The Proponent and Project Team
The proponent is Little Penguins, a growing childcare provider in the emerging suburbs of Canberra with high numbers of young, growing families from different cultural backgrounds. Little Penguins are experts in community building and curriculum development, drawing on the interests and strengths of families and the local community to provide rich and diverse learning experiences for the children in their care.
The design team involved in the project includes Sellick Consultants, Stewart Architecture and Purdon Planning. Attractive Building Group will manage the development and construction of the project.
The site is centrally located within the suburb of Wright. It is bound by Gornall Street, Max Jacobs Avenue and Diesendorf Street.
The development will include health facility areas, a community facility area, a 120-place childcare centre, ancillary retail/café spaces, a publicly accessible pedestrian plaza and on-site car parking.
When complete, the site will contain two separate and architecturally distinct buildings. One for the childcare centre, positioned to the East of the site adjacent Max Jacobs Avenue and another building at the West of the site featuring two levels of car parking, three levels of health facility, ancillary retail and café spaces, and a community space adjacent a roof top balcony. The childcare building will be sited wholly at ground floor level and feature secure outdoor play areas that will allow the children to experience the natural environment to develop life skills in a safe and open setting.
This development will provide health and childcare services to the Molonglo Valley. It will provide a publicly accessible community facility space to foster a sense of community in this new district of Canberra. The design seeks to contribute positively to the surrounding streetscape and provide alternate architectural building forms through high quality design, materials and finishes.
The proposal will incorporate a number of sustainability initiatives to help with responding to climate change, including the provision of trees within deep root planting zones and permeable ground within the site boundaries. The landscaped pedestrian plaza between the buildings encourages pedestrian permeability through the site.
The proposal is now being presented to the community as part of Pre-DA consultation activities.
The subject site is located within CF – Community Facility zone, under which the proposed uses – ‘health facility’, ‘community activity centre’ and ‘child care centre’ – are all permitted.
While the details of the design are still being finalised, the overall design is considered to be consistent with the various applicable Territory Plan Codes. The relevant Codes include the Wright Precinct Code, the Community Facility Zone Development Code, and the general codes where applicable. The Wright Precinct Code identifies the site in the ‘RC1 – Residential use area’ which provides additional rules/criteria that are applicable to the site. Further, the site is noted as having additional prohibited development restrictions within the Precinct Code. However, none of the prohibited uses are proposed as part of this DA and the additional controls within the Precinct Code do not apply to the type of development proposed.
The proposal responds well to the applicable controls of the Community Facility Zone Development Code due to the quality and design of materials and building finishes, in addition to site design and building massing that promotes attractive streetscapes and active connections to the adjacent streets, while the multiple uses on the block generate activity throughout the day within the site itself. The proposal provides substantial car and bicycle parking in accordance with the relevant general codes and provides accessibility across the site in accordance with the Access and Mobility General Code. The site design allows for activity generators across the block and provides substantial sightlines to enable a strong response to the Crime Prevention through Environmental Design General Code.
As detailed below the proposal responds well to the objectives of the zone as reproduced below. The Community Facility Zone Objectives are:
- To facilitate social sustainability and inclusion through providing accessible sites for key government and non-government facilities and services for individuals, families, and communities.
- To provide accessible sites for civic life and allow community organisations to meet the needs of the Territory’s various forms of community.
- To protect these social and community uses from competition from other uses.
- To enable the efficient use of land through facilitating the co-location, and multi-use of community facilities, generally near public transport routes and convenience services appropriate to the use.
- To encourage adaptable and affordable housing for persons in need of residential support or care.
- To safeguard the amenity of surrounding residential areas against unacceptable adverse impacts including from traffic, parking, noise or loss of privacy.
- Promote active living and active travel
- Provide safe pedestrian and cycling access to community facilities to promote active living.
The proposed development is fully accessible to all possible users of the site through the primary location of services at ground level and the inclusion of ramps/elevator where necessary. Through the inclusion of a publicly accessible Community room, this development contributes to the facilitation and protection of community life. The proposal features several different uses across the site to make efficient use of the block. Suitable bicycle parking is to be provided in addition to a substantial pedestrian plaza to encourage active living. Therefore, it is considered that the proposed development supports and contributes to the zone objectives.
Plans are available for download via the below link. Please note that these plans are a work in progress and may be subject to minor changes throughout the design development stage.
Opportunities for Community Input/Feedback
A ‘postcard’ providing information on the proposed development was delivered to residents within the local area on 19th July 2021.
The project team will also be contacting various community groups to ensure their members and other interested persons have the opportunity to provide comments prior to the lodgement of a Development Application.
Comments can be provided via: 6257 1511 or firstname.lastname@example.org