ACT News


Height limits ends chance of repeat 28-storey plan for Woden 9

A repeat of the Woden 9 plans for towers up to 28 storeys high would be prevented if new height limits in the Woden master plan took effect, with the land remaining absent from any release timetable. 

But Land Development Agency chief executive David Dawes said the central vacant block, to the north-west of Westfield Woden, was still in its plans despite being stripped from the current four-year indicative land release program.

"The government continues to monitor the development of the town centre, as well as demand for, and supply of, apartments and it is still the LDA's intention to offer this block to the market at the appropriate time," he said. 

Development applications for three towers of 28, 20 and 15 storeys accommodating up to 670 residential units, known as Woden 9 after the section number, were pulled by the LDA at the start of 2013 after community angst and concerns raised by the ACT Planning and Land Authority. 

The Woden Master Plan released in November provided for buildings up to 16 storeys on the site. 

The land, between Melrose Drive and Furzer Street, had been listed for sale this financial year in the earlier program released in June 2014. 


Woden Valley Community Council president Martin Miller said the council welcomed the 16-storey limit and there was no complaint the land was not on the latest land release program. 

"Any sale on the section 9 block would be a major concern," he said. 

"Obviously the town centre is struggling in terms of the economic issues and to boost activity by putting more residents there is a welcome idea.

"[But] there are already two residential developments on the way – Trilogy and Woden Green."

Mr Miller said limits within a plan were worth little until they took legal effect by being incorporated into precinct codes.

"We've seen restrictions challenged in Belconnen and Gungahlin, where a developer has put in plans two or three times the height restrictions and been approved," he said. 

Height limits within the 2004 Woden Town Centre Master Plan were never made law. The new 16-storey limit was still an increase from the 6-12 storey height controls in the 2004 plan.

The Planning and Land Authority approved development applications for three apartment towers making up the Central Park Gungahlin complex, the tallest reaching almost 70 metres, in early November, weeks before a 23-metre height limit was imposed for all new structures in the area. 

Roadworks have recently begun at the Corinna Street and Melrose Drive intersection, with a full closure to occur once traffic arrangements have been approved. Work is also being done on the section 9 block itself.

"The works are associated with the realignment of Corinna Street and the creation of Little Corinna Street which links Melrose Drive to Furzer Street," Mr Dawes said. 

"Other works are associated with servicing Woden 9 and the upgrade of the western verge of Furzer Street."