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.
To implement the Plan, It is recommended that Woden and Weston residents have ‘Your Say’ on the ACT Government’s https://www.yoursay.act.gov.au/ 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.
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