Page 82 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 25 February 2014

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The submissions raised various concerns about the height, density and scale of redevelopment proposed across the site. Issues related to overshadowing, overlooking, traffic and parking, loss of existing trees, as well as concerns for residential amenity and garden city values of surrounding residential areas. These concerns have been heard and addressed. A report on consultation was prepared in response to the issues raised. Additional investigations were undertaken, particularly in relation to views, overshadowing and car parking. The draft variation was then revised accordingly.

These changes included: a reduction of building heights across the site, including the area fronting Kogarah Lane; introduction of a plot ratio to guide the ultimate density of the site; inclusion of a statement of desired character to guide the bulk, scale and density of development across the site; stipulation of a nine-metre building setback along Kogarah Lane and a landscape area across section 7 Reid to reduce potential impacts on Kogarah Lane; introduction of a requirement for primary site access to section 7 Reid via a stub road off the intersection of Cooyong and Akuna Streets; and an increase in the number of on-street car parks to be provided.

This variation rezones part of the site to the commercial CZ5 mixed-use zone. This was not well received in submissions. There was concern that the mixed-use zone will draw commercial and city-related uses into the suburbs. The government does not agree. Well-controlled small-scale retail and community uses on this site will achieve three key outcomes. It will retain a range of community uses on the site. It will meet the convenience retailing needs of the residents on the site. And it will activate the key frontages of the development, helping to assist with safety in public places.

A number of public submissions related to St Patrick’s church. This issue has been addressed and resolved through the ACT Heritage Council legislation and process. While it had the potential to impact on the ultimate developable area of variation 308, it has no bearing on the actual variation.

Variation 308 was always going to be controversial. Urban infill and intensification projects often are. However, I have always been committed to following it through, mainly because of its planning merits, and also because of the goodwill from the community in recognising the need to redevelop this site.

I acknowledge the concerns of the community in relation to this project, and it was for that reason that I referred this draft variation to the Standing Committee on Planning, Environment and Territory and Municipal Services for consideration in February last year.

Of course, I am concerned and disappointed that the committee as a whole could not report any findings. I am particularly concerned that it took eight months to reach this position. I am also disappointed that community expectations have been raised through the committee process in that they hoped their concerns would be addressed in some practical manner.

We have on many occasions had situations where a standing committee could not agree on all aspects of a draft variation. Often draft variations are challenging and

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