The June public meeting of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) will be held online at 6.30pm on Wednesday 10 June 2020. There will be a virtual meeting room running on the Zoom application, and this will be live streamed on Facebook on the GCC Facebook pages. Attendess are strongly encouraged to join the Zoom virtual room meeting – please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will send you the link needed to join the meeting.
The COVID-19 Pandemic and Small Businesses – An Overview of What Assistance is Available, Graham Catt, CEO, Canberra Business Chamber
Results from GCC Survey 2019, Peter Elford, GCC President
ACT Election Focus Areas, Peter Elford, GCC President
On 3 April 2020 the GCC were advised via email that:
“the speed limits on the Barton Highway and Pialligo Avenue will be permanently reduced to 80 km/h at the following locations:
Barton Highway (between the Gundaroo Drive roundabout and Bellenden Street), Crace”
This information was posted on the GCC Facebook feed, and many residents asked the question … “why” ? We have chased some answers and after being verbally briefed a couple of weeks ago, today received a written explanation from Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS). Please take particular note of the last few points, and also remember that changes in speed limits can be confusing and there is already an 80 km/h section of the Barton Highway adjacent to Gold Creek Village.
“As was discussed with you, the works on the Barton Highway originated from the Federal Government’s Black Spot program and were committed to in 2018. The project was based on five years of reported crashes prior to the study in the midblock section of the Barton Highway between the signalised roundabout at William Slim Drive/Gundaroo Drive and Bellenden Street. It is important to note that the crashes in the study did not include the adjacent intersections (ie. the signalised roundabout). This data met the black spot criteria of three casualty crashes in five years.
As you will be aware, the land adjacent to the Barton Highway has seen a significant increase in urbanisation (particularly with the creation of Crace) as has the whole of Gungahlin. In addition, this section of the Barton Highway is classified as a principal cycle training route and a main on-road cycle route. There is an existing connection to the main community route on the northern side of the road approximately 1.7 kilometres south of the signalised roundabout as well as an equestrian trail crossing the Barton Highway near to the Bellenden Street intersection. The previously posted 100 km/h speed limit was set many years ago and given today’s road environment, traffic volumes, crashes and the national Safe System approach, it no longer reflected the needs of the network.
The works have been completed and as well as the reduction in speed limit they also included upgrades to line marking, signage, guide posts and narrowing of the median lane to shift traffic away from the median’s edge and improve the delineation of the travel route. The following benefits are associated with these works:
one speed limit from the urban fringe near Hall, all the way through to Northbourne Avenue
smoother and consistent travel speeds, improving the operation of the road network especially during the morning and afternoon peak periods
reduction in risks associated with crashes at speeds of 100km/h
reduction of traffic noise benefitting those residents in the adjacent suburbs of Kaleen, Giralang and Crace as well as lower emissions generated by traffic.”
An amended Development Application (DA) for the mixed use high-rise residential now known as The Establishment (formerly Air Towers) is currently open for public comment until 9 June 2020 (Block6, Section 224, Gungahlin).
If you want to express your opposition to this DA, read on!
The GCC opposed the original DA when it was submitted in November 2017, but despite 118 representations being made, the DA was approved in September 2018. The Notice of Decision which justifies this decision, and the 3 corrections to this decision that were subsequently issued, can be found here.
The height and scale are inappropriate for the location (across the road from 2 storey residences, adjacent to a single storey child care centre)
It overshadows and overlooks the YMCA child care centre and adjacent residences
There has been strong and consistent community opposition to more residential development in the town centre and high-rise developments over 10 stories, based on community surveys, and other feedback
It will adversally impact traffic flow
It consumes potential commercial (office) space in town centre
The GCC is also opposed to the amended DA for these additional reasons:
The original Notice of Decision was largely dismissive of a number of concerns (outlined below) that are not addressed in the new DA
The oversight concerns for the YMCA child care centre have not been addressed (arguably have worsened), and the proposed traffic arrangements are likely to force its closure because of the risk of an accident (also outlined below)
If you want to express your opposition to this DA you must lodge a “representation” online as follows:
Enter your details (name, email, phone) on the first screen (“Requestor Details”)
Enter the site details on the next screen (“Development Details”)
The DA number is 201732666
Block 6 (The DA listing says block 4 … Block 6 was created by merging blocks 4 & 5 … both should work)
Enter your feedback on the third (and last screen) (“Representation”) . You can use your own words, or copy and paste any of the material provided above or below, or upload other documents to support your point of view.
The 15 storey height does not align with community expectations for building heights in the Gungahlin Town Centre.
The GCC’s Have Your Say surveys conducted in 2014 and 2019 showed a strong preference for buildings in the town centre of 10 stories or less (2014: 80% of respondents) and for no further residential developmnent in the town centre (2019: 57% of respondents.
The buldings will overshadow and overlook the YMCA Early Learning Centres; as well as nearby residential areas, removing winter sun and privacy;
The impact to traffic in the surrounding areas arising from an additional 290 apartments;
The continued development of an excessive number of residential apartments at the expense of any other potential commercial office development.
A lack of consideration about infrastructure to support the increasing number of residents in this section of Gungahlin. For example schools, green spaces, pedestrian access etc.
Concerns Regarding the Notice of Decision
The GCC would like to highlight the following additional concerns and aspects of the original Notice of Decision (2018) that the GCC believes should be adressed in the amended DA (2020). Note that there were numerous (39) conditions attached to the decision, some of which have been corrected.
“Any future applications to amend this development proposal will require assessment involving greater scrutiny” (Condition E9, p. 9)
Changes were made to the original DA (2018) by the proponent after it’s submission (from 18 stories to 16). These were not publicly notified because “the authority considered the amended design will reduce the potential impacts of the bulding height and mass, and that the revised proposal will decrease the potential environmental impact” (p. 10). These changes are not considered by the GCC to be adequate as the development is still very significant in scale and will have signiifcant environmental impact.
The privary concerns of the YMCA child care centre are claimed to be addressed by requiring screening on the Western windows of the first four floors of the development, but this hardly seems adequate when 15 storeys of units (over 100 in total) will face the child care centre. The decisions suggests that the “interface distance and vistas enjoyed by residents will offer for protection for the privacy of the children” (p. 11)
Further, any requirements to comply with the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Child regardign privacy are dismissed as the development “is not unlawful because the development meets the requirements, including the requirements related to privacy, of the Terriorry Plan and the Planning and Development Act (p. 11)
Regarding overshadowing, the decision simply indicates the “overshadowing impact is reduced from the orginal proposal” (p. 11) yet the impacts are still very significant as the childcare centre playground will be overshadowed until 10:30am, and that the overshadowing of existing residential units is “inveitable” (p. 11) (it’s obviously only inevitable if the development is built).
The ACT Conservator of Flora anf Fauna could not support the proposal on the basis that it proposed to remove a high quality regulated tree on the development site” (p. 12). The authority indicates this advice was “considered” yet the DA was approved.
In the final asessement the authority echoes the arguments of the proponents in very subjective terms, inconsistent with community views (p. 12)
“There are existing developments and developnments to be constructed within the surrounding area of varying height, mass and scale”
“The height and scale of the development is compatible with the locality”
“The setback … and transition … is considered an acceptable outcome”
The Notice of Decision has been corrected three times since its release (mostly applying to the conditions)
24 October 2018
14 March 2019
22 August 2019
Note: A DA Notice of Decision can only be formerly challenged within 28 days of it’s release.
Additional Concerns Relating to YMCA Child Care Centre
The YMCA Early Learning Centre (ELC) has identified the following concerns with the development and provided the text below:
This is my formal objection to the amended Development Application of Geocon and Empire Global relating to the land at Block 4, Section 224, Gungahlin.
Increases the concerns raised against the original Development Application around the scale, density and composition of the proposed development, and how incompatible it is with the established local area, for example it is just a few meters from the 2 story homes on Gozzard St. This means residents and their children will be across the road from the commercial tenancies that the amendment has moved to the ground floor which could include a bar and restaurant. This is very concerning due to the increase in noise and reduction to the amenity and safety to the established residents and area.
It also increases the safety risks to child and adult pedestrians moving around the development and ELC due to the shared driveway which allows virtually no space between the two-way traffic and users of the ELC car parks, and provides no footpath for people to move safely around the new residents ground floor carpark that the amendment has proposed. This is particularly concerning because of the large number of disabled car parking spots in this car park, whose drivers wishing to walk anywhere including to the town centre and tram, will need to do so in the path of significant entering and exiting traffic and cars pulling in and out of the car parks in the residents car park and the ELCs car parks. Any accidents could be witnessed by children in the playground and being picked-up and dropped-off which could result in significant trauma
The amendment also reduces the privacy afforded the children in the ELC from the development, with windows in the design having no treatment and looking directly into outdoor and indoor play spaces, rest areas and nappy change areas. This creates a significant risk to the privacy and safety of children and is in contravention of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Additionally, the previous notice of decision stated levels 1 to 4 of the development must have ‘no visibility’ into the ELC which this amendment fails to meet.
The amendment means more residents and cars will be moving around the development and area. The traffic report fails to address the impact of possibly over 300 cars leaving and returning to the development in the morning and evening, and parents dropping off and picking up their children (up to 84 children each day) at the ELC, on both the driveway as well as Swain St, Gozzard St and Gundaroo Rd. It states it expects most residents to use public transport so only 98 cars would be using the driveway in peak time. This is highly unrealistic, especially with the research done by GCC about the large number of people who drive in and out of Gungahlin for their jobs.The actual driveway entrance to the ELC and development is narrow and currently is rarely used as a two way entry and exit. Instead cars often que along Swain St waiting until they can enter through the middle of the driveway. The traffic report fails to address this and how having up to 300 residents exiting could make it impossible for parents of the ELC to access the driveway let alone safely park, do drop off or pick up, and then reverse and exit again.All of these streets and roads are narrow and already heavily congested. The local residents are very concerned about this congestion and how they will be able to retain quiet enjoyment of their properties with the noise, movement and increase traffic to contend with when coming and going from their homes. This is exacerbated by all the developments that have been completed, or are nearly completed on Swain St and in the local area. In addition, any traffic incidents resulting from this increased congestion, will have significant impact on the development’s residents, ELC families and local residents as the narrow driveway and roads could be easily blocked and people will not be able to get to work or their other destinations.
The ELC has been running for a number of years and is a valued part of the local community. It seems unfair that their children and staff can be so badly impacted by a new development that the community has fought so hard against, and that everyone will lose their quiet enjoyment of their site and home.
I strenuously object to the amendment to the DA in its current form and think the addition of more units and car parks and the façade changes are entirely inappropriate and will negatively affect the ELC and the local community.
The May public meeting of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) will be held online at 6.30pm on Wednesday 13 May 2020. There will be a virtual meeting room running on the Zoom application, and this will be live streamed on Facebook on both the MyGungahlin Facebook and GCC Facebook pages. Attendess are strongly encouraged to join the Zoom virtual room meeting – please email us (email@example.com) and we will send you the link needed to join the meeting.
Sport and Recreation Facilities in Gungahlin, Yvette Berry, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Deputy Chief Minister
New Retail Options in Gungahlin – The Transformation of the Home Hardware Site, Richard Swinburne, Argus Property
New Development Application for The Establishment (formerly Air Towers), Peter Elford, GCC President
The April public meeting of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) will be held online at 6.30pm on Wednesday 8 April 2020. There will be a virtual meeting room running on the Zoom application, and this will be live streamed on Facebook on both the MyGungahlin Facebook and GCC Facebook pages. If you wish to join the Zoom virtual room meeting, please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will send you the link needed to join the meeting.
Gungahlin Policing, Troy Roberts, Australian Federal Police Association
ACT Government Response to COVID-19, Dr. Paul Dugdale, Public Health Physician (Duty Chief Health Officer)
Coping with COVID-19: The Lifeline Experience, Tracey McMahon, Lifeline
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS
[ Posted on behalf of the Canberra Planning Action Group (CPAG) ]
Join us on Monday 23 March 2020 at the Albert Hall, 100 Commonwealth Ave Yarralumla from 6.00pm to 8.00pm for a public forum on the implications of Canberra’s planning decisions for the bush capital.
This forum is co-organised by the Canberra Planning Action Group (CPAG) and the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis (IGPA). It is vital to revive debate and discussion about what Canberra was supposed to be, what it has become, and where it should be heading. In the lead-up to the 2020 election, the Chief Minister’s claims for Canberra cannot remain untested.
CPAG was formed in early 2019 in response to discontent by community groups and many individuals. with the ACT Government on planning matters, including urban densification, transport, affordable housing, green infrastructure, approvals processes – the list goes on and on. This discontent is not new but it is widespread and growing, as the very things that make Canberra a uniquely liveable city are being destroyed at an alarming rate.
CPAG seeks a Canberra-wide perspective and a more united voice by all who want to see a more considered, people and nature-friendly approach to a growing Canberra.
These blocks offer an opportunity to secure one of Canberra’s highly sought after commercial sites. Woden, Belconnen and Gungahlin are three of Canberra’s fastest growing town centres and major employment hubs, all within walking distance to desirable amenities.
Shopping centres, hospitals, bars, restaurants and public transport are all a short distance away – including the future light rail interchange in Woden connecting to the City and Gungahlin. All are zoned for a variety of uses including – multi units, hotel, serviced apartments and shops.
Don’t miss your opportunity to make your mark in Canberra today.
and goes on to describe the Development opportunities in Gungahlin Town Centre:
Don’t miss your opportunity to secure on of four Mixed Use sites and one Core site positioned in the heart of Gungahlin Town Centre.
This is your opportunity to build in a central location close to all the action. Each site is walking distance to the Gungahlin Market Place, Gungahlin Village, bars, restaurants, local offices and the Light Rail station.
Flexible Mixed Use residential development opportunities
Central location, surrounded by key amenities
Walking distance to the Light Rail station
Additional material provided by the appointed sales agents (Colliers) includes (downloaded 1/3/2020):