The Ainslie Football and Social Club's site masterplan is a step closer to reality after an application to subdivide and to construct a verge crossing related to a childcare-centre development secured a tribunal's backing following a council's opposition.
The club, which aims to eventually transform its entire site with the Alan Ray Oval as a centrepiece, had the application approved, subject to a number of conditions, by the ACT government last December. The application also sought Crown lease variations.
The subdivision of the subject site - the areas occupying the oval, adjacent car parks, and unleased territory land facing Angas Street - would result in three Crown leases, being one for the oval and two for carparks.
The first of those carparks would be the area behind the club site towards Angas Street and Wakefield Avenue and the second being towards the corner of Limestone and Wakefield avenues.
The verge crossing is proposed to be on unleased territory land facing Angas Street, which would eventually link up with an internal road on the oval.
"This became known as the 'driveway to nowhere' as the crossing proposed does not extend beyond the area of unleased territory land," the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal recently stated in a judgment.
The internal link section of the site is the subject of a separate development application that includes a 100-place childcare centre, which the ACT government approved in June.
Following the December approval, the North Canberra Community Council took that matter to the tribunal and argued the development did not comply with various provisions of the Territory Plan.
These included codes relating to parks and recreation zones development, parking and vehicular access, and lease variation.
The council also claimed the development did not adhere to provisions of the Planning Act and raised issues about the draft Crown leases and the conditions of the approval.
It sought orders to substitute the approval with a refusal.
In the recent judgment confirming the decision to approve the development, senior tribunal member Kristy Katavic said most of the codes' sections were met while others were not applicable.
Ms Katavic said the sections of the parks and recreation zones code that have been satisfied include subdivision, location requirements, pedestrian movement, vehicle access and parking, traffic generation, and environmental effects.
The tribunal also ruled in favour of the verge crossing adhering to the parking and vehicular access code, saying it met amenity and safety requirements.
The proposal was also found to have met the lease variation code.
As for the approval conditions, with which the club did not cavil, Ms Katavic said the tribunal "does not propose to interfere" with them.
"The applicant [council] would hope they were more clearly drafted or that it would have some visibility as to how they may be complied with, but ultimately it is a matter for the party joined [the club] how it responds to the conditions," she said.
Ms Katavic said the tribunal did not regard its scope of review of the development application to extend to reviewing the terms of the draft leases "except to the extent they are substantially in accordance with the variation applied for".
"We are satisfied they do," she said.
"Much of the applicant's contention relates to whether the party joined will comply with the terms of the leases. The tribunal cannot assume it won't."
Ms Katavic said a witness gave evidence that the club would comply and that the tribunal "can do no more" than accept that the club would.
The tribunal also ruled against the council in relation to the contentions under the Planning Act.
The council had also raised concerns about the childcare-centre development and in July, Ainslie Group's chief executive, Simon Patterson, lashed out about the interference.
"They seek to poke holes in technical issues around the approval and they don't look to the greater good that these projects may achieve," Mr Patterson said at the time.
Mr Patterson and the council have been contacted for comment about the latest tribunal result.
Decision in full
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: