Dual Occupancy Concerns 2004

As indicated in the front page article of The Chronicle, 5 October 2004, the possible residential redevelopment of “core areas” (near suburban shopping areas) is a contentious and even emotional issue.

When this matter was open for public discussion in 2003, Woden Valley Community Council made a written submission and appeared before the Planning and Environment Committee of the ACT Legislative Assembly.[teaserbreak]

The thrust of our argument was that the criteria for dual occupancy and medium density redevelopment should be based on characteristics of the individual sites combined with the characteristics of the proposed redevelopment, rather than simply the site’s proximity to local shops.

Ideal sites might be large blocks, particularly on corner sites or adjoining open spaces and where winter overshadowing is not an issue. Acceptable developments would have appropriate, well-integrated buildings with adequate open space and on-site parking.

These Views of WVCC seemed to be well-accepted by the Planning and Environment Committee, which in its report unanimously opposed this so-called Garden City Variation (DV 200). The Legislative Assembly, however narrowly approved it – with one member of the Committee then changing opinion along Party lines in favour of the Variation.

The current problems with implementation, the high level of public resistance and the public’s feeling of not being consulted all strongly suggest that further review is necessary.