Page 4133 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 15 November 2005

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landscaping is provided between the residential aged care facility and blocks G and H; and requiring additional detailed architectural drawings for the latter stages of the development.

A further condition of the approval is that the applicant must obtain the approval of the Conservator of Flora and Fauna for all tree-damaging activity. This is a separate statutory process that must be followed. This process will assess, among other things, the measures that will need to be taken to protect existing trees, particularly where groundwork is undertaken within three metres of the protection zone for the trees.

In view of the significance of the development, residents of Ainslie and the surrounding area were consulted on this proposal over an extensive period of time. Concerns voiced by the community were taken into account and the proposal was modified in response to those concerns. Given the views expressed in some quarters about the consultation on this development, I would like to outline briefly the process over that time.

There was initial consultation with the community at the end of 2004, before Goodwin lodged its development application, and this was done by Goodwin. Goodwin conducted an informal consultation process as requested by ACTPLA, where all immediate neighbours were notified of an open invitation to attend a meeting on 9 December last year. This meeting was publicised in the Ainslie Neighbourhood Watch newsletter.

On 7 February this year, Goodwin conducted a consultation session with the main stakeholders who were identified as being interested in a retirement facility in the area. These were the North Canberra Community Council and the Ainslie Retirees Network. A second round of consultation was conducted with these groups on 26 April 2005, with Goodwin taking any views and issues into account as the proposal was reviewed.

Goodwin then lodged its development application on 21 July this year and, in accordance with statutory requirements, the development was publicly notified on 1 August this year. This involved an advertisement in the Canberra Times, notices on site and sent to adjoining properties and notification on the ACTPLA web site. The North Canberra Community Council was also advised.

The ACT Planning and Land Council also considered the submission and provided its advice at a meeting on 3 August this year. A public meeting attended by more than 200 people, including Ainslie residents, the proponent and ACTPLA representatives was held on 4 October this year. In addition, I personally met with representatives of the Ainslie community, who also presented me with a petition. I also inspected the site several times, and I met with an ACT Housing tenant who had particular concerns about the proposal.

As well as the numerous letters and emails received, there were 101 submissions sent to ACTPLA as part of the statutory notification process. Of these, approximately one-third supported the development proposal and the remainder raised concerns about the proposal.

The proposal to redevelop the Goodwin site in Ainslie has involved significant community consultation and this has resulted in a compromise where the original plan for two six-storey buildings was changed to buildings of a lower height. In my view, this demonstrates that the consultation process does work and community views are taken

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