DA200915605 WCA Final Submission

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WCA Submission to Watson Heritage Village development application DA 200915605
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  WATSON COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION (WCA)SUBMISSION ON DA200915606BLOCK 2 AND BLOCK 3, SECTION 75, WATSON EXECUTIVE RECOMMENDATIONS ã The WCA recommends strongly against a development of this scale, andconsiders it should be reduced. Excessive scale and density and low costhousing is an unacceptable mix. ã The land should have been opened to competitive tender. ã We disagree with the Community Title Scheme (CTS) structure which isproposed for this project. ã Any subsequent development should be designed so that blocks would takefull advantage of solar orientation and stormwater. ã All exceptional, high and medium value native and habitat trees on the siteshould be saved. ã Significantly more urban open space should be provided within thedevelopment. Reliance on the adjacent nature reserve as a substitute forlocal open space would significantly downgrade the status of the CanberraNature Reserve. ã All stormwater and bushfire risk mitigation should be internal to the proposeddevelopment, and not rely on any encroachment onto Canberra NatureReserve. ã There must be a closed fence between the development and the naturereserve, and a mandated domestic animal containment policy. The entrypoint(s) into the nature reserve must lead to formed track(s), to avoiddisturbance of sensitive vegetation. ã One or more of the existing buildings should be retained and devoted aspublic community facilities open to a range of local community groups. PART 1INTRODUCTION The Watson Community Association (WCA) wishes to raise three matters ofrelevance to the DA. 1. PROCESS and COMPETITION The WCA notes with concern the lack of competition, land gift to the developer,and associated, hidden loss to taxpayers associated with this development.Why is it that the lessee, the ACT government and the planning agencies havefavoured just one proponent throughout the Draft Variation and DA processes?We question why the ACT government and the planning agencies requested aplanning study be conducted by the proponent in order to justify a Variation to theTerritory Plan? We consider, that instead, a fully scoped EIS should have beenwritten to coincide with the subsequent development application in a timely WCA submission 1  manner. The planning study was written in 2004, and is now very much out ofdate in regard to assessment of external impacts from developments in nearbysuburbs of Gungahlin, NSW and in north Watson. Not only that, but the planningstudy, which has been used in lieu of an EIS, has not been submitted along withDA200915605, although it is referred to by the proponents. How is the publicexpected to understand the proposal if these documents are not provided?The second concern revolves around the Direct Sale of part of Block 2 to theproponent. Why did the ACT government given in-principle support for a directsale and why was this a necessary pre-condition in order to justify the issuing ofDraft Variation 261? By accepting a fee from the proponent for an application fora direct sale of land, it appears as if this transaction has become a fait accompli. 2. GRANTING OF LEASE When and why was a 99 year lease over Block 3, Section 75 recently grantedunder the same land use conditions, if the planning agencies were aware that thelessee considered a portion of the site to be economically unviable? If theHeritage Village entity (apart from the Service Station and Motel) was unviable,why wasn’t the lease resumed by the ACT Government and the blocksubdivided? The ACT government could have easily re-zoned the remaining landand offered it to competitive tender in the new land use. Through following thisinexplicable and untransparent process, the ACT government is foregoing theopportunity to save two hectares of native vegetation on Block 3. It could alsohave saved a few of the very well constructed and maintained buildings on Block3 for open public community uses, which Watson was promised but is currentlydevoid of. 3. COMMUNITY TITLE  The WCA is extremely concerned that the entire development will operate undera registered Community Title Scheme (CTS) and questions whether this willallow for proper management of the site in the longer term.According to the proponent, ‘Although relatively new to the ACT, Community TitleScheme developments have succeeded in other localities throughout Australiafor many years and have been proven to provide an affordable housingalternative’.We consider that a single body corporate will be incapable of properly managinga densely packed and diverse estate containing 316 dwellings. The estate will bemanaged by a Community Title Body Corporate. The body corporate will beresponsible for maintaining street lighting, roads, common open space, treemaintenance and stormwater. Almost all of the utility and infrastructure will beplaced under or adjacent to the roads. Who will be financially responsible formaintaining or replacing the body corporate infrastructure if utility infrastructure,not managed by the body corporate, is under a privately owned road? WCA submission 2  What agency will be responsible in the event of a failed body corporate? Will theACT government be forced to intervene?How onerous will the body corporate fees be? How will body corporate feesimpact on the longer term affordability of such housing? Will public housingagencies be in interested in participating in housing within a registeredCommunity Title Scheme? PART 2EXERPTS FROM REPORTS SUBMITTED BY THE PROPONENTIN THE DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONSUPP-200915605-Design_Response_Report-01.pdf 1.4.3 Majura Reserve The eastern boundary of the development adjoins theMount Majura Reservewhich is undermanagement of Parks Conservation and Lands.It is anticipated that no works, other than some very minor regrading work, will be carried out thatwill encroach into the nature Reserve. A section of the reserve will be utilised as active storagespace for the detention of stormwater runoff from the existing catchment.Key features of the interface with the Reserve are: ã Bush fire protection zone is integrated with interface to the reserve, providing goodseparation and access ã Dwellings designed to take advantage of outlook to reserve, avoiding fences. ã Fencing type on boundary with reserve incorporates open fencing with provision forpedestrian access to the reserve 2.7 Tree Damaging Activity There are a number of regulated trees on the subject site which are proposed to be removed aspart of this Development Application.A Vegetation Assessment has been undertaken across the site. The Vegetation Assessment wassrcinally completed in 2004, with a re-assessment completed in 2009. This reassessment takesinto account the changes in tree condition due to the current climatic conditions. Furtherassessment has been undertaken to identify “Habitat” trees.High value trees have been retained wherever possible. A large number of high value trees havebeen retained within community open spaces, road corridors and within landscape areas of thelarger multi unit sites. Medium value trees located within and adjacent to the high value treeshave been retained for contribution to the landscape. Habitat trees of high and medium valuehave been retained in open spaces.A copy of the updated Vegetation Assessment and Reports, and Tree Management Plans areprovided with this development application (Appendix J.1 to J.6). 2.8 Environmental Requirements The DA is subject to the Impact Track level of Assessment as the proposal triggers therequirement for an EIS to be undertaken as per those activities identified under Schedule 4 WCA submission 3  of the Planning and Development Act 2007. Specifically, the EIS Triggers relevant to theproposal include Activities 4.2.5(d) and 4.3.3(a) specified below: 4.2.5 Proposal for construction of a sewerage treatment plant…, or sewer reticulation system,designed to service a residential subdivision that - (d) is to be within 100m of a body of water, whether natural or artificial, waterway or Wetland 4.3.3 Proposal involving - (a)the clearing of more than 0.5ha of native vegetation ; or  An application was made to the Minister in July 2009 for an exemption to be granted underSection 211 of The Act, whereby: “The Minister may exempt a development application … from arequirement to include an EIS if satisfied that the expected environmental impact of thedevelopment proposal has already been sufficiently addressed by another study, whether or notthe study relates to the particular development proposal.”The proposed development was exemption from any further environmental assessment on the19 th August 2009, by the Chief Planning Executive, as delegate for the Minister (refer toAppendix C.1) 4.8.2 Proposed Stormwater Infrastructure  TheMt Majura Nature Reservecatchment, directly to the east of the development, will bediverted to a stormwater bypass pipe, sized to carry the 100yr ARI flood event. This flow will alsobe partially detained through the use of an embankment forming part of Road 1 and Road 7.Although the embankment and all earthworks will remain within the site, a small section of thenature reserve will be inundated from time to time. Parks Conservation and Lands has givenapproval to this method. In the event of a greater than 100yr ARI storm, or failure of thestormwater pipe, a safe overland flow path has been determined, via Road 3, Community openspace, Part of Road 1 and finally discharging into the proposed water quality control pond(Appendix C.2) 4.12.3 Street Trees Deciduous street trees of either upright or spreading habit are paired across the street to providecanopy over the carriageway whilst maintaining illumination standards from street lighting. Largedeciduous street trees are located along the Antill Street verge to enhance this public realminterface. 4.24 Bushfire Risk Assessment and Management Concept Plan The existing managed Outer Asset Protection Zone (OAPZ) shall be maintained within theadjacentMount Majura Nature Reserve. 6.2 Trees R40In accordance with section 148 of the Planning and Development Act 2007  , where thedevelopment proposal requires groundwork within   the tree protection zone of a protected tree, oris likely to cause   damage to or removal of, any protected trees, the application is   accompanied byaTree Management Planapproved under the Tree Protection Act 2005  .  Note: ‘Protected tree’ is defined under the Tree Protection Act 2005. ORC40If an approved Tree Management Plan is required, but not provided, then a draft TreeManagement Plan is to accompany the application. The draft Tree Management Plan will be WCA submission 4
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