Page 562 - Week 02 - Thursday, 17 February 2005

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to consider any recommendations made by the Conservator of Flora and Fauna. The conservator made the following comment:

In accordance with section 16 of the Land (Planning and Environment) Act 1991, I advise that I have had Draft Variation to the Territory Plan No 246—Changes to the Residential Area Specific Overlays, Suburb of Downer examined and there are no issues of concern for the Conservator of Flora and Fauna provided that protection of significant trees is taken into consideration in any redevelopment proposals.

The committee specifically considered that comment and made special note of the importance of the conservation of those trees protected under the Tree Protection (Interim Scheme) Act 2001. Other considerations for maintaining harmony in Downer are the predominance of original 1960s cottages and the level of bed and breakfast accommodation that should not be affected by the new B12 zoning.

The relatively minor changes to the suburb of Downer, along with the traditional and consistent setback of houses on the properties and the wonderful established gardens, have been a value that the community and the ACT Planning and Land Authority have worked hard to maintain. The authority prepared a variety of options in order to retain the valued qualities of this part of the neighbourhood.

After considerable negotiations with key stakeholders, the option of reducing the extent of the A10 residential core area specific policy and introducing the B12 increased density development area specific policy on Antill Street was agreed upon. This option delivers a number of outcomes for Downer. One is maintaining the existing streetscapes and the regeneration of local shops. A second is that Downer will offer three residential land uses—that is, suburban; an A10 residential core area specific policy; and a B12 increased density development area specific policy which allows for two-storey townhouses and apartments with a maximum 0.65 plot ratio, compared with 0.35 for traditional dual occupancies and 0.5 for front-of-yard dual occupancies.

The option offers a level of protection for the much valued south-west corner of the neighbourhood. It retains and encourages the bed and breakfast accommodation provided by a variety of businesses on Northbourne Avenue. As well, the existing character of Antill Street is a mix of single storey detached dwellings with two-storey dual occupancies, which will lend itself to the modest increase in density to an urban housing area, B12.

Mr Speaker, the draft variation is consistent with the strategic principles contained in the Canberra spatial plan, particularly in regard to creating and maintaining a healthy community and to obtaining and providing opportunities for a diverse range of housing for the full range of household types and lifestyle preferences. Overall, housing choice will be achieved through a mix of residential releases balanced with greenfields development and redevelopment within existing urban areas. Such a mix will reflect the projected demand for medium to higher density dwellings due to changing household and community characteristics.

To protect the character and amenity of existing suburban areas of the ACT, residential development will be strategically directed to locations that will contribute to overall levels of accessibility to facilities and services and reduce dependency on vehicle use. In the short to medium term, this will mean that the further opportunities for redevelopment

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