Residents frustrated by Goodwin Village Farrer redevelopment approval
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Residents frustrated by Goodwin Village Farrer redevelopment approval

Farrer residents are seeing red after the ACT government gave the green light to the Goodwin Village redevelopment plans with no changes, following months of opposition to the scale of the project.

Eric Glass, a spokesman for a group of concerned residents, said rather than having community views steamrolled an application would be made to have the approval reviewed by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

An artist's impression of the design approved for the Goodwin Village Farrer redevelopment.

An artist's impression of the design approved for the Goodwin Village Farrer redevelopment.

The existing age care facility at 22 Marshall Street has 73 independent living units, and aged care accommodation for 64 on a Community Facility zoned site.

Within the plans, approved on November 18, Goodwin applied for a deviation to exceed the maximum four-storey building height to accommodate the expansion.

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The new facility will offer 154 new independent living units plus 22 serviced apartments.

During the public consultation period 39 individual submissions were made raising concerns about the size of the development, building heights, loss of adjacent residents' solar access and how the design may hamper traffic safety on Beasley and Marshall Streets.

Concerns were also raised about how staged construction, which the development application states could take up to five years, would affect the suburb.

Mr Glass said it was disappointing the major development was approved "without apparent regard to the concerns of many in the Farrer community."

"The development is plainly contrary to the intent of the Territory Plan, which states that planning policies will protect the typically low density, garden city character of Canberra's suburban areas outside of commercial centres and major transport routes," he said.

Goodwin chief executive Sue Levy said plans upgraded the 40-year-old facility and would meet growing demand for seniors' accommodation in the ACT.

She said Goodwin met all obligations under the application process and undertook a five-month consultation prior to submission, meeting with existing Goodwin residents, Farrer residents, presenting at community council meetings and visiting concerned residents for detailed one-on-one discussions.

Contrary to the claim, she said before the plans were submitted for approval the design had been modified following discussions with adjoining neighbours.

The changes were to incorporate 13 additional car parks, pull the building back from the western boundary and reduce overshadowing by removing part of the upper floor and moving the plat room eastward.

"We take our responsibilities as a good neighbour and community member seriously," she said. "Effort has been made to address concerns, while ensuring costs are kept affordable for future residents and that the viability of the project is not compromised."

Woden Valley Community Council president Martin Miller said the proposal received an unusually high volume of written submissions and it was a shame to see the community felt unheard.

"Further mediation will now have to happen at ACAT and that is always going to be a costly process," he said.

He agreed there was a need to increase aged care capacity in the territory, but said the "big push under the theme of urban renewal" made him concerned the government may be becoming "lenient" and developer friendly.

Georgina is a reporter for The Canberra Times

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