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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 20 October 2005) . . Page.. 3957 ..


On 12 October this year, I approved the development application, using my powers under section 229B of the land act. The DA sought approval for the construction of a retirement complex consisting of a 100-bed aged care facility and 78 independent living units, with associated landscaping, car parking, paving and other site works.

In deciding the application, I gave careful consideration to a range of issues that had been raised during the consultation and assessment processes, as well as the advice of the ACT Planning and Land Council. The issues raised included the likely impacts on the amenity of adjoining residents, solar orientation and design of buildings, legibility and accessibility of pedestrian routes, reinforcement of a sense of community, and landscape quality.

I sought further information from the proponents regarding these matters and, as a result of those discussions, the proponents undertook significant site plan revisions, which addressed the key issues that I raised with them. These significant plan revisions have resulted in internal roads being relocated away from adjoining residences to minimise impacts on neighbouring properties, the retention of additional existing trees, the enhancement of community spaces, and significantly improved solar access to dwellings. Landscaping has also been proposed that is in character with the surrounding bushland and incorporates additional native planting.

In considering this application, I have considered ensuring a quality living environment for future residents through the provision of usable common open spaces with good pedestrian access, bushfire management, solar access and orientation of dwellings, location of waste enclosures, landscaping that creates a clear link with the adjoining nature reserve, and amenity issues for existing and future residents.

I am satisfied that the revised plans submitted for discussion address these matters. I have imposed conditions for revision of the original proposal based on these revised plans. I have used my call-in powers in this instance because I consider the proposal responds to a major policy issue and provides a substantial public benefit by providing housing for the ageing community in Canberra in a location where people can remain in familiar environments close to existing networks.

Another reason for my decision is that the proposed development also has a substantial effect on the achievement of the objectives for the territory plan, particularly in respect of the provision of a wide range of housing types and choice and the provision of affordable housing to accommodate the ageing in place in established areas.

Mr Speaker, the approved development will create a range of active and passive recreation spaces for future residents, with the facility to include ancillary services such as a chapel, auditorium, library, hairdressing salon, cafe, meeting rooms and a recreation room, as well as plenty of open space. The development will include 75 high-care places, 23 low-care places and 78 independent living units, 30 of these in apartment-style living, as well as a community centre. This approach to ageing in place will allow people to remain within a familiar environment as their care needs increase.

Little Company of Mary Health Care, which is the proponent, has advised that high and low care places will be available to a significant number of pensioners and people who


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