Tenders wanted for West Basin planning and design

The ACT government is progressing with its ambitious plans for West Basin, calling for tenders for the precinct's planning and urban design.

The City Renewal Authority has already engaged the company Indesco to lead the development of the West Basin Review. The successful tenderer of the urban planning and design contract will work with Indesco.

The waterfront development of West Basin envisaged under the National Capital Plan, will reclaim approximately 2.86 hectares of lake bed to create a lake edge. Photo: Supplied

The waterfront development of West Basin envisaged under the National Capital Plan, will reclaim approximately 2.86 hectares of lake bed to create a lake edge. Photo: Supplied

The tender calls for a masterplan and urban design framework to be delivered within four months that gives "clarity on urban development opportunities". Tenders will close April 4.

The statement of requirements says the "waterfront development of West Basin envisaged under the [National Capital Plan] , will reclaim approximately 2.86 hectares of lake bed to create a lake edge on Griffin’s intended 1918 alignment".

"The reclamation will also support development of the proposed waterfront promenade," it read.

The report also says "West Basin is largely unrealised with land use primarily comprising at-grade parking and under-utilised open space".

The ACT government has already revealed hopes for at least 2000 apartments at West Basin.

"Given the significance of West Basin, it is considered unique for....government revenue opportunities," the tender document says.

The tender documents say planning of West Basin will have to look at options for the future of Parkes Way, including the lowering of Parkes Way, construction of West Road providing connectivity between London Circuit and West Basin and a pedestrian connection from Marcus Clarke Street.

The potential impact of a future light rail route on West Basin also needed to be explored.

And the progression of the boardwalk and lake reclamation "requires agreement from the Commonwealth to degazette National Land".

The unoccupied house boat hire shed, public toilets and bike hire buildings will be demolished to make way for the development.

Planning for the redevelopment of West Basin continues despite concerns from residents, including the Lake Burley Griffin Guardians, who are fighting to protect the parklands that line the lake to the west of the Commonwealth Avenue bridge.

The group's spokesperson Juliet Ramsay was concerned the statement of requirements document stated the tender was for a "a high-level planning review, it is not expected that there will be significant community engagement during this process".

"When will the community be involved ?" she said. Hopefully, not just lip-service consultation when a design is drawn up and we have a couple of weeks to make a submission that the government promptly bins."

Ms Ramsay was also concerned about the direction the tender statements set.

"The SOR document clearly indicates the proposal is based on commercial values and shows no respect for the lake and its lakeshore landscape," she said.

"The proposal is still relying on the acquisition of 2.86 hectares  of lakebed, destroying the
beaches, the parkland and wildlife habitat.

"The landscape - Acton Park, can be made vibrant with little funding and does not need apartment buildings for renewal."