The Development Application (DA) for a “mixed use” development of 152 units adjacent to the Gungahlin Club (Blocks 2&3 Section 227) has been partially approved (see below). This development is being marketed and sold as Sierra Gungahlin.
The GCC’s representation against this DA noted that:
- the development is described as a mixed-use, but the quantity and size of non-residential spaces is extremely small, ie. it’s not very mixed
- The “lifestyle podium” is only likely to be activated and be a net contribution to the vibrancy of the town centre if there are sufficient commercial/retail tenancies (cafes, restaurants, etc.) to attract residents up onto the podium
- varying the lease to allow mixed-use seems unnecessary given how many other sites with the town centre are (or will be as a result of DV364) zoned CZ5 (mixed-use)
- the proposed lease variation removes the obligation for a portion of car spaces on the site to be made public, reducing the overall pool of public car spaces in the town centre
- many of the recommendations of the Design Review Panel were not actioned
The Notice of Decision indicates the DA is partially approved, because the application to remove the public car parking provisions in the lease was refused. Additional comments included the following:
The key issues with the proposal identified during the assessment included concerns that the development did not provide sufficient active frontage to Efkarpidis and Kate Crace Streets, that the development lacked a suitable address to The Valley Avenue and concerns with the extent of off-form concrete. It is noted that the lessee had previously tried to secure a tenant for a commercial office development on this site but was not successful.
Following a further information request, the applicant lodged an amendment application (S144C and S144E) which reduced the extent of off-form concrete, increased the commercial tenancies fronting onto Efkarpidis Street and improved the presentation to The Valley Avenue. These changes were considered acceptable.
The site constraints, including the level variation, the viability of commercial space at this location and Territory Plan requirements influenced the design outcome, including live/work units opening off public courtyard spaces at the first-floor level. This form of commercial space is not widely offered in the Gungahlin Town Centre and will add to the diversity of commercial space in the area, while providing flexibility of use and satisfying Territory Plan requirements.
The reference to S144C and S144E above is important, as these sections of the Planning Act allow changes to be made by the proponent to the DA as part of the DA’s evaluation which are not publicly notified. The original DA only included two (2) commercial tenancies by the DA as approved now includes six (6) small tenancies (one of 150m2, the rest less then 100m2, ) as indicated in the plans below. Light Blue indicates a commercial tenancy, and the red markings indicate the amendments – click on the images to get a higher resolution PDF.