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Plans needed before Lake Burley Griffin changes made

There is no doubt that Lake Burley Griffin is a treasured location for locals and visitors to the national capital alike and that is why any proposal for development around it must be handled with care.

Canberra is a city on the move and the ACT government has long flagged its intention to develop sites throughout the territory in order the house the increasing population.

But it is clear the redevelopment of the seemingly sacred areas around the lake must be treated differently to other infill areas in Canberra.

The Land Development Agency has progressed plans to redevelop both sides of Lake Tuggeranong without too much fuss but planning a new future around Lake Burley Griffin will not be as easy.

The newly-formed Lake Burley Griffin Guardians group became the latest to voice concerns about redevelopment around the lake and has urged significant caution with current plans.

The group argues that proposed building heights and development at West Basin and City Hill could see public space lost forever to private residential development and commercial buildings.

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It also criticised the view that development in central Canberra would "revitalise the city" or reclaim the lake in line with Walter Burley Griffin's plans for the national capital.

The ACT government has been enthusing about its long term City to the Lake vision and last week submitted a works approval application to the National Capital Authority for the redevelopment of West Basin.

Significantly for the territory the National Capital Authority has now thrown its support behind a proposed new master plan to oversee development and heritage concerns around the lake.

This came out of the release of an exposure draft of proposed changes to the National Capital Plan issued this week.

Public submissions to this review included concerns about over-development around the lake.

It seems that once the revised National Capital Plan is in place work could begin on a new lake and foreshores precinct code.

If such a plan is completed it will go a long way to ensuring that development around the lake protects the special place it is to many, while allowing the city to progress.