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Phillip Precinct Code – Overview

Phillip Precinct Code – Overview

The Woden Valley Community Council (WVCC) supports residential development in the Woden Town Centre and welcomes the release of the Code to provide certainty to the market.

The Code, however, does not implement the vision or the principles of the Plan, with a focus on residential development and little attention to liveability, connectivity and community facilities which will be increasingly inadequate as the community grows over the next 10 to 20 years.

The vision of the Plan is:

‘Woden Town Centre is a major community and commercial hub for the Woden Valley and wider Canberra region. It will be a place that attracts people to live, work, socialise and enjoy throughout the day and evenings. The town square is the central focal point for social and community activity that will connect people to a network of safe and active streets and public parks’.

The main principles of the plan are:

• Further diversify land uses to encourage more economic activity and residential development;
• Improve the layout of streets, blocks and public spaces to make them easier to use;
• Develop a strong community by allowing more residences, bringing the community hub further into the centre and improving the open spaces;
• Improve access to and within the centre for pedestrians and cyclists; and
• Encourage buildings that help the streets and open spaces be more friendly, safe and welcoming.

Woden has a great future and we want to have pride in our home, so the Code is very important to us in guiding future development and making sure the vision of the Plan is realised.

Developments in the wrong place, however, will have a lasting impact on the vibrancy of the Town Square for decades to come.

WVCC Recommendations

To implement the Plan, It is recommended that Woden and Weston residents have ‘Your Say’ on the ACT Government’s web site to include the following in the Code:

1. Town Square – remove 28 storey buildings from the perimeter of the Square to maintain the human scale and solar access for social and community activity;
2. Community facilities – include a Community Centre and CIT in the Centre;
3. Open spaces – preserve the Town Park by not rezoning to community facilities;
4. Connectivity (active living) should include –
• east–west pedestrian link – between Betsy Gallagher Park, the Town Square and the Town Park, inter-connected by a series of green spaces;
• cycle connections – include direct east–west and north–south cycle and pedestrian network;
5. Environmental – include areas for deep rooted trees for shade and birds.

Residents could suggest that the Code is referred to the Legislative Assembly Committee for Planning and Urban Renewal, prior to the Minister’s approval, to determine whether the Code represents best practice in town planning and meets the objectives and recommendations contained in the Master Plan.

Building Heights

The proposed Code introduces building heights to 28 storeys, as well as marker buildings at selected sites to assist the identification of the Centre, including:

• building heights between (a = 24+4), (b = 16+4), (c = 12+4), (d = 6) storeys, building setbacks to control the built form of higher buildings, requirements for awnings along pedestrian routes;
• an additional four storeys provided building hierarchy is maintained and development is close to public transport stops;
• four storey development within the CZ3 service trades area, up to five on Townshend Street, Colbee Court or Dundas Court, and up to six storeys on Altree Court;
• ground floor uses that attract pedestrians and provide passive surveillance;
• noise mitigation measures where necessary to minimise road noise impacts; and
• ensuring development retains solar access to public spaces and residential development.

The Code provides for the following areas to be rezoned:

• Woden Town Park – PRZ1 urban open space zone to CFZ community facility zone;
• Callum Street – the north west RZ4 medium density residential zone to CZ2 commercial zone;
• Hindmarsh Drive / Callum Street corner – some RZ4 medium density areas to RZ5 high density;
• Athllon Drive corridor – RZ2 residential and TSZ1 transport to RZ5 high density residential zone;
• Swinger Hill – the shared path from RZ2 suburban core residential to PRZ1 urban open space.

Please provide a comment on the Precinct Code

ACT Population Projections 2017 to 2020

ACT Population Projections 2017 to 2020

ACT’s demographic structure by suburb has changed considerably over time as a result of the ACT Government’s land release program and the introduction of new suburbs in the Territory.

Weston Creek’s population is projected to decline by 7 per cent; Tuggeranong’s population to decline by 3 per cent and no population growth is expected in Woden.

On the other hand, Cotter-Namadgi’s population is projected to grow by 139 per cent; Gungahlin’s population is projected to grow by around 19 per cent; North Canberra’s population is projected to grow by 8 per cent; South Canberra’s population expected to grow by 5 per cent; and Belconnen’s population projected to grow by 3 per cent.

Why is the south of Canberra experiencing negative population growth when the north is growing? This trend has been happening for some time so what is causing it.

Draft variation to the Territory Plan for the Woden Town Centre and Mawson Group Centre

Draft variation to the Territory Plan for the Woden Town Centre and Mawson Group Centre

The Woden Valley Community Council (WVCC) supports development in Woden and welcomes the certainty that the updated Precinct Codes bring to developers and the community.

We are currently reviewing the documents and will let you know if there are any matters that should be brought to the community’s attention.

Building heights – in the CZ1 Core, the Code provides for 24 storeys (+4 where the building height hierarchy is maintained and development is close to public transport). Many residents will support this height throughout this area, however some may be concerned about the impact on scale and shadowing when these buildings are sited on the boundary of the Woden Square.

Community facilities – we note that the outcomes of the following Budget measures have not been implemented in the draft code:

  • 2012-13 – prefeasibility study and design for a community centre, the report has not been released and the draft Code does not provide for a community centre; and
  • 2015-16 – opportunities to provide a CIT in the Woden Town Square, a CIT has not been provided for.

Woden’s wasteland: community push to end urban decay

Woden Valley Community Council president Fiona Carrick said after seven years of vacancy something needed to be done about the two buildings. Photo: Jay Cronan

The Alexander and Albemarle buildings have sat vacant for seven years awaiting demolition and the Woden community is sick of living with the decaying derelict sites.

Shattered glass windows, boarded up doors and sprawling graffiti juxtapose the sleek and polished exteriors of the plaza and fresher-faced buildings in the town centre. Read more …

Concession travel in NSW for ACT Seniors

We have just been informed that Transport Canberra has partnered with Transport NSW which means that ACT Seniors My Way card holders are entitled to concession travel in NSW using NSW Gold Opal Card. Therefore Seniors with an early ACT Seniors Card (i.e. one that has 6 numbers as opposed to 9 on the current cards) will need to apply for a card replacement in order to apply for an NSW Gold Opal Card.

ACT Seniors MyWay Cards which have not been used to travel on ACT buses for a period of two years or more, will have expired and should also be replaced.

Please allow up to 7 days for new or replacement ACT Seniors MyWay card registration before applying for a NSW Gold Opal card. Application for a NSW Gold Opal card, can be made online:, or by phoning 13 67 25.

New and replacement ACT Seniors My Way Cards are available from COTA ACT Hughes office, ACT Libraries and Access Canberra Shopfronts as suggested on the application form.

Development Proposal for 41 Curtin Place – With Q&A

A Development Application (DA) has been lodged with the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate. The proposal is to replace the north-western block of shops on the Curtin Square (the chemist, bookshop, milk bar, etc) with a six-storey building, including a double-height retail ground floor and five residential floors (50 apartments), with three levels of car parking underground. The total height above the square is 24 metres.

The community has concerns that a large building will loom over, and overshadow the square, which will change the current pleasant character of the shopping centre. There are also concerns about an increased pressure on car parking around the shops.

In November 2015 the Curtin Group Centre Master Plan was released which outlines a vision, planning principles and strategies to guide growth and development in the centre. It aims to identify what is important about the centre and how to enhance its environmental, social and economic sustainability. The master plan process was informed by input from the community and stakeholders, including traders and lessees in the centre. Read more …

Le Couteur calls for the finalisation of the Master Plan before Curtin development

Today Ms Le Couteur has reiterated the Greens’ calls for the 2015 draft Curtin Master Plan to be finalised, before any new developments are approved.

“The whole point of developing master plans in consultation with the community is to ensure that the voices of residents, businesses and Canberrans who work and live in the area are heard in future decisions. Read more …

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