Sirocco P/L, the lessee for Block 9 Section 19 Forrest (being the former Italian Club site located on the corner of Dominion Circuit and Franklin Street), has engaged Purdon Planning to prepare a Planning Study to support a proposed rezoning of the site to allow for future mixed-use development.
As part of the research involved in undertaking the Planning Study, we are consulting the local community to seek early feedback on key issues associated with future development of the site. This will enable us to consider community feedback as part of our Planning Study.
The design team involved in the project also includes Stewart Architecture and Indesco Engineering. Stewart architecture will be responsible for the design of the proposed development. Indesco will undertake traffic studies and engineering services.
The site is roughly 500m from the Manuka Shopping Centre and within 1km of the proposed Light Rail route to Woden. It is bound by multi-unit residential to the west, the Forrest Hotel & Apartments to the northwest and the Italian Cultural Centre of Canberra to the north. Mostly single dwellings and townhouses are situated to the South across Dominion Circuit. Across Franklin Street is the Department of Human Services building which has its primary frontage to Canberra Avenue.
The subject site is Block 9 Section 19 Forrest. The site was previously occupied by the former Italian Club, however is currently a surface car park.
At this stage it is intended that the development will be predominately residential apartments within two buildings, with the potential for some minor commercial uses at ground level. However, this indicative development is still subject to the results of the Planning Study that we are undertaking, including preliminary community consultation as well as a subsequent Development Application (DA) process.
The two apartment buildings proposed for the site will be a maximum of 7 storeys in height. The buildings will be arranged around a central forecourt and private gardens. It is estimated that between 130 – 160 apartments will be developed within these two buildings, which will be subject to further design development after the rezoning and DA process. The development contemplates a mix of 1, 2 and 3- bedroom apartments. The proposed development will accommodate two levels of basement parking, which will be connected under the forecourt area, with vehicle entry to the basement located off Franklin Street.
The orientation of each apartment building reduces the overall scale of the proposal when viewed from Dominion Circuit. It also optimises morning or afternoon solar access for future residents. The proposed siting of the buildings and on-site open spaces will result in only 55% of the Dominion Circuit frontage being developed. The siting of these buildings will generally include 6m street setbacks at the lower levels, and as the buildings increase in height, the setback is enlarged. These design elements will ensure appropriate solar amenity is maintained to the existing dwellings across Dominion Circuit and will reduce the bulk and scale of the development when viewed from the street.
The indicative design is presented to the community as part of preliminary consultations to inform the Planning Study. However, we stress that these consultation activities only relate to changing the zone at this time. As such, design details and information is indicative only at this stage.
Territory Plan Variation
Where the development of land is under the jurisdiction of the ACT Government, planning controls are set by the Territory Plan. The Territory Plan manages land use change and development in a manner consistent with strategic planning policies.
The Territory Plan is under constant review to meet the objectives and desired outcomes for Canberra as a growing city. A Territory Plan variation (often referred to as a ‘rezoning’) is required for this proposal to permit a mixed-use development on the subject site as the current zoning (CZ6 – Leisure and Accommodation) does not permit residential development. The key steps in the rezoning process include:
- The preparation of a Planning Report and associated studies in accordance with the requirements of the ACT Environment Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD). This study involves investigation of potential impacts such as building heights, development density, setbacks, land uses, traffic, and parking. The Planning Report is also required to consider feedback received through undertaking preliminary community consultation.
- The Statutory Plan Variation process by EPSDD involving:
- Review of the Planning Report by ACT Government Agencies
- Preparation of the Rezoning documents by EPSDD
- Public notification of the draft rezoning and the Planning Report
- Consideration of public and agency comments
- Finalisation by EPSDD and recommendation to Minister for Planning
- Decision by the Minister for Planning
- Possible review by Legislative Assembly committee, including public hearing
- Gazettal of the Territory Plan Variation (if approved).
For further information on the process of Varying the Territory Plan, please refer to the EPSDD website: https://www.planning.act.gov.au/planning-our-city/territory_plan/varying-the-territory-plan.
Once the rezoning process is completed, a DA can be lodged that includes another community consultation process for the detailed design of future buildings.
The Rezoning Proposal
The proposed Territory Plan Variation is to change the zoning of the Block from its current CZ6 Leisure and Accommodation Zone to CZ5 Mixed Use Zone.
This change in zone will permit the indicative development as detailed in the concept plans which can be viewed by clicking the link below.
Any future development proposal must comply with the Territory Plan zone objectives and list of permitted uses in addition to a range of Territory Plan Codes.
Under the proposed CZ5 Mixed Use zoning the applicable zone objectives would be:
- Encourage higher density residential development in locations with convenient access to transport corridors, and commercial and employment centres
- Create an efficient and sustainable urban environment and provide for a diversity of living, working and recreation opportunities
- Maintain and enhance environmental amenity and undertake development using best practice environmentally sustainable development principles
- Encourage a standard of urban design that is consistent with selected major avenues, approach routes and other strategically located areas
- Encourage activities particularly at street frontage level that contribute to an active public realm
- Promote active living and active travel
- Provide a high-quality public realm by facilitating active uses on ground floor level that connects with the wider open space, pedestrian and cycle networks to promote active travel and active living.
- Provide a mixture of compatible land uses and integrate suitable business, office, residential, retail and other development in accessible locations so as to encourage walking and cycling, and maximise public transport patronage.
The following uses would be permitted (subject to merit track DA assessment by the ACT Planning and Land Authority) under the proposed CZ5 zoning:
- Ancillary use
- Boarding house
- Car park
- Communications facility
- Community use (child care centre, community activity centre, community theatre, cultural facility, educational establishment, health facility, hospital, place of worship, religious associated use)
- Development identified in a precinct map
- Emergency services facility
- Guest house
- Home business
- Indoor recreation facility
- Minor road
- Minor use
- Multi-unit housing
- Non retail commercial use (business agency, financial establishment, office, public agency
- Outdoor recreation facility
- Pedestrian plaza
- Place of assembly
- Residential use (caretakers residence, multi-unit housing, residential care accommodation, retirement village, secondary dwelling, single dwelling, supportive housing)
- Serviced apartment
- Shop (Personal services, take-away food shop)
- Temporary use
- Varying a lease
Further to these changes, the change in zone from CZ6 Leisure and Accommodation Zone to CZ5 Mixed Use Zone will result in changes to the applicable controls within the Commercial Zones Development Code. For further details on the applicable zone objectives, uses permitted and rules/criteria, please see the current Territory Plan at: https://www.legislation.act.gov.au/ni/2008-27/Current.
Opportunities for Community Input/Feedback
Purdon Planning hosted a virtual consultation session on Thursday 14th October 2021. The presentation slides from the event can be found directly below. As noted above, Australia Post had issues with the delivery of the notices in advance of this Virtual Consultation Session.
Accordingly, Purdon Planning will host a second online consultation session on the 1st of November 2021 commencing at 5:30pm. If you are interested in attending the second online consultation session, please RSVP via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and quote ‘Forrest Consultation’ in the email subject line.
Should you be interested in providing written feedback on the proposed rezoning, please do so via email: email@example.com
Indicative Development Plans are available for download via the below link.
Please note that these plans are indicative of the potential development on-site following a successful Territory Plan Variation process and will be subject to changes throughout the development application stages.
If you’d like further information or would like to discuss the Proposal, please contact Purdon Planning on:
firstname.lastname@example.org or (02) 6257 1511