Planning and Development

Comment on good planning and sensitive development

72-newbuilding-0111Maybe I spend far too much of my time being concerned about the crap planning and development being foisted on the local communities here in Canberra.

Residents in Canberra have sadly had to accept the fact that the planning authority works primarily on behalf of all forms of property groups at the expense of the local communities.

I was at a meeting the other day when a person from the planning authority said there are a numbers of stakeholders to be considered.

I am still musing on his repeated statements that what ever happens on the site in question (Dickson Parklands), that it  has to meet the needs of the present lease holders – and then the separate needs of the community and the government.

So from that I take it that the ACT government does not work for and on behalf of the community who elects them? Was this statement a reality check from the ACT Government on who the government actually represents?

I am very aware that such advocacy for green spaces and cultural facilities in Canberra in 2014 would never be successful through negotiating only with the bureaucracy. A vision for this site must come from leaders within the local elected politicians.

So I challenged some of the residents to these questions: Does anyone wish to nominate a local visionary politician that would be worth lobbying on this? Someone  who understands the real value of cultural activities? Someone who understands the real value of amenities when the number of residents in increasing and will continue to increase? someone who understands why we have governments – not to just raise money through sales of lands but also to provide for the cultural life and the health and well-being of the surrounding residents?

So far  – silence to nominating a visionary local politician.

Canberra continues to suffer from the lack of good planning and sensitive developments.


Meanwhile in London this is a very good story about successful development and community engagement. Click here.

Good stories such as this prove that it is possible to carry out sensitive development within our cities. Why are there so few good news stories?


Paul Costigan


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