Correspondence re Defence College and Defence Housing – Stirling and Holder

Thank you for your letter of 6 March 2000 concerning a number of issues relating to the collocation of Defence Force Staff Colleges in Weston Creek and the release of land for Defence Housing in Stirling and Holder.

GARY HUMPHRIES MLA

 

Deputy Chief Minister

Member for Molonglo

Australian Capital Territory

Mr Bob Sutherland

WCCC

Dear Mr Sutherland

Thank you for your letter of 6 March 2000 concerning a number of issues relating to the collocation of Defence Force Staff Colleges in Weston Creek and the release of land for Defence Housing in Stirling and Holder.

The following comments are provided in sequential order under the five components listed in your letter.

 

Defence Force Staff Colleges upgrade

 

A draft variation to the Territory Plan (DVP 144) relating, among other things, to the land required for car parking was released for public comment on 25 March 2000. The Weston Creek Community Council will be sent a copy of DVP 144 for their comment.

As you will be aware, the proposed land use policy change from River Corridor triggered a Preliminary Assessment (PA). This went through a full public consultation process in December 1999. It identified and assessed the full range of possible impacts, including stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces (proposed carpark etc). The PA specified that all stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces will be collected and detained prior to discharge into interceptor traps. The stormwater will then be piped to a headwall associated with the existing dam on the college site. Water released from the site will need to meet standards specified in the Environment Protection Act 1997, at all times.

In addition, erosion and sediment controls to the satisfaction of the Territory will be required during the construction phase of the proposal as part of an authorisation or agreement issued by the Environmental Management Authority under the Environmental Protection Act 1997.

You have identified correctly that the main energy issue associated with the parking area on the site is lighting. Given the proximity of the site to the Molonglo River Corridor the proponent has made a commitment in the PA to install specially designed lighting, which minimises glare. The proposed retention of vegetation will also assist in screening any glare emanating from the site.

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ACT Legislative Assembly,

London Circuit, Canberra ACT 2601

GPO Box 1020, Canberra ACT 2601

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Cotter Road, Weston Creek, traffic alterations; and Streeton Drive Traffic calming

Responses to your questions have been provided by ACT Roads within the Department of Urban Services and are attached at Attachment A. The responses are in the same order as your questions.

 

Streeton Drive Housing

 

The land was first identified by the Government for release in 1998-99 and has been identified in the land release program since that time. The direct grant of the land to the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) is associated with the decision to collocate the three Service Staff Colleges in the ACT, which I announced in conjunction with the Chief Minister, Kate Carnell, and the Commonwealth Minister for Veterans Affairs, Bruce Scott, on I 1 December 1999.

The direct grant of land to DHA facilitates the immediate provision of housing in the area. The College will provide significant economic benefits to the Territory from both the direct investment by the Commonwealth of $28 million and the ongoing employment opportunities flowing from this important national institution. The increase in residents and their children into the Territory will not only benefit the Weston Creek community but will have a broader economic impact across Canberra.

A multi unit lease is being granted over the Stirling site. This is not inconsistent with other developments in the Territory. As is generally the case, the lessee has the option of subdividing the site to provide single blocks or unit titled dwellings, or a mixture of single and unit titled dwellings. The standard of services and infrastructure within the lease will need to satisfy the requirements of the Territory for future subdivision proposals.

With regard to the change of use from open space to residential, this site was selected for residential use resulting from a vacant land study to identify potential residential sites. The selected sites were included in the draft Territory Plan 1991 which was circulated for public comment. No site specific comments were received about this site. There were however general comments made objecting to the principle of “infill”. The Territory Plan 1993 included this site for residential use.

Geotechnical investigations were undertaken in 1994 to confirm the extent of fill on the block. Although the fill is a disability to the site it does not prohibit development. Early costings indicated a viable development.

The proposed design allows for 5 driveways giving direct access to Streeton Drive. The intention of design is to as much as possible mirror image the configuration of the existing housing across the road. It is more desirable to have houses fronting Streeton Drive than back fences. Traffic calming in Streeton Drive is designed to reduce speed to accommodate traffic turning into and out of the new driveways.

The configuration of roads within the site and their widths will be designed in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Urban Services and will be submitted for approval prior to construction.

In relation to your question on schooling, the Department of Education and Community Services has provided the information at Attachment B.

 

Ex-Holder High School Surrounds

 

There has been preliminary discussions only about the possibility of developing housing on the ovals associated with the previous Holder High School. The land is within a community land use policy area which would require a variation to the Territory Plan to permit residential development.

In progressing the release of the Stirling site, the development will be subject to a Development Application being approved by Planning and Land Management. This application will be notified to the public and be subject to the planning approval processes, including appeal rights, as set out in the Land (Planning and Environment) Act 1991.

Thank you for writing to the Government on these matters and I hope that the above information helps to overcome your concerns. In relation to further information about the ongoing Government consultation processes, Planning and Land Management of the Department of Urban Services is available to assist you or you may wish to direct enquiries through my colleague Mr Brendan Smyth, MLA, Minister for Urban Services.

Yours sincerely

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(signed)

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Gary Humphries MLA

Treasurer

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6 APRIL 2000

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Attachment A

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RESPONSE TO TRAFFIC QUESTIONS RAISED BY THE WESTON CREEK

COMMUNITY COUNCIL IN ITS LETTER OF 6 MARCH 2000

 

Prepared by Tony Gill, ACT Roads, phone 6207 6590.

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Cotter Road, Weston Creek, Traffic alterations

  1. The new development by Defence will generate additional traffic turning into and out of Kirkpatrick Street so it is necessary to provide safely for this traffic. A roundabout is one such option while traffic lights is another.
  2. Defence engaged a consultant to undertake a traffic study and a copy of the consultant’s report could be obtained through Defence.
  3. The consultant’s report concluded that the increased delay would only have a small impact on the existing traffic conditions.
  4. No the road is not to be duplicated.
  5. No the roundabout is after the ‘form one lane’ section and there will be two lanes at the roundabout.
  6. Traffic lights-were the other option considered.
  7. No
  8. The cost could never be justified.
  9. Yes, the roundabout will be two lane entry similar to Lady Denman/Cotter.
  10. . There is no current proposal to duplicate the rest of Cotter Road

Streeton Drive Traffic Calming

  1. Streeton Drive is a distributor road with residential frontage. The measured speed of traffic is high with 15% of traffic exceeding 70 km/h. The proposal by Defence includes some additional residences with access onto Streeton Drive so there is a need to consider measures to reduce the speed of traffic to accommodate traffic turning into and out of the development. The form of speed hump would be more like the raised platforms suitable for use on busier roads.
  2. Typically refuge islands would be at least 10m long and 2m wide.
  3. Cars will have to wait for the bus to move on unless the design is changed.
  4. The option shown will slow down traffic to about the speed limit and have little impact overall on other traffic conditions.
  5. Yes there would be turning lanes into the new development.
  6. There are no proposals for pedestrian traffic lights.
  7. There is no reason why a “proper” cross intersection could not be formed at Bangalay Cres other than it may not suit the design for the residential units.
  8. The speed hump or refuge islands will assist pedestrians cross the road, including the students on their way to Rivett primary and Canberra College.

 

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ATTACHMENT B

RESPONSE TO SCHOOLING QUESTIONS RAISED BY THE WESTON

CREEK COMMUNITY COUNCIL IN ITS LETTER OF 6 MARCH 2000

 

Prepared by Damien McNamara, Facilities Planning Unit, phone 6205 9126.

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1 . Below is the available student accommodation in Weston Creek schools as at February 2000:

Arawang Primary Schools – 85 students

Chapman Primary School – 60 students

Rivett Primary School – 450 students

Stromlo High School – 254 students

Canberra College – 551 students

2. The proposed development is projected to yield between 30 to 40 government primary students. Priority enrolment areas have been determined for all ACT Government Schools, wherein resident students are guaranteed enrolments at local schools. School principals have responsibility to manage ‘in area’ and ‘out of area’ enrolments within the capacity of individual schools.

There is sufficient capacity within the above schools to cater for the projected number of students from the proposed development and the current levels of ‘out of area’ students.

3. A dual priority enrolment area arrangement exists for the suburb of Stirling. Students resident in Stirling are therefore guaranteed enrolment at either Arawang or Chapman Primary Schools. If students choose to attend schools outside of Weston Creek, enrolment is possible, subject to the capacity available at individual schools.

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