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Government gives green light to 6500-home development in West Belconnen

The ACT government has given the green light to zoning changes to allow 6500 new houses to be built in West Belconnen, against the border with NSW.

The area is adjacent to Holt and West Macgregor, next to the West Belconnen tip, currently receiving the demolition materials from up to 1000 Fluffy houses, and near the Parkwood Egg Farm. It is also near the Ginninderra Falls, and the private development partner plans to extend the suburbs over the NSW border, adding another 5000 homes and requiring NSW planning approvals.

The government is developing the area in partnership with the Riverview Group.

On Tuesday, Planning Minister Mick Gentleman approved a Territory Plan variation to allow the development.

It includes the extension of Ginninderra Drive for the new housing, a plan that still needs federal environmental approval.

The variation says the landfill site, Green Waste and the Parkwood Egg Farm were incompatible with residential development so clearance zones would be retained around them "until such time as they cease operation". A wider clearance zone had also been imposed around the Lower Molonglo water quality control centre.

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An exclusion area had been established around the nest tree of a breeding pair of little eagles to the south, with development not allowed until research had been completed to determine their foraging sites.

The planning change says there should be a series of inter-connected suburbs of about three or four neighbourhoods each, adjoining a school and open space.

The main commercial centre should be on a major road and neighbourhoods should be planned to encourage walking and cycling, based on a walkable radius of about 400 metres from an "activity node", such as a park, bus stop, shops, community facility or school. 

There would be a range of house types and density 

No full‐line supermarket of 3000 square metres or larger would be approved within eight years.

The Riverview Group said once the first stage of the estate development plan was approved, it hoped to have sold the first blocks off the plan by the end of June 2016 and started  civil works by the same date. House building would begin in the first quarter of 2017, with 
home occupation by first residents in the third quarter 2017