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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3670..


Amendments agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Design and siting controls

MS TUCKER (7.57): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) recommend to the Executive, pursuant to subsection 37 (2) of the Land (Planning and Environment) Act 1991, that the ACT Planning Authority be directed to review the design and siting controls that apply to residential development on commercial land in local and group centres to ensure consistency with the controls on multi-unit development in residential areas; and

(2) calls on the Government to defer the sale of land in local and group centres, in particular Blocks 21, 23 and 24 Section 44 Kaleen and Block 3 Section 79 Giralang, for residential development until this review is completed.

I put forward this motion today to get some action happening before the election on an issue that is growing in prominence as more proposals arise to sell off or redevelop land in local shopping centres for housing. I became aware of this issue some time ago when a proposal to redevelop the Aranda shops into apartments was announced. This proposal became feasible after variation 64 to the Territory Plan in 1997 which allowed local shopping centres to be redeveloped into housing where it could be proved that the commercial space in the centre was no longer economically viable.

Local residents objected to what they thought was an overly dense development in comparison to the neighbouring houses, and this is still being argued about in the AAT. What became apparent through this process is that, while housing in local centres is now facilitated by variation 64, there are no design and siting controls in the Territory Plan for housing on land zoned for commercial use. Most housing in Canberra is located on land zoned for residential use. Under the Territory Plan the scale of such housing is regulated by the design and siting code in appendix 3 of the plan.

The government recently released ACTCode 2 which will eventually replace its design and siting code. However, the design and siting code only applies to the residential zones. It does not apply to land zoned for commercial use.

The only significant controls on development in local centres is that the plot ratio cannot be more than 2:1 and the maximum height of buildings is two storeys. Theoretically this would allow two-storey building over every part of a block. Unlike the residential design and siting code, there is nothing in the commercial policies about setbacks from boundaries, private open space, vehicle parking and access, external appearance or interface between dwellings. In fact, in the residential zoning the proposed plot ratio in ACTCode 2 is 0.35:1, which is much less than the 2:1 allowed in local areas. In the B12 areas, where two-storey development is encouraged, the allowable plot ratio is only


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