Page 1462 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 May 2015

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MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo), by leave: Today I have tabled the petitions of 1,265 signatories about the development of the Dickson group centre. The proposed development has attracted a lot of community attention. My office has certainly received correspondence raising a range of concerns, and I imagine other members have as well. I believe most people are happy for the Dickson shops to be redeveloped but, like all communities, the people of Dickson and surrounding areas want the development to enhance rather than overwhelm the existing shops.

As members may be aware, a development application was submitted to ACTPLA in January, and there was a period of public consultation which closed in February. I understand that the planning authority found the application wanting and returned it to the proponent for amendment. I think this is an example of a situation where a level of pre-DA consultation by the proponents would have been very beneficial both for the community and for the proponents.

The Dickson community has previously lodged a petition on this matter through Mr Wall. However, the petition was ruled out of order, so they have now reconstituted two in-order petitions which are the ones I have lodged here today.

In principle, I support appropriate urban infill such as mixed use developments in key locations such as Dickson, which is a key public transport node and includes a future light rail stop. However, it is important that such developments demonstrate excellence in urban design and sustainability, including both the public spaces and the quality of the buildings.

It is also important that all infill developments provide high quality streetscapes that help us adapt to climate change, with trees, green spaces and water sensitive urban design. Buildings should be energy efficient, attractive from the street and provide active street frontages and passive surveillance opportunities, and apartments should be designed to achieve solar access, cross-ventilation and be protected as much as possible from noise and odours.

The development should reflect the existing spatial scale and network of pathways through the Dickson shopping precinct. It should also be permeable, with open pedestrian access through the site. Careful design is required so that car park and service entries and access for deliveries and waste collection do not dominate key street frontages and impact on residents.

What the petitioners have outlined to me, and I think to other members, is that these are the sorts of points they are concerned about. They do not want to see a repeat of the mistakes made in some other town centres and in Civic where large-scale retail developments have taken the life out of the streets, overwhelmed the public domain and are not of a human scale.

I will continue to follow this issue in detail, as I am sure other members will, and I look forward to the response from the Minister for Planning in due course.

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