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Air Towers Development Application Update

The GCC has been concerned about the impact of the large number of high-rise residential mixed use towers at the Western edge of the Gungahlin Town Centre (Precinct 2b), since 2016. Our concerns about traffic density, reduction of solar access, lack of green space for a much larger population than expected in this location, and lack of cycling/walking access to/from/through the precinct are detailed in Gunsmoke 143 and Gunsmoke 144 .

We had particular concerns about the Air Towers development because of it’s size and location, as it is adjacent to one and two story residences and businesses on (effectively) three sides, at the corner of Gozzard Street and Gundaroo Drive. The Development Application (DA) for this two tower development, one of 18 storeys tapering to 12 storeys, and one of 8 storeys, closed in November, 2017 and was strongly opposed by the majority of the Gungahlin community and the GCC.

The current status is that:

  • 118 representations (ie. submissions) were made in response to the DA
  • No decision has yet been made on the DA
  • The proponent has submitted an amendment to the proposal, following discussion with the planning and land authority
  • It is understood the amendment includes a reduction in the maximum height (to 15 storeys) and the scale of the proposal
  • The government (ESPDD) have chosen not to publicly notify this change, as the “amendment provides a reduction in impact and no additional issues would be anticipated to be identified”. The GCC does not agree with this position as questions still remain about what portions of the  two towers that make up the development are what height in what location.
  • It is not known how long it will take to assess the amended DA proposal
  • The GCC remain opposed to the DA, even in it’s amended form (although without having any details it’s hard to take an informed position, eg. regarding any tapering)
  • The GCC is particularly concerned that a development of this scale is in stark conflict to the proposed changes to the Gungahlin Town Centre precinct code presented at the GCC meeting in April, 2018 as an outcome from the Town Centre Planning Refresh (which recommended a maximum height of 8 storeys along Gozzard Street).

The GCC remains actively engaged with ESPDD on this issue, and appreciate the information they have shared with us. We have, however,  expressed our concerns regarding the transparency of the process, given that this information has had to be requested rather it being provided, particularly given the large number of representations.

Original DA Proposal

 

 

4 Comments
  1. No high buildings please,
    what are they trying to do to this area,
    I have been told there will be a Michelin Restaurant in one, and probably circa 1000 people.
    It seems as if they want to cram people into this area, also that the occupants of these buildings cannot have a car, so will have to use public transport look how far these buildings are from the Light Rail. I am sure people will not want to walk the distance. If they are allowed cars where are they to be parked, so next we will be very overcrowded.
    It is bad enough, that we do not have houses with backyards, for kids to play, but then those days are gone, so obesity will reign.

    We need a Hospital in this area bigger that a Walk In Clinic.

    • Thanks for your feedback. The GCC has been very concerned about the high rise developments and continues to press for some sort of a complete strategy for dealing with the additional residents in this area.

      I had not the story about the Michelin restaurant – if you have details please pass them along.

      Canberra is not large enough to have additional hospitals, and the decision was made some years ago to build the sub-acute hospital at the University of Canberra, rather than (for example) Gungahlin.

  2. The GCC needs to pull its head in.

    You are simply an unelected body of NIBMY residents. Your arguments would have substantial weight if you had a significant number of members, as it stands I doubt you have even a few hundred out of a District population of 10’s of thousands.

    You whinge that there isn’t significant employment and whinge when there are proposals to put a significant residential base in the town centre that will drive retail, infrastructure and employment opportunities. You just refuse to embrace growth and change.

    Seriously you need to find something better to do with your spare time.

    • Hi Dean – thanks for taking the time to provide the feedback. Strictly, we are “elected” as all positions on the GCC executive are declared open every year and anyone can nominate for them and/or attend the AGM and vote. Our mailing list is about 800 members, and about 2000 people follow our FaceBook page – Gungahlin’s population is over 70,000 as you suggest. Regarding Air Towers and the other high rise mixed-use developments, our position is that these would all be terrific if they were in the centre of the town centre, rather than on the Western edge where the road and other access was not planned to accommodate this density of residents. You’re right re spare time – we are all volunteers. If you get along to any of our meetings, or want to drop us an email or something, we’re happy to take on board other suggestions.

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