the sage continues….
Dickson Residents win over bad design
Observing the current government and its attitude towards the electorate, it does make you wonder about the 2016 election results and whether this will be repeated in 2020.
First an update on the 2016-2017 ACAT appeal about the proposal to remove the carpark in front of Woolworths and to build an apartment and supermarket complex.
I can only guess how many committee meetings have been held to discuss some aspect of how to improve Civic– the traditional urban centre of the city of Canberra.
The Dickson Parklands is an important site for the inner north of Canberra.
Update from Jane Goffman
Here’s Jane’s January 31 2018 update on goings on with planning and developments around Dickson:
My post last week on the lack of good design and planning that is evident in the more recent parts of Gungahlin definitely caught a lot of people’s attention.
Someone needs to ask the ACT Planning Minister why the planning directorate continues to encourage local residents to form residents’ associations to oppose inappropriate developments.
This post starts with being in front of our house at 6.15 am listening to the cacophony of sounds coming from what must have been a rowdy Christmas Day gathering of Sulphur Crested Cockatoos at end of the street (near the Dickson Drain).
With Canberra having such an informed and aware community, one would have thought that a community-focused government planning minister would have surfaced by now – one being committed to development and the future growth of the city while simultaneously embracing the enhancement of (rather than reducing) the city’s amenities that are admired internationally.
Why are we so unfortunate here in Canberra to have a string of planning and urban development ministers who feel that it is their duty to say something regularly to upset those who enjoy a fantastic ambience within inner Canberra?
Surprising things can happen when you are involved in advocacy with the ACT Government on urban environment issues.
Life for pedestrians in Dickson is not as safe as it should be. Here’s a few events to illustrate my point.
The 2016 ACT election was just over 12 months ago (how time flies) and the hot election topics back then included planning, development, community engagement and a host of issues around the ACT Government’s dealings with residents.
for Wednesday 27th
There’s nothing new about governments across Australia selling of assets, infrastructure, land, buildings or anything that they can put on the market to make instant cash.
Back in 2013 plans were announced for the next stage of Canberra’s Constitution Avenue.
The neighbourhood had their answer. The signs went up – and yet another original style (AV Jennings) house was about to be put on the market.
When I was first alerted to the issues below – sadly my response was: Why am I not surprised?
Architecture and all that spin
If there is one occupation that I could not imagine doing, it is being an ACT Government planner who spends most of the day looking through development applications (DA) for commercial developments.
A tour of the good and not-so-good
Have you taken a stroll around the Parliamentary Triangle recently?
GANG GANG arrives in Downer
Always good to celebrate when a suburban centre rises again.
Talking to locals in the last weeks there were stories of that knock on the door and the offer to buy the house. The reactions were a little different and also similar.
a story of Architecture, social housing and parklands
Local politicians, like our federal friends, love to take a key social issue and link it to another in order to wedge the residents.
Very strange things happen in the urban design planning space in Canberra.
We expect a lot of our politicians. People rightly expect their elected representatives to do just that – be representatives of the people who elected them. That’s not always a success story.
Popping up on the northern edge of Canberra is a new set of buildings – known by its gateway title as Canberra Park.
There’s significant redevelopment underway on Northbourne Ave in Canberra.
There are not too many places that have tram (light rail) stops that are exciting designs. Most are functional and are usually simply places marked where you stand to catch the tram.
A lot has been written about the ACT Government’s announcement to establish small government housing estates on community-zoned land in Weston Creek suburbs.
Do we have examples of good residential architecture in Canberra?
Real sustainability arrives in Canberra
A wonderful sign of things to come.
a note to the ACT Chief Minister
About the architecture along Northbourne Avenue
Canberra’s planning system remains super complicated and out of reach of ordinary citizens.
House sales stories are all over the media.
Two things to consider: One is that heritage is about to be celebrated here in Canberra with a festival from 18 April till 7 May 2017.
Weston Creek Community Council – Media Release
A group of Community Leaders met late last night to discuss the outcome from last week’s Weston Creek Community Council Meeting, which had to be postponed due to an overwhelming attendance.
Suburban life– you have to chuckle.
When a system is broken, how easily it is to point the figure at one person and say “It wasn’t me, it was that person over there.”
Braddon is cool – well not quite yet
Braddon should be cool. I said something similar two years ago.
As a person who walks for exercise around the local area, I get to observe the changes through the suburb.
Following a couple of pieces in the local press, one would think that the ACT Government’s planning was in turmoil because key people are on the move.
I have said elsewhere about online surveys – they are useful but caution needs to apply if anyone intends to use them to inform planning. They are not reliable for that purpose.
The ACT will be looking for a real Chief Planner
It was reported today in the Crimes (what we call the Canberra Times) that the ACT Head of the Planning Directorate will not be renewing her contract due to end this April.
There’s a call by the ACT Government for residents to go online and to offer thoughts on the future of Haig Park.
ACT now needs a real Chief Planner
News to hand that the ACT Head of the Planning Directorate will not be renewing her contract due to end this April.
It’s Chinese New Year again (28th January). This time around it is the year of the rooster.
2017 in Canberra began with announcements that so many new buildings are about to change the city’s landscape.
Here in Dickson there has been a very long series of road works.
At the meeting in August 2016 on the government’s proposals to redevelop the West Basin of Lake Burley Griffin, the main line taken by the government was that their proposals were based on the Griffin Legacy.
I believe in good government. I believe that many of our public sector employees do a great job. Occasionally, I even witness a politician who has values and fights for them (rarely).
The Canberra City Bowling Club site in Braddon has now been the subject of articles across several blogs.
Local governments rarely get the opportunity to completely makeover and enhance the main entry to the city – and the city centre itself.
LDA up to its old tricks again
There’s one thing about the way the ACT Government goes about planning for Canberra–it will always use any tricky method to justify how it assists the developers.
A curious thing happened last weekend in the Dickson neighbourhood when a house went up for auction. This was a very ordinary house.
The Appeal against the recently approved development application (DA) for the Dickson supermarket complex goes to its next phase very soon (see dates below).
It took about three hours of argument on Friday 28th October for a decision by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) on whether certain government planning documents should be released to those making objections to the Government’s agreement to the revised Development Application (DA) for the Dickson supermarket.
This is a tale of an entrepreneur, a tree and a possible (lost?) good planning opportunity.
Mike Hettinger and the so called LDA–Tradies win win
The revelation by the Canberra Times of a land swap between the Land Development Agency and the CFMEU-linked Dickson Tradies Club opens the way for more dodgy deals that will harm the community.
Canberra Community Voters Candidate Mike Hettinger noted, “The land swap itself isn’t necessarily the problem. It’s what it enables the LDA and the Tradies to do in the future that should really concern us.”
With the debate in Canberra about housing affordability, the ACT Liberals have been using a particular line in their election statements to criticise the current government’s Land Development Agency (LDA) and its handling of land prices.
There were moments during the ‘meet the candidates’ forum in Lyneham a fortnight ago when it seemed that something was not right with the Chief Minister, Andrew Barr.
A few comments following our previous post on how the Chief Minister is going into the ACT Elections (15 Oct) with the past catching up to him.
An Auditor-General’s report has been released on some questions on the operations of the ACT Government’s Land Development Agency (LDA).
National Trust of Australia (ACT) hosted a public Heritage Election Forum at St John’s church hall in Reid last Thursday night 22 September.
Oh- what a silly debate – Trams for Canberra
The ACT Election is happening right now. Every forum or debate eventually gets hijacked by the Liberals in the campaign to oppose the tram. Continue reading Trams for Canberra
Earlier this year we drove south to the Mawson shops (Southlands) to shop at one of the specialist supermarkets as well as to take in a Middle Eastern brunch.
Canberra is usually referred to as being a designed and/or planned city. Continue reading Government Architect – what’s that?
Following the disappointing actions by the ACT Government to approve what remains a very questionable development application for a major mixed use development on the flagship shopping centre site in Dickson, appeals are being jointly lodged by the landlord of the Woolworths supermarket plus key local community associations.
The question on the minds of residents within the inner north at the moment is how to deal with the latest shenanigans by the ACT Government around decisions for the Dickson Group Centre.
When the ACT Government made its announcement that the DA for the supermarket complex in Dickson had been approved, it set off a curious chain of events.
There’s a 1989 song by Pere Ubu, Flat, that has the following lyrics, “In the early part of the 20th Century, Deep inside the American wilderness, In the state of Kansas – 82,000 square miles of flat -There were two automobile cars. On July 5th 1904 they ran into each other”.
Sometimes the words of local politicians are a thing of wonder. Here’s a very curious story.
What does it take for the ACT Government to have vision for developments in and around my own suburb of Dickson? I’ll get back to the question.
Any tree is worth saving. Any group of trees is always worth fighting for. But I also acknowledge that when absolutely necessary any tree can be replaced.
Here’s another sad tale about the ACT Government’s patronising attitude towards residents.
City planners allow for all manner of formal spaces when plotting out the municipal aspects of any new township.
Canberra’s planners in the 1950s and beyond delivered an infrastructure made for cars. There were even major freeways planned (a story for another day).
Almost every day I walk by a set of new apartments here in Dickson. These are now part of the history of the push by residents not to have rubbish developments plonked in the area.
One of the pleasures of this city is to sit down by Lake Burley Griffin in the evening to watch the light fade.
Sometimes you do have to wonder about things that come your way. Today I have to report on a media release that was sent around today on a new set of federal awards.
Response – Revised Development Application 201425744
It will come as no surprise to anyone that knows me that I will be lodging comments on the revised Dickson Development Application: 201426717.
The first impression of Canberra from the north is of trees.
I don’t think the residents will be holding celebrations about what is being proposed for the new supermarket complex here in downtown Dickson.
Take a very hot day, take a small crowd of press and politicians and a few designers – and where would you head on a day of 36 degrees in Canberra.
There’s one thing you can say about the present Chief Minister and his government, is that when it comes to dealing with residents over matters to do with urban development, they really know how to get people off-side right from the start with any and every proposal.
Let’s start with the reality of this claim. Lake George is not in the ACT.
Anyone who has been through the Dickson shops lately will have noticed an unsettling trend. The number of vacancies is increasing.