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

KFC DA next to Belco Skate Park rejected by ACT Government planners

The BCC rarely oppose Development Applications. Hundreds are approved every year and people get on with making Belconnen a better place to live and do business. Occasionally a proposal lacks merit and is inappropriate, or has issues that could be resolved with consultation.

Late last year DA201630298 was lodged to build a drive through takeaway restaurant on Emu Bank, next to the Belco Skate Park.

It was an inappropriate proposal for this site and inconsistent with the direction of Emu Bank, that became clear through the extensive community consultation process for the Belconnen Town Centre Master Plan.

The BCC, and many residents in Belconnen, made submissions to Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development about the DA. Our submission can be found here.  On August 3 2017 the BCC were advised that DA201630298 has been refused.

The DA was refused on three grounds:

  • The DA didn’t satisfy lease purposes allowed for that site
  • The DA was inconsistent with the Precinct Code
  • The DA was inconsistent with the Master Plan objectives.

This site should never have been sold, and other DA’s for the site have failed in the past. The BCC recommend the ACT Government resume this land and expand the Belco Skate Park, or simply grass it and let people enjoy the lake

It’s always refreshing when people see the planning system work well.

 

University of Canberra design students ideas about improving Belconnen – prize to be awarded at August BCC Public Meeting

Earlier in 2017, the Belconnen Community Council as part of its Belco50 program, created a competition in conjunction with the University of Canberra’s School of Design with the intention of generating ideas that could be used to benefit Belconnen.

The winner of the competition will be announced at theAugust BCC Public meeting by BCC Chair Elizabeth Hirst.

UC is a vital part of Belconnen and is seeking to improve its engagement with the broader community outside its campus. The BCC felt this was a good opportunity to assist students, strengthen UC ties with the community, and tap their students energy and enthusiasm for improving the built environment.

The BCC Committee decided to award a prize to a team of students enrolled in the Faculty of Arts and Design in a User-Centred Design course. This prize would be for a team that identified a problem through interaction and observation in Belconnen, articulated a design opportunity and prepared a brief outlining a solution that is pertinent to the Belconnen community.

The students were extremely keen to get out and explore Belconnen, with many being new to Canberra and Australia. Working in teams they came up with quite different solutions. In May the students presented their ideas to the BCC Committee and Dr Stephen Trathern of UC’s Faculty of Arts and Design.

As well as being used in their grading, and providing useful field research, the teams that place first and second will be awarded a cash prize, from the Belco50 funds provided by the ACT Government to celebrate Belconnens 50th Birthday.

We encourage the Belconnen public to attend our public meeting in August, view the different ideas, and applaud the teams that win the two prizes being awarded. They range from: improving Emu Bank, a tuk-tuk service, an improved bus interchange, and a Farmers market (there are more ideas!).

All the ideas the BCC Committee have examined are good, and each team has satisfied the brief. It will be very difficult to come up with a winner!

Water Police Building Open Day 26 Feb 2017 – 1 to 5 PM

water police open day 26 feb

This is your last chance to see this building before demolition! The ACT Government through the Land Development Agency have agreed to let the Belconnen Community Council and the Belco50 committee host an open day prior to demolition.

There will be a sausage sizzle provided by the Lake Ginninderra Sea Scouts and face painting and a jumping castle to keep the kids amused. The Sea Scouts are also holding a regatta beforehand, and there is a jetty – so why not arrive by canoe!
Guided access to the building will be provided, including the upper level. Unfortunately, there is no disabled access to the upper level.

The AFP Museum has provided some historical documents related to the building that will also be on display.

This is it folks, in the days after this event the building will be prepared for demolition, ahead of the sale of the site.

BCC AGM 15 November 2016

Belconnen Community Council Inc.
Annual General Meeting followed by General Meeting
15 November 2016, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Venue: Community Room Belconnen Library
AGENDA
1. 7:30 pm Welcome & and call for apologies
2. 7:35 pm AGM Business
(a) Chair’s Annual Report – BCC Chair, Damien Haas
(b) Acceptance of previous AGM Minutes
(c) Acceptance of audited accounts.
(d) Public Officer declares all committee positions vacant.
Committee appointments for 2016-17 announced:
Chair: Elizabeth Hirst
Deputy Chair: Glen Hyde
Secretary: Chander Khera
Committee members:
Damien Haas,
Brian Rhynehart
Charles Thomas
Treasurer position nominations called for from the floor.
Other Committee positions called for from the floor.
(e) Appointment of Richard Trevanion as auditor for 2016-17
8:00 pm AGM declared closed.
General Meeting 15 November 2016,
AGENDA
1. 8:02 pm Chair’s report including Belco50
BCC Chair, Damien Haas
2. 8:15 pm David Collett, Executive Director, Public Housing Renewal Taskforce
3. 8:30 pm Emu Bank and Kippax Fair Discussion
4. 8:45 pm Other Business
4. 9:00 pm Meeting Close

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.

Mixed Use Development Proposal: Blocks 34 and 37 Section 52 Belconnen. Information session May 11 5.30-6.30PM – Community Room above Belconnen Library

Location of development proposal

Location of development proposal

Mixed Use Development Proposal: Blocks 34 and 37 Section 52 Belconnen.
Information session May 11 5.30-6.30PM
Community Room above Belconnen Library

Blocks 34 and 37 Section 52 Belconnen are situated between Emu Bank and the Westfield Belconnen carpark.

Blocks 34 and 37, Section 52

Blocks 34 and 37, Section 52

Block 34 is currently undeveloped and Block 37 currently comprises an at grade car park holding 55 carparks. The two blocks are separated by a right of way easement which provides access to the Westfield carpark, attached is a plan showing the location of the site.
The proponent, Per-se Developments, has developed an alternative to the existing approved development for these sites.

Buildings facing Lake Ginninderra

Buildings facing Lake Ginninderra

This includes a 13 storey residential/mixed use offering with ground floor commercial tenancies and car parking on Block 34. On Block 37, a residential/mixed use development is proposed with a swimming pool and gym that comprises a 24 storey and 18 storey tower including commercial/carparking base and basement carparking.

As part of the DA process the developers are consulting with a range of stakeholders, this includes an information session targeted to the community as well as engagement with surrounding businesses, neighbours and stakeholders.

They have organised for a community information drop in session to be held on Wednesday 11 May 2016 at the Belconnen Library Community Room, 12 Chandler Street Belconnen between 5:30pm and 8pm.

The session will be staffed by their designers and key consultants and will provide an opportunity for the public to raise any questions or provide comments on the proposal.

emubank 2