Submissions to ACT Government on Kippax DV361 close Friday June 28th

The Belconnen Community Council are working hard to achieve the best outcome from this process, and although DV361 and the Kippax Masterplan have not met community expectations, with a poor community return compared to the massive commercial benefit, the strong community response has not gone unnoticed by the ACT Government. A better result can occur if the community demands it.

Kippax Master Plan and DV 361 Update: Submission deadline extended and Planning Minister responds to questions about the Kippax Master Plan, DV 361 and the loss of public open space


Following the April public meeting of the Belconnen Community Council, held to discuss the benefits and problems with the Kippax Master Plan, Draft Variation 361 (that enables the loss of public open space for a shopping centre). Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur (who attended the meeting), undertook to ask questions about the issues raised by the many members of the community that attended.

Planning Minister Mick Gentleman MLA has responded, in a very timely fashion. The full document is at this link: http://www.belcouncil.org.au/documents/kippax-questions-on-notice-may-19/

Response by Planning Minister to Questions by Caroline Le Couteur MLA

Submission deadline extended until June

As a result of no ACT Government planners attending the April meeting (despite the BCC being assured they would attend), Tara Cheyne MLA for Ginninderra (who was also at the April meeting) undertook to write to the Planning Minister to seek an extension to the May 10 deadline for submissions on DV 361. That was granted, and the deadline has now been extended to June.

Letter from Tara Cheyne MLA advising that the submission deadline has been extended

BCC Public meeting on May 21 to discuss Kippax Master Plan and DV 361

The BCC will be holding a second public meeting on the Kippax Master Plan and DV 361 on May 21 at the Kippax Raiders Club at 7PM. We are advised an ACT Government Planner will attend this meeting to explain the Master Plan and DV 361 to the community.

BCC February Public Meeting – 19 Feb

Belconnen Community Council February 2019 Public Meeting

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

7PM Tuesday 19 February 2019

at the

Community Room, above the Belconnen Library, Chandler Street, Belconnen.

Agenda

This month there are three presentations of interest to Belconnen residents:

7 – 7.15 PM       Chairs report

7.15 – 7.30 PM   Any MLA present may provide a five minute update to residents.

7.30 PM            Canberra Town Planning on a proposed redevelopment at 40 Chan St, Belconnen Town Centre.
  
8.00 PM            Transport Canberra will consult with the Belconnen community on the “Moving Canberra” integrated transport strategy.
 
8.45 PM            The BCC Chair will announce a street library initiative between the BCC and local community groups and residents.

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