Combined Community Councils write to Katie Gallagher regarding the future of Canberra’s Town Centres

Canberra’s seven Community Councils have combined to argue for better planning for the Town Centres

PO Box 280
Woden ACT 260

Katie Gallagher MLA

Chief Minister cc all MLAs

Dear Katie

I am writing to you on behalf of the Combined Community Councils of the ACT, concerning the future planning and development of Canberra’s Town Centres.

The Combined Councils are concerned that, in prioritising residential development, the Government is paying insufficient attention to the role of the Town Centres as places of employment. While office accommodation may be relatively plentiful now, once land is sold for residential development, there is no longer a stock of land available to cater for the office-development needs of the future.

More broadly, the CCCs are concerned at the continuing lack of effective coordinated planning for Canberra’s Town Centres. Master Plans are either out of date or, if current, carry little or no weight. Developments are approved on an ad hoc basis, and cumulative effects (for example on traffic volumes and parking) are neglected. The perceived need to generate revenue, represented by the activities of the EDD (and the Land Development Agency in particular), repeatedly outpaces the ability of the ESDD to add balance and to give force to a realistic medium-term strategic vision for the Town Centres.

The only way for this imbalance to be resolved is, in our view, for you as Chief Minister to make clear your concern about maintaining a more balanced approach to these issues, and to build up the capacity of ACTPLA to play a more prominent role relative to that of the LDA. It is surely of the greatest concern that the LDA has assumed, de facto, a planning role that is not part of its mandate.

Yours sincerely

Dr Jenny Stewart   14/7/2013

On behalf of the Combined Community Councils (Woden, Weston Creek, Tuggeranong, Inner North, Inner South, Gungahlin and Belconnen

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