ACT News


Government to reconsider building height, density at Yarralumla Brickworks

The ACT government will review proposed building heights and density as part of the controversial redevelopment of the Yarralumla Brickworks site, after a petition with more than 4100 signatures was tabled in the Legislative Assembly. 

Liberal member for Molonglo Steve Doszpot tabled the signatures collected by the Yarralumla Residents Association and called on the government to reconsider its plans for the area.

He said better community consultation was needed on roads and building heights and warned nearby suburbs including Deakin, Hughes, Curtin and parts of Woden could suffer from traffic implications. 

“Building heights, access to community facilities and parklands have all been raised as concerns in submissions to the Land Development Agency and should also be addressed," Mr Doszpot said. 

“For the sake of proper planning, the government needs to be open and play ball. Many residents in Yarralumla have raised concerns and the government needs to listen." 

In moving an amendment to Mr Doszpot's private member's motion on the plans, Economic Development Minister Andrew Barr said government research showed residents of the immediate area were split on the plans. 


He said visual impacts were being reconsidered by planners following feedback from the community and the National Capital Authority. 

In May the Land Development Agency released a scaled-back plan to redevelop the vacant land for as many as 1600 dwelling sites.

A smaller redevelopment site of about 40 hectares was proposed, as well as a new park to incorporate the Railway Remnants heritage area.

The long-planned redevelopment of the site for population infill has been challenged by residents, who say the area's population density would be 10 times that of Belconnen Town Centre.

Before a planned appeals tribunal hearing this month, residents say the plans would more than double the population of Yarralumla, from 2922 to 6762. 

Mr Barr told the Assembly on Wednesday a telephone survey of about 1400 people around Canberra, including 500 residents of Yarralumla, Deakin and Curtin, had found traffic issues, housing options and the size of the development were chief among community concerns.

He said there was community support for the Brickworks heritage redevelopment, new parks and a diversity of housing options. 

The survey found 48.6 per cent of residents in the immediate area were in favour of the proposals and 48.9 per cent were opposed. A small number were undecided. 

Community services and retail options are also being considered, Mr Barr said. 

"The LDA is now undertaking a community services and retail needs analysis in order to facilitate reapportioning of the retail and mixed-use areas between developments on both sides of Adelaide Avenue, including areas that are in close proximity to the Brickworks," Mr Barr said. 

He said the historic Brickworks buildings would be stabilised and made safe for public access during the 2016-17 financial year at a cost of $1.5 million. 

Any development proposal will require environmental approvals, amendment to the National Capital Plan, a variation to the Territory Plan and development application approvals. 

"Each of these processes will be subject to community consultation," Mr Barr said. 

Local residents watched the debate in the Assembly's public gallery, including some bickering between Mr Doszpot and Greens minister Shane Rattenbury.