Government lodges development application to demolish Stuart Flats
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Government lodges development application to demolish Stuart Flats

The ACT government is preparing to demolish the Stuart Flats in Griffith, to make way for a private development on the prominent site, as part of its wider urban renewal agenda.

A lodged development application outlines the flats would be demolished in three stages, blocks 'B', 'C', and 'D', estimating the demolition would cost $4.2 million.

Stuart Flats, a public housing block bordered by Light Street and Captain Cook Crescent in Griffith

Stuart Flats, a public housing block bordered by Light Street and Captain Cook Crescent in Griffith

Photo: Richard Briggs

The public housing block, bordered by Light Street and Captain Cook Crescent in Griffith, sits on a 30,137 square-metre site and still has tenants living in it. Last month, The Canberra Times reported former residents were squatting in neighbours' living rooms and laundries after being evicted with nowhere else to go.

The DA proposes the demolition of seven existing residential housing blocks, the car parking structures, and associated internal access, as well as infrastructures such as waste disposal areas and communal areas and the removal of 19 trees.

It also plans for the disconnection of services, including communications, stormwater, water, and power.

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An ACT government spokeswoman said the DA was in preparation for the site to be released to the market in December this year. This is part of the federal asset recycling scheme, where governments get a bonus for selling off their ageing public assets.

"It will be up to the purchaser to design the redevelopment and determine if all of Stuart Flats is to be demolished," she said.

"The community will have the opportunity to comment on the redevelopment design through the development application process."

She said it would also be up to the purchaser to determine when demolition would start.

The site is zoned for high-density residential blocks and allows for a mix of six-storey apartments and three-storey townhouses with a maximum of 492 homes. The DA also includes a walkway between two flats covering structure that crosses block 20 and 9 section.

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Under the sales documentation, the successful purchaser will be required to complete the redevelopment within an agreed timeframe, the spokeswoman said.

The application said existing residents were being catered for by the ACT Government as part of the broader community housing process. It said "the existing residents have been notified of the decision to demolish the Stuart Flats complex and that efforts are underway to identify and settle residents in new housing."

The spokeswoman said 50 per cent of all tenants at Stuart Flats had been relocated with the complex to be handed over from the department in December 2018.

"Housing ACT staff and community partners actively engage with tenants during a period of 12 months that includes identifying individual needs and post-relocation support to ensure tenants are supported through the relocation process have settled in their new home and community," she said.

Han Nguyen

Han Nguyen reports on property for The Canberra Times. She joined the Times in 2017 after working as a breaking news reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald.

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