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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2145 ..


MS TUCKER (11.37): I move:

That this Assembly calls on the Government to direct the ACT Planning Authority to:

(1) immediately abolish the B1 planning zone in inner North Canberra; and

(2) institute a process of local area planning, with the full participation of the relevant Local Area Planning Advisory Committees, to identify the appropriate siting, scale and character of medium density development for this area that takes into account the need to encourage the ecological, social and economic sustainability of the city, and the varied character, environment, services and amenity across the area.

The Greens are putting forward this motion because it is about time that something is done to correct a major problem with the Territory Plan that has been the subject of strong controversy within North Canberra ever since the Territory Plan was first proposed in 1991. The B1 zone allows three-storey medium-density housing in a wide strip along either side of Northbourne Avenue up to Dickson, and from the edge of Sullivans Creek in the west across to Limestone Avenue and Majura Avenue in the east. It is a huge area. On rough calculations, it is three times the size of the redevelopment area in Kingston.

The B1 planning guidelines which describe the types of housing redevelopments that can be built in the area apply one set of rules across the area, with no variation to take into account the differing features of the five suburbs of Turner, O'Connor, Lyneham, Dickson and Braddon that are affected by this zone. This will only produce a bland monoculture of crowded three-storey flats right through North Canberra. There are already examples in Torrens Street, Braddon, of what could happen. A whole street block has been converted to a massive complex of three-storey flats with little open space, bad solar orientation, and no variety in the types of dwellings offered. There are more examples of the same being built further north in Braddon, for example, in Ijong Street. In Turner there are currently two major redevelopment proposals near Turner Primary School; one, in Condamine Street, originally of over 50 units on three house blocks; and one, by the ANU in Hartley Street and Towns Crescent, originally for over 100 units on nine house blocks. The local area planning advisory committee for that area and the Turner Residents Association have both rejected the scale of these developments and want the numbers of units reduced by at least half. If it was not for the recent downturn in the housing market, the local community would be confronted with many more similar proposals.

Since the B1 zone was announced there have been reports of considerable buying up of property in the area by speculators, just waiting for the right time to put forward their own plans for redevelopment. (Quorum formed) A new expression has arisen in Canberra about this type of redevelopment. People are complaining about the Kingstonisation of their suburb. I have no intention here of denigrating the residents

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