The Woden Town Centre Master plan was released in November 2015 after a stop start consultation that started in 2012. This was ultimately a review of the 2004 Woden Master Plan and also at the request of the former planning minister Simon Corbell in relation to the plans for Woden/Section 9 .
In the WVCC submission we made recommendations on several key areas in the draft master plan which includes: Transport, Building heights and Planning context, Public realm, Urban Amenity, Open space, and Sports and Recreation Facilities.
A new Sports Precinct should be considered to replace the lost and ageing of facilities in the northern precinct. This would complement the upgraded Woden Athletics Park with a new aquatics facility and multipurpose indoor facility. Phillip Oval should be considered as a major outdoor sports stadium given its advantage of being near a public transport corridor and having ample car parking.
Building heights should be aligned more to the public transport corridor allowing for increased heights in the Phillip trades services area. Any new high rise should include high quality design elements that maximise solar orientation and also ameliorate the negative impacts on the public realm from excessive wind velocities and over shadowing. Any further residential development along the east side of Athllon Drive should be delayed until the design and construction of wetlands, creek naturalisation and flood mitigation has been put in place. Work that is already being planned by the ACT Basin priority project.
Urban amenity can be improved by upgrading pedestrian and cycling connections through and around the Woden town centre and Phillip trades area. Given the lack of open space within the town centre core area the shopping centre roof should be explored for use as a rooftop garden and or park. Callum offices should be repurposed for community use creating a possible community/arts and cultural facility.
In the immediate future, the ACT Government needs to upgrade the current Bus interchange independent of Westfield. Woden presents an opportunity to become Australia’s next exemplary bus station, if developed to a high standard both functionally and aesthetically. One that provides all weather protection for commuters transitioning between services. The design of the station can then be the template for architecture in the local precinct.
A design competition is the logical solution for Section 9 (Woden 9) that allows the community to have a much greater voice and choice in the overall design. A plan that has a more ‘human scale’, and a design that is world class with high quality public realm.
The full WVCC submission is here.
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