Works have recently commenced on the Dickson Coles development, with the occasion marked by the closure of the main Dickson shops carpark, removing approximately 250 car parking and causing confusion and frustration for shoppers. The construction period is expected to extend through to September 2023, at the earliest.
Given the considerable disruption to North Canberra residents who use the Dickson shops, and also the local businesses who will endure the nearby construction works for some time, it is important that the construction plans, timeline and alternative parking options are communicated clearly for visitors to the shopping centre (a map of alternative carparking options for Dickson shops can be accessed here).
The NCCC commends the work undertaken by the Dickson Residents Group in devoting considerable time and effort engaging with the developer to try and limit the disruption to residents and local businesses.
- NCCC committee meeting: At the June NCCC Committee meeting, the Committee discussed the ongoing ACT Planning Review process, which seeks to establish a more varied approach to ACT planning rules and regulations based on a ‘district’ system for different areas of Canberra.The NCCC’s main concerns with the direction of the Planning Review, based on the available documents, is that it rules out any review of the structure and role of ACT Government planning bodies, despite the clear relevance of such planning bodies to any review of the planning system.
The NCCC also notes that the Review’s focus on providing “flexible” pathways for development assessments risks creating a more ambiguous set of rules with a broad range of interpretations. This could accentuate a power imbalance between developers with greater legal resources and capacity to advocate for a specific interpretation and residents who generally lack legal resources and instead rely on clear and unambiguous frameworks in order to support or contest particular development applications.
The NCCC will continue to consult with members over the coming months on the contents of the Review. We also encourage any members who may be interested to get in touch and share your views.
- Significant congestion expected: At the June meeting, the Committee also discussed the growing congestion issues in the inner north, particularly around Campbell, where Constitution Avenue will be reduced to single lane while residential developments are developed. At the same time, construction works are commencing on Light Rail Stage 2, which is expected to reduce traffic capacity on Commonwealth Avenue by 80 per cent. For North Canberra commuters who work in Barton, the implication is that the congestion over coming months is likely to be significant.
Local news and updates
- Community Spirit Awards: ABC Radio Canberra is seeking nominations for its Community Spirit Awards, with nominations sought for teams or individuals who deserve to be recognised for their contribution to life in Canberra. Details on the process can be accessed here, with nominations closing on 12 August.
- Second phase of consultation for Canberra Hospital Master Plan: ACT Health has released further details on its proposed redevelopment of the Canberra Hospital, with the Master Plan proposing to divide the campus into seven precincts. You can find further details on the Master Plan here, with the consultation period closing on 1 September.
The NCCC’s current balance as of July 2021 is $4,290. The key expenditure items for the NCCC in July related to supporting the Reid Residents Association with newsletter and information sheet costs for local residents, and the renewal of the NCCC’s accounting subscription software for the new financial year.
We encourage residents associations and other potential applicants to consider potential proposals for NCCC’s consideration for the 2021-22 financial year.