Concerned local citizens protesting the proposed heights for the redevelopment of the Allawah, Bega and Currong flats in Braddon and Reid last year. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
ACT Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell has ordered planning officials to consider imposing lower height restrictions on the proposed Cooyong Street redevelopment.
The ACT government wants to replace the Allawah, Bega and Currong flats on the edge of Civic with a mixed-use residential and commercial development.
The contentious proposal for up to 2300 people to live on the site across two 15-storey and several six-storey buildings split a Legislative Assembly committee last year.
Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury, Mr Corbell's cabinet colleague, also expressed concern about the height of the buildings that would be allowed on the site under the proposed change to the Territory Plan, known as Draft Variation 308.
Earlier this month, Mr Corbell directed the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate to consider revising Draft Variation 308 to take account of the concerns raised by Labor members of an Assembly inquiry.
Labor MLAs Chris Bourke and Mick Gentleman recommended that DV 308 proceed subject to several conditions, including a reduction in the height limits. Dr Bourke and Mr Gentleman also recommended more analysis of the likely traffic and parking impacts the development would have on the area.
Liberal inquiry members Alistair Coe and Andrew Wall had expressed concern about the government taking on the role of property developer for the project.
About 10 per cent of the development would be used for social housing. Mr Coe and Mr Wall were concerned that complexes with high levels of social housing could have social problems.
The two-all Labor-Liberal stalemate on the four-member committee caused headaches for Assembly officials last year, when the inquiry's final report was being finalised. The Liberals want committees to consist of three members so that one side or the other will always have a majority.
The proposed Cooyong Street redevelopment was to have included the land where St Patrick's Church and the Favier House Catholic administrative centre stand.
But the Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn dropped its plans to sell the land amid internal church dissent about whether diocesan officials had the authority to authorise a sale and dissatisfaction with the price offered by the ACT government.