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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 11 Hansard (29 November) . . Page.. 3347 ..

Wednesday, 29 November 2000


MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair at 10.33 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.


Ms Tucker , pursuant to notice, presented the bill.

Title read by Clerk.

MS TUCKER (10.34): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

This bill is quite short and involves a fairly simple change to the land act regulations, but the implication of this change is that it will restore third party appeal rights against development approvals of oversized single houses.

Part of the amendments to the land act that were implemented by this government in mid-1997 was the transfer of provisions for public notification and third party appeal rights from the Territory Plan to the land act regulations. In the process, there were significant reductions in the appeal rights available to objectors.

In relation to single dwellings, third party appeals used to be allowed where the development application did not meet the performance measures in the residential design and siting guidelines in the Territory Plan. However, this provision was removed from the new regulations, thus creating a situation where there are now no third party appeal rights against single dwellings, apart from houses in heritage areas.

That is quite significant, given the nature of the design and siting guidelines. These guidelines contain generalised performance objectives and criteria, as well as quantified performance measures or accepted solutions such as specific setback and height controls that are considered to meet the performance objectives. However, a house that does not meet the performance measures can still be approved if PALM considers that the design meets the overall performance objectives. PALM officials are therefore given considerable discretionary power to approve dwellings that cannot be legally challenged by neighbours who might be directly affected by the development.

With the increasing level of housing redevelopment in inner Canberra, including the complete demolition and rebuilding of houses in established neighbourhoods, I have received a number of representations from constituents who are now living next to huge houses that overshadow their block and reduce their privacy, but about which they could

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