against the first peoples of this country.  Fifty of you (19%) see it as marking the last of the summer holidays and offering a chance to relax over a BBQ, by the pool or at the beach.

AustraliaDayPoll

John Thistleton’s exclusive story on the deaths of several rare eastern bettongs in the Lower Cotter catchment inspired a mix of results in our poll. A quarter of respondents (41 votes) felt they weren’t equipped to pass judgement on the ACT Government’s decision to release bettongs in the area. Thirty per cent (49 votes) felt the trial was always going to end with many of the marsupials dying at the hands of foxes. But a majority at 44% (71 votes) were of the opinion that the trial would help the Government come up with strategies for the future.

CotterPoll

The result of our poll on whether Australians should have to opt out rather than opt in when it comes to organ donation was clear cut. Almost 70% of you (68% at 80 votes) felt ensuring we were donors unless we opted out would save lives. There were a few voters (22% or 26 votes) concerned that those who felt strongly about the issue might not get around to de-registering themselves. Four voters would prefer compulsory donation given the savings on administration, and eight would rather focus efforts on growing/manufacturing organs.

organdonationPoll

While the sample size is very small, it is worrying that according to our poll more than a third of you don’t have a will. Almost half do have a will set up for them by a solicitor with 17% (12 votes) having a basic will they’ve put together using a template online or a form from the newsagent.

WillPoll

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10 Responses to
Two-thirds oppose six storeys at Curtin shops according to reader poll
Clever Interrobang 2:27 pm 04 Feb 17

dungfungus said :

Clever Interrobang said :

Holden Caulfield said :

In relation to the Curtin poll, how often are there “live evening music performances in the square”? And how late do they normally run?

Quite often, usually a few nights a week at Beyond Q (which will be knocked down under the current proposal), usually running fairly late into the evening. They often broadcast it over ArtSound FM as well, there’s been some very interesting local (and international) music coming out of that place.

It’s a real shame, live music will be lost forever due to a lack of suitable venues and constant noise complaints emanating from all of the new residents upstairs. I honestly don’t see why this development needs to go ahead.

How does one “knock down” a shop in a basement?

Sorry, I meant demolish. It will be removed as part of the new development. I’m sure that busking in the square will also be greatly diminished.

Arthur Davies 4:24 pm 03 Feb 17

A lot of people oppose a number of suburban developments, not on the basis of NIMBY, but because it feels “not right”. I suspect that few could put it into words & no amount of “consultation” on paving colour & planting (if any) species makes them feel any better. It struck me recently that the common denominator is scale.

Some of the most sought after housing is terrace houses in Australia, brownstones in New York. These are a couple of stories high & people feel comfortable around them, this contrasts dramatically with the high rise flats in England that had to be demolished because of serious intractable social problems.

Here people wander around the Sydney & Melbourne buildings & around the pedestrian area towards the Merry go round, these are all relatively low rise & again people feel comfortable there. Contrast this with the area around Hobart Place where no one goes except to & from work for those in the buildings. The Canberra club commercial development was never a raging success, it was too intimidating.

Other countries seem to do it better, crowded Holland has a lot of 2 story development with lots of vegetation, they do not see much have much high rise at all, a singularly pleasant place I believe.

To have the building owner state that if the current proposal does not go ahead, he will board up the square & allow it to become derelict until he gets approval is quite unacceptable. This seems to be a common ploy, there are a number of shopping centres where exactly this is has been going on for years. Time for the Govt to rescind the leases if the current owner cannot make a go of it & let some one else do a more appropriate development. After all the compensation bill should not be too high, the owner is admitting the property is uneconomic & run down! Time for the Govt to Govern for Canberra citizens & not for the benefit of developers, we pay rates & taxes & make substantial contributions to electoral costs too.

dungfungus 10:12 am 02 Feb 17

Clever Interrobang said :

Holden Caulfield said :

In relation to the Curtin poll, how often are there “live evening music performances in the square”? And how late do they normally run?

Quite often, usually a few nights a week at Beyond Q (which will be knocked down under the current proposal), usually running fairly late into the evening. They often broadcast it over ArtSound FM as well, there’s been some very interesting local (and international) music coming out of that place.

It’s a real shame, live music will be lost forever due to a lack of suitable venues and constant noise complaints emanating from all of the new residents upstairs. I honestly don’t see why this development needs to go ahead.

How does one “knock down” a shop in a basement?

Clever Interrobang 4:30 pm 01 Feb 17

Holden Caulfield said :

In relation to the Curtin poll, how often are there “live evening music performances in the square”? And how late do they normally run?

Quite often, usually a few nights a week at Beyond Q (which will be knocked down under the current proposal), usually running fairly late into the evening. They often broadcast it over ArtSound FM as well, there’s been some very interesting local (and international) music coming out of that place.

It’s a real shame, live music will be lost forever due to a lack of suitable venues and constant noise complaints emanating from all of the new residents upstairs. I honestly don’t see why this development needs to go ahead.

John Moulis 1:53 pm 01 Feb 17

That organ donation poll is a bit strange. We still have a problem with Hep B, Hep C and HIV in the community, and anybody who has either come into contact with those maladies or are in an at-risk group cannot donate organs or blood.

It might be frustrating for supporters of organ donation, but the present opt-in system maintains the integrity of organ donation and ensures that the best organs are available for transplants.

I know it is populist to say that it should be all-in but we do not live in a perfect world and until we do, the decision to donate your organs should be an opt-in system depending on your own personal circumstances and the wishes of the family.

Masquara 11:55 am 01 Feb 17

I only caught the tail end of the conversation on 666 this morning – but it sounded as though the developer is blackmailing the government by threatening to just wait for all the leases to end and then fence the site and put up hoardings.

Gibbo 3:35 pm 31 Jan 17

There have been evening gigs at Beyond Q at least twice a month.
Just having people moving about the area can be enough to trigger a complaint from residents.

Grimm 1:17 pm 31 Jan 17

Probably the same people who want a tram, yet are preventing construction of the type of high density housing that Canberra will need to support the population to make it viable.

bringontheevidence 12:44 pm 31 Jan 17

Well thankfully government isn’t run by internet polls…

Holden Caulfield 9:30 am 31 Jan 17

In relation to the Curtin poll, how often are there “live evening music performances in the square”? And how late do they normally run?

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