Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (30 June) . . Page.. 1906 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
A feature of local shopping centres that has caused difficulties in encouraging redevelopment is that often these centres are made up of a number of blocks of land owned by different people. It can therefore be difficult to organise in one hit the redevelopment of a centre that goes over a number of blocks. In the case of Latham, redevelopment is being proposed for the existing shop building, but next door is an old service station and another block of vacant land which are ripe for development. However, in the redevelopment of the shops no consideration has been given to the integration of potential development on the other blocks. The integration of this development is quite important in terms of avoiding problems with vehicle access in the future.
In the case of O'Connor, there is a vacant service station behind the shops, and the Government has proposed the redevelopment of Macpherson Court next door, but again there appears to be no consideration of how developments on these three pieces of land could be integrated to address some of the access and parking problems at the O'Connor shops and to improve the public spaces there.
I have therefore put up this motion to call on the Government to prepare what I have called precinct master plans for local shopping centres before approval is given for redevelopment within these centres. These precinct master plans would identify the key features of the local centre and the surroundings and work out the preferred pattern of redevelopment of the existing buildings and any adjacent vacant land so that the essential attractiveness of the area is preserved and the amenity of the surrounding neighbourhood is protected. It is really just about undertaking good planning for our local shopping centres, what PALM should really be doing already.
There is a definite precedent for these precinct master plans in the section master plans that are currently being prepared by PALM for sections in Braddon, Turner and O'Connor. These section master plans were commenced in response to public criticisms that the residential redevelopment in those areas was being done in a very ad hoc way and that the new developments took no account of the relationship with the old or new buildings on the surrounding blocks. The section master plans were to provide certainty to existing residents and to developers about what scale and pattern of redevelopment would be allowed in those sections.
I am really just putting up the proposition that if we can have section master plans for residential areas undergoing redevelopment then we should also have precinct master plans for commercial areas undergoing redevelopment. I have called them precinct plans as they may involve more than one section of land - for example, where there are some commercial areas separated by a street. This may distinguish them from the pure section plans being prepared in the inner north, but the principle is the same. It is about local area planning which the Territory Plan is not well equipped to deal with.
The process being used by PALM to develop section master plans in the inner north is not perfect, but it provides a good model that could be refined for use in commercial areas. The public consultation involved in the development of master plans is a good feature that must be continued. This work should not be a major task for PALM, as the number of local shopping centres currently facing redevelopment is not that great.