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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 6 Hansard (9 June) . .

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MR GENTLEMAN: Madam Assistant Speaker, you will recall that the government tabled a variation to the territory plan in March 2016, and the changes allowed for the current public housing located near the Red Hill shops to be redeveloped. This is an important planning change for the area and will provide further residential housing for inner south residents close to employment, shops and the city centre.

Following tabling, the Planning Authority committed to clarifying a number of aspects of the proposal following community feedback on the changes. The government is progressing this work through a technical amendment to the territory plan. I am able to report to members that this technical amendment will be released for community consultation tomorrow, Friday, 10 June.

The technical amendment does not propose any change to the maximum number of storeys allowed in the Cygnet Street precinct but will give greater certainty to the community in relation to building heights and the built form. The amendment clarifies that a maximum height of 21.5 metres applies to building, and I reiterate that the maximum height in storeys permitted remains at two, three or four storeys above the basement level.

Given the slope of some of the parts of the site, it is possible that a basement may be underground at one end and above ground at the other. It is not our intention that such an above-ground section would be counted as one of the habitable storeys. Through the technical amendment the basement becomes a storey once it is more than one metre above the ground. But if that is a continuation of a basement and is being used for vehicle parking, an additional storey is permitted on that part of the site.

To ensure that the habitable development areas remain at the intended two, three or four storeys, habitable areas cannot be included in the basement area, even if it is partly above the ground. An information sheet will be available for the community to provide further information and clarification on the modifications to the variation, and the community will be able to provide their feedback on the amendments via www.planning.act.gov.au from tomorrow. I encourage interested residents to provide their comments.

I would like to reinforce that these changes are vital to the government's commitment to urban renewal, providing housing choice for Canberrans in locations across the territory. The changes also go to the heart of the public housing renewal program, which will allow the government to continue to provide modern and appropriate public housing for tenants.

I wish to acknowledge Mr Rattenbury's role in developing this technical amendment. I was pleased to work collaboratively with him to get the best outcomes for the community and the government.


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