May Belconnen Community Council public meeting – DV342 Town Centre Precinct Code consultation

The May 2018 public meeting of the Belconnen Community Council will be held on:

7PM Tuesday 15 May 2018

at the

BCS Theatrette, Swanson Ct, Belconnen Town Centre.

A brief agenda:

  • Welcome from BCC Chair, Glen Hyde
  • A brief update from the BCC Chair on the activities of the BCC over the past month
  • Update from local MLA’s
  • 7.30 – Presentation on the Old Weetangerra Road Project
  • 8.00 – ACT Government planners will present to the community on DV342 the proposed precinct code arising from the Belconnen Town Centre Master Plan, and DV365 on removing the requirement to supply natural gas to Ginninderry suburbs.

All BCC members and members of the public are welcome to attend. For further information email: hello@belcouncil.org.au

DV342 – Precinct code for the Belconnen Town Centre

DV342 is the proposed precinct code following on from the 2016 Belconnen Town Centre Master Plan.

You can download a copy from here.
More information can be found here.

The ACT Government invite written comment on the draft variation from the public by22 June 2018

Old Weetangera Road Trail (Stage 1) Project Overview
Weetangera Road was the original trackway (and subsequent Parish Road) running west from the  Canberra valley, over Bruce Ridge to the Belconnen (formerly Weetangera) region, and onwards to the ford at the junction of the Murrumbidgee and Molonglo Rivers.

Likely dating back to the very earliest days of European settlement in the region, and perhaps even  earlier, it is still visible as either current road alignments, bikeways or remnant tracks running through public land. The route links up many heritage sites in the Belconnen district, and plays an important role in the pre-1960s oral history relating to the region.

This interpretive trail will form an active travel exploration route between markers (similar to those in the Forde Heritage park) installed at key locations along the line of the old road.

The trail will start (or end) at the Lyneham Wetlands, with a ‘Canberra Tracks’ sign showing the full route installed in the park opposite 162 Dryandra Street. Each sign will have a short description of local heritage sites around that section of the road.

In future, short videos could be produced by local groups or schools and triggered by each sign. The trail could be extended to the ford at the Molonglo and Murrumbidge’s junction and link in with the Uriarra Loop track. It could also follow along Coppins Crossing road to the south and link with the Butters Bridge, engaging new developments in the region with some of its oldest European heritage.

BCC submission on a lease variation to allow a drive through takeaway next to the Belco Skate Park

Emu Bank KFC No Way

24 March 2018

Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate

GPO Box 365

Canberra City ACT 2601

Re: Development Application 201833271 Section 65 Block 83, Belconnen

The Belconnen Community Council (BCC) strongly opposes this development application (DA) for a lease variation (LV). This DA for a LV does not meet the expectations of the community at large. The proposed fast food takeaway drive through facility is inappropriate for the location, and contrary to the expectations of the community following the release of the updated Belconnen Town Centre Master Plan (the master plan). It would also create significant traffic issues on a problematic corner.

The concerns raised regarding a drive through takeaway fast food shop on this heavily trafficked corner block are significant. The BCC has spoken to the community, local sporting bodies and government agencies that share our concerns.

The recently released master plan is the result of the most extensive community consultation process undertaken by the ACT Governments Environment and Planning Directorate (EPD) for any master plan to date. In both the draft and final master plan process, EPD received more submissions from the public and community groups than any other master plan.

In the many public meetings and information sessions held by both EPD and the BCC during the consultation process, it was clear that Emu Bank was important to Belconnen residents, workers and visitors. The master plan creates a vision for future development in this area that would address the frustrations people identified with Emu Bank, and enhance the aspects that the community loved.

A strong aspect of the new master plan is to provide an incentive for property owners along Emu Bank to relocate fast food drive through businesses to other more suitable locations in the town centre (such as the services and trades area), that are better served by suitable road access for the types of traffic that drive through fast food outlets create.

The precinct code governing permitted development is about to be updated and is in draft form right now. The community consultation process is due to begin shortly. The development on this corner would not be approved under the proposed precinct code, based on the community expectations that the new master plan has created, and the vision of Emu Bank that ACT Government planners have presented to the community.

However, as ACTPLA determined in late 2017, the previous DA for this development, DA 201630298, did not comply with the current precinct code. The proposed use is a fast food takeaway drive through facility. That proposed use is inconsistent with the use of that site. Approving a lease variation for that site, making a fast food takeaway drive through possible would be a disastrous planning outcome and should not be approved.

The specific reasons that DA201833271 for a LV should not be approved are:

  1. A LV to allow a fast food takeaway drive through facility is contrary to everything the community expects. People must have faith that the views they expressed through the master plan consultation process, and submissions to ACTPLA on DA201630298 have been considered properly.
  2. ACTPLA determined in late 2017, the previous DA for this development DA201630298 did not comply with the current precinct code. Despite ACAT’s legalistic view, A LV is not a simple paper exercise; it is a fundamental change to the future use of a piece of land. That use has been determined by previous planning exercises including the 1998 Lakeshore Master Plan, the 2001 and 2014 Belconnen Town Centre Master Plans, and the 2017 (draft precinct code) to not be suitable for a fast food takeaway drive through facility. The proposed use is historically inconsistent with the permitted uses of that site.
  3. The traffic issue that approval of DA201833271 would create is of particular concern. The traffic report accompanying DA201630298 indicates that access to the site is restricted to entry and exit to the left.  As the report states:

“The reasons for this restriction on right turning movements is due to the limited road width available for right turning vehicles entering the site (with no capacity for a right turn lane for storage of right turning vehicles) and the proximity of the signalised intersections (15 metres to the west and 45 metres to the east) and high volume continuous traffic streams in both directions along Emu Bank”

  1. The limited road width is a concern if drivers seeking to access the site are travelling in the ‘wrong’ direction, undertaking a U turn further along Emu Bank will be quite dangerous. The existing fast food drive through locations already create traffic bottlenecks, another is not required and is contrary to the ACT Governments expressed desire to address traffic issues along Emu Bank by encouraging existing fast food drive through businesses to relocate.
  2. In vehicle number calculations, the traffic report doesn’t take into account developments already underway at the corner of Eastern Valley Way and Aikman drive, with 331 new apartments expected to house over 500 cars. There are further apartments to be built in this area including the Section 200 complex of residential towers, and the two apartment blocks on Emu Bank immediately in front of the Westfield carpark facing Lake Ginninderra. Residential development will also be built along Aikman Drive. All this extra traffic will impact Emu Bank and the entrances proposed in DA201630298 will only create traffic issues on this problematic corner.
  3. Public transport and heavy vehicles interactions do not appear to have been given a reasonable level of consideration in DA201630298. The site is directly opposite a major public transport facility entrance with hundreds of movements a day running past the proposed entrance or exit. Light rail, when built, will also pass this corner.
  4. DA201630298 also makes it clear that cyclist and pedestrian access to the site is secondary and not well planned in relation to the drive through aspect. This is of concern given the target market is clearly reliant upon children at the skate park and the high school only 100 meters away. Frontage to the skate park is highly problematic.

In summary, DA201833271 for a lease variation on this particular location is inappropriate on the following grounds:

  • Community expectation around the Belconnen Town Centre Master Plan process indicate that Emu Bank problems must be addressed, not added to.
  • This DA would not be compliant with the new precinct code
  • The drive through aspect of the proposal will locate extra driveways very close to the corner of a road that carries enormous volumes of traffic. The fast food drive through further along Emu Bank already creates traffic issues.
  • Access by trucks seeking to service the proposed facility will create dangerous traffic issues.
  • The entrance/exit is directly opposite the Belconnen bus interchange exit, impacting public transport, and may impact future light rail routes through the Belconnen Town Centre.
  • Access by pedestrians or cyclists to the building is perfunctory, with the drive through customer aspect predominantly catered for. Frontage to the Skate Park is problematic.
  • The new Master Plan suggests redirecting traffic away from Emu Bank. This development designed for people in cars to drive through and not stop, conflicts with the ACT Governments intentions.
  • Emu Bank already has disaggregated car parking with many confusing entrances and exits. This development proposes to add two more in the worst possible location.

A further observation unrelated to planning, but clearly felt by the Belconnen community, is that the ACT government advocates healthy lifestyles. Permitting a fast food outlet next to a skate park used almost exclusively by youths, and so close to a high school, conflicts with this intention and undermines active living programs aimed at reducing obesity.

The BCC rarely oppose private developments taking place in Belconnen. In this instance the proposed DA for a lease variation is highly inappropriate and should not be approved.

The site is problematic and that is borne out by several failed and lapsed DA’s that precede this one. ACTPLA were correct in not approving DA201630298. The BCC recommend that this block be acquired by the ACT Government and incorporated into the existing skate park or turned into some much needed green space for the future residents of the high-density residential accommodation planned for the area.

Emu Bank has great potential that is currently not best realised. The new master plan has created great expectations in the community that the poor planning decisions made in the past, that have led to the problems along Emu Bank today, can be resolved over time. The BCC request that this LV is not approved. Approving this LV would conflict with the vision contained in the new master plan, and be contrary to community expectations.

Regards

Glen Hyde

Chair, Belconnen Community Council

24/03/2018

Kippax Fair propose turning a community oval into a shopping centre, instead of using one of the government owned carparks

Kippax Group Centre Master Plan consultation close 16 March 2018

Kippax Fair propose turning a community oval into a shopping centre, instead of using one of the government owned carparks

Kippax Fair propose turning a community oval into a shopping centre, instead of using one of the government owned carparks

The Kippax Group Centre Master Plan Community Panel Outcomes Report and the final stage of community engagement on revisions to the draft master plan were released on Saturday 23 December 2017.

This period of engagement will run until Friday 16 March 2018. This particular engagement will be longer as it runs over the school holidays which we are unable to count as part of the engagement period.

This link will take you to the Your Say page with details of the engagement.

https://yoursay.act.gov.au/kippax-group-centre-master-plan-2

The BCC have prepared this presentation on the negative impacts of surrendering an oval to become a shopping centre, when better options exist.

The community oval is much loved and highly valued. The government owned carparks and old buildings in Kippax could be used to provide more retail space, or the owners of Kippax Fair could redevelop their building. Turning an oval into a shopping centre is not the best option.

We encourage all Belconnen residents to express their opinion on this master plan at the link above.

water police site digger

BCC lobbying activities in June and July 2017

water police site digger

Submissions made on Section 200

Following the special June 13 Belconnen Community Council public meeting on the Section 200 Development Application the BCC prepared two submissions.

  • One concerning public parking being provided in accordance with the deed of sale for the site, including over 1500 signatures from an accompanying petition, available here, and
  • a submission requesting that a DA for a 27 storey building on Section 200 is not converted to a 34 storey building, after approval has been granted, available here.

The future of the Water Police site

The BCC also wrote to the Minister for Planning, Mick Gentleman MLA (and all Ginninderra MLA’s) over the future of the Water Police site on Emu Bank. We have asked that the sale of this site be delayed until the planning processes for Emu Bank have been completed. Until that occurs we have asked that the site be grassed and have seating placed there. That letter can be found here.

Cladding materials on tall Belconnen buildings

In the light of recent fires on tall buildings relating to non-compliant building materials in Melbourne, Beijing, Dubai and London, concerns about the same materials being used in Belconnen were raised. The BCC has asked the Minister for Planning, Mick Gentleman MLA to ensure that the tall residential buildings in the Belconnen Town Centre, and those yet to be built, are using material that complies with building regulations. That letter can be found here.

Please let us know

We make submissions after discussions with Belconnen Community Council members, the public and the BCC Committee. The committee appreciates the views of it’s members and urges them to email the Chair at chair@belcouncil.org.au with matters regarding Belconnen that they feel we may have an interest in.

BCC February Public Meeting – Tuesday 21 Feb 7.30PM

The very first public meeting of the Belconnen Community Council will be held at 7.30PM on 21 February 2017 at the Community Room, Belconnen Library.

This month we will have two speakers:
– Attorney General Gordon Ramsay MLA on public art in Belconnen
– Amanda Doelle on Canberra Pet Rescue (cat rescue)

A brief agenda:
7.30 – Meeting Open
7.30 -7.45 – Chairs Report on BCC activities
7.45 – 8.30 – Gordon Ramsay MLA on public art in Belconnen
8.40 – 9.10 – Amanda Doelle – Canberra Pet Rescue

9.30 Meeting closes

All members of the public are welcome.

Belconnen Community Council submission for the 2017-18 ACT Budget

In December 2016 the BCC provided  a  comprehensive submission to  the  ACT  Government  covering  short  and long-­‐term  budget  items  it  has  identified  that  can  best serve  Belconnen  residents,  workers  and  visitors.  
 
The  BCC  submission  has  a  distinct  concentration  on the capital  infrastructure  priorities  the  Government  should consider  implementing  in  the  next  four  years.  
 
While  the  BCC  submission  should be viewed  through  a Belconnen community  lens, a  number  of  our  suggestions apply across  the ACT.    
 
As  the  Belconnen  area  straddles the electorates of Ginninderra  and  Yerrabi,  the  items suggested  by  the  BCC  are  of  benefit  to  residents  of  both electorates,  and  those  who  visit  for  work,  education  or recreation.

These items represent the focus of our lobbying activities for 2017/18.

The full BCC Budget Submission can be read at this link

BCC  2017/18  BUDGET  SUBMISSION  HIGHLIGHTS  

  • Enhancing  community  consultation  with  representative  reference  groups
  • Updating  the  Belconnen  Town  Centre  Precinct  Code
  • Improving  parking  payment  at  Calvary  Hospital
  • Mobile  Coffee  carts  around  Lake  Ginninderra
  • Enhancing  public  transport  linkages  from  West  Belconnen  to  prepare  for  growth
  • Increasing  bus  services  to  reflect  current  and  future  need
  • Park  &  Ride improvements
  • Light  Rail  engineering  study  from Civic to Belconnen
  • Improving  bus  stops  on  arterial  roads
  • Construction  of  a  multi-­‐level  car-­‐park  in  the  Belconnen  Town  Centre.
  • Smart  parking  technology  in  the  Belconnen  Town  Centre
  • Completing  the  Belconnen  Arts  Centre
  • Temporary  use  of  the  Remand  Centre  site  on  Lathlain  Street
  • Increasing  amenity  in  Margaret  Timpson  Park  and  around  Lake  Ginninderra
  • Constructing a Margaret  Timpson  Park public  toilet  facility
  • Beautification  of  Benjamin  Way
  • Dog  waste  bag  dispenser  at  Lake Ginninderra
  • William  Slim  Drive  duplication
  • Upgrade Kuringa  Drive  intersections  in  West  Belconnen
  • New  cycleway  linking  Lawson  to  the  Town  Centre

BCC Monthly Public Meeting June 21st 7PM

The monthly public meeting of the Belconnen Community Council will take place at 7PM on June 21 2016 at the Community Room above the Belconnen Library.

This month we have the opportunity to engage in community consultation with three different organisations proposing development in the Belconnen Town Centre.

We will also discuss the Belco50 celebrations commencing on June 23.

Stewart Architecture on behalf of the Rock Development Group will present new plans to fill the giant hole in the ground at the Belconnen Markets, and seek feedback from the community. The proposed buildings will be 6 storeys high, between the Belconnen Markets and Belconnen Way, and have ground level retail space.

The Land Development Agency would like to discuss options for the old Water Police site on Lake Ginninderra. The site is small with room for a retail only building no higher than two storeys. Public access to the jetty and boat ramp must remain. No decisions or plan have been made yet, and public views are now being sought on options and ideas for this site.

Elton Consulting will present plans for the block behind the Belconnen Labor Club (Section 200). Canberra developer GEOCON purchased this block in 2015, and would like to present preliminary plans to the public ahead of lodging a DA. This site is proposed for a 27 storey mixed use building facing the lake.

A brief agenda is:

  • Meeting Opens 7PM
  • Chairs report
  • Belco50
  • Stewart Architects – Belconnen Markets proposal
  • Elton Consulting – Geocon Section 200
  • LDA – Water Police site options
  • Other business
  • Meeting closes 9PM

All residents of Belconnen are invited to attend.

Belconnen and the ACT Budget

The ACT Budget was handed down this week and it appears to be a safe and steady budget, with a focus on services. Investment will be focused on schools, hospitals, roads and parks. Oddly for an election year, little pork barreling seems to have occurred anywhere in Canberra.
The biggest single investment in Belconnen is for the University of Canberra Public Hospital currently being constructed on the corner of Aikman and Ginninderra Drive. The investment in that facility from this budget is $212 million dollars, and will benefit all of Canberra, not just Belconnen residents. As well as much needed health facilities it will provide jobs and become part of the integration of UC with the town centre.
Some budget announcements that directly benefited Belconnen were the announcement of the duplication of Aikman Drive and upgrades to local shopping centres at Charnwood and Spence.Belconnen schools will receive upgrades, such as an early learning space to be built at Maribyrnong Primary in Kaleen and the CIT in Bruce will receive 1.7M dollars  towards upgrades.

Local playgrounds in Florey and Evatt will be also be provided with finds for upgrades and improvements.

The 9.8M dollar Aikman Drive duplication announcement is an important step in smoothing traffic through the town centre, especially with a growing population accessing town centre services, such as the UC Public Hospital that is being built right now. As well as the road duplication, a cycle path and footpath will be constructed.

Other heavily used arterial roads in the area require attention, such as Kuringa Drive and William Slim Drive, and the BCC will continue to lobby for those upgrades.

The ACT Treasury has prepared a Belconnen specific budget breakdown (available from this link). As your community council we would like to ask you:

  • What do you think of this budget?
  • Where can the government invest our money and improve Belconnen?
  • What specific improvements do you think are needed?
Please email us at: hello@belcouncil.org.au

National Capital Plan Amendment 86 – Revised National Capital Plan

The BCC received the following communication from the National Capital Authority on 11 May 2016.

“I am writing in relation to your submissions on both National Capital Plan Draft Amendment 85 – West Belconnen Urban Development and Draft Amendment 86 – Revised National Capital Plan.

On 5 May 2016, the Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government, the Hon. Paul Fletcher, approved Amendment 86 – Revised National Capital Plan. Amendment 86 incorporates the changes to the Plan proposed by Draft Amendment 85 – West Belconnen Urban Development, and varies the land use policy for the West Belconnen area from ‘Hills, Ridges and Buffer Spaces’ to ‘Urban Areas’. To simplify the approvals process the National Capital Authority (NCA) elected to combine the two proposals. Amendment 86 took effect on 6 May 2016.

The Minister’s decision to approve the revised Plan introduces a range of changes to the land use planning framework of the ACT. Among these are:

*   Expansion of land available for urban development in West
Belconnen, Mitchell, Kenny and Ginninderra.
*   Removal of Special Requirements for significant portions of

Territory Land (Namadgi National Park and the Murrumbidgee and
Molonglo River Corridors)
*   Adjustment of the Designated Areas to include land between

London Circuit and Coranderrk Street on the northern side of
Constitution Avenue (with the exception of Block 14 Section 65 City
being the National Convention Centre site), the Mint, the Australian
Institute of Sport, and the Defence Housing Authority’s Academy Close site.
*   Changes to land use provisions in a number of designated areas,

including those for East Block, West Block and Anzac Park East and
West.

A copy of the revised National Capital Plan and the Consultation
Report is available on the National Capital Authority’s website at
www.nationalcapital.gov.au


Thank you for your interest in changes to the National Capital Plan.

For further advice regarding the above, please contact Rebecca
Sorensen on 02 6271 2851 or email
Rebecca.Sorensen@natcap.gov.au

May public meeting of the BCC – Minister Fitzharris and Transport Canberra

Minister Meegan Fitzharris will be at the May meeting of the BCC. She will be speaking about Transport Canberra. The new head of Transport Canberra, Emma Thomas, will also attend.

We will also hear from the Retired ACT Transport Employees Club about preserving Canberra’s transport heritage and the role their members have played moving us all around Canberra since the capital was established.

We invite all members of the public to attend our May public meeting on: Tuesday 17 May at 7PM at the Community Room above the Belconnen Library.

A brief agenda is as follows:

7.00PM – Meeting opens – Apologies, Chairs report

7.10PM – Retired ACT Transport Employees Club

7.40PM – Minister Meegan Fitzharris and Emma Thomas

9.00PM – Meeting closes

Further information can be found on our Facebook page and website: www.belcouncil.org.au