Residents rally against car park proposal

Objections ignored: Residents gather at nearby Glebe Park to protest against a planned car park development, criticizing the approval process.	       Photo: GARY SCHAFER

Objections ignored: Residents gather at nearby Glebe Park to protest against a planned car park development, criticizing the approval process. Photo: GARY SCHAFER

About 60 people gathered at the site of a proposed 20-vehicle car park at Civic yesterday to protest against it. The development, next to Glebe Park, is opposed by residents of the very apartment block it is designed to service.

Representative of the Glebe Park Apartments’ body corporate and founding member of the Glebe South Action Group, Alan Hastings, said the approval process had ignored the wishes of residents. A lot of us put in an objection [to ACTPLA] … There’s been no comeback, no interest in engaging with us,” Mr Hastings said.

ACTPLA chief planning executive Neil Savery said his organisation’s hands were tied. The issues these people have are not necessarily things ACTPLA can deal with. Part of the problem is … people see undeveloped land and assume it’s parkland. [In this instance] it is not,” he said. Mr Savery said the lessee had an obligation to landscape the area under their lease agreement.

The l200sqm site, originally earmarked for landscaping in its development application, has been altered to include the car park, according to the protesters. Reid resident Carolynne Ryan said her family had a long history of fighting for public spaces in Canberra, including battles over Glebe Park in the 1980s. The fifth generation Canberran called the proposed car park a tragedy. “We don’t mind development, but this is just lunacy … This car park will change the flow of the area to deliver parking spaces that nobody wants,” she said. Protest organiser and member of the Glebe South Action Group Chris Cheaham said the approval process had left locals feeling ignored by planning authorities. “This is notification, not consultation,” he said.

Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur addressed the crowd. Ms Le Couteur said the Greens were opposed to urban infill in the ACT if it came at the expense of green zones and belts.

By Myles Peterson
Note: copyright of the material in this clipping resides with Fairfax Media. Usage permitted in accordance with the Australian Copyright Act 1968, Section 42: Fair dealing for purpose of reporting news. Source: The Canberra Times – 16 May 2011

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