Due to a lack of interest from anyone qualified to run such an operation, the tennis centre closed down in 2012. It is now owned by investors who are consulting the community on how the 12,699 sq.m. site can be used.
An information display will be held at the Tennis Centre in Walhallow Street from 4.30-6.30 pm on Wed 28 March. Members of the public are welcome to drop in at any time during this period to discuss the proposal with Purdon’s project team. An advanced presentation was provided to the committee on Thursday evening and to the Belconnen Community Council on Tuesday.
At present, the site is zoned PRZ2 – for Restricted Access Recreation. At the front is a government-owned public car park and in the western corner is a block of unleased Territory land that is used for an overflow gravel car park during major sporting competitions. The proposal is to include both the public car park and the gravel car park, presuming alternative parking arrangements can be provided for major sporting events.
The lease has already been varied to allow a child care centre to be built on the site. The intention now is to change the zoning from recreation to Community Facilities with a residential overlay for medium-density housing. The indicative concept plan below does not represent a specific development proposal.
Some concerns to consider are:
- the continuing loss of sporting facilities/space across Canberra as the population is growing;
- the density of possible proposed housing – 58 two-storeyed terrace houses, each row separated by a six-metre wide driveway;
- the loss of trees – replaced by building and paving;
- the setting of a precedent to erode what is currently a large, uniform area of sporting space in the district;
- the possibility that the bowling club might follow suit.
Please send us your bright ideas of how this excellent site might best be used.
This morning, the Chief Minister announced that this controversial Bill would be withdrawn. The Standing Committee on Planning, Environment and TAMS issued two reports following its inquiry into the Bill. The Chair’s report recommended ten changes to the Bill while an alternative report recommended that the Bill be rejected and a thorough inquiry be conducted into the planning system. For more information, see http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/acts-fasttrack-planning-laws-withdrawn-20140509-zr7b0.html.
The objectives of the master plan were discussed twice, once in May and again in September. They evolved from a short vision to a much more detailed statement of objectives and strategies which is still available (in a much larger file) on the EDD website. Realising the importance of the objectives, FoHV requested time to consult its supporters. This was granted and a decision was made by LDA to consult the whole local community. FoHV were particularly concerned at the inclusion of on-street parking, which was declared to be safer than the existing arrangement of mainly off-street car parks and minimal through traffic along Hawker Place.
In response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, FoHV received a large number of documents from the several agencies with responsibility for ACT planning issues. These showed that the government had been considering the sale of the Hawker car parks from at least 2000 and probably earlier, when the Territory Plan was introduced and car parks ceased to be designated as such but were zoned for commercial use. Various reports were commissioned during this decade, culminating in the Hawker Planning Study of November 2009, submitted after the first community consultation held in September 2009. FoHV have compiled a summary of the FOI documents (see A History of the Proposed Sale of the Hawker Car Parks). This summary was written after, and refers to, the development proposal presented by LDA at the information session on 26 June 2010.
A major result was achieved on 23 November 2010 when representatives of FoHV met with the then Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope. He was accompanied by David Dawes, head of the Land Development Agency (which is responsible for selling ACT-owned land). FoHV expressed a concern that the infill process at Hawker appeared rather ad hoc and that a master plan for the suburb might bring some cohesion to the process and assuage community concerns. The Chief Minister assented to this idea and proposed that the master planning be advised by a Project Reference Group comprising relevant parties, including FoHV (see Chief Minister’s Press Release 2 Dec 2010 and the Hawker video). FoHV were encouraged by this concession as it provided the opportunity for community concerns to be discussed and considered in the context of the Government’s infill policy. The only disappointment was that the master plan would cover just the Hawker Centre and not the whole suburb.
The stunning Christmas 2009 announcement that two of Hawker’s three car parks were to be sold was not welcomed by many in the community. To allay these concerns, a plan of what type of development might occur was revealed by the Government at a public information session on 26 June 2010. This indicated four-storeyed buildings on both carparks with a central public place for outdoor dining etc. Parking would be provided underground and on Hawker Place, with parallel parking down both sides and angle parking down the middle (see A Summary of the Plans for Hawker Shops, the Hawker Consultation Report and the Hawker QA September 2010). Much response from the community was not positive and produced two results. Firstly, several residents, who met for the first time at the information session, decided to form an action group and, secondly, two local members of the Opposition government (Vicki Dunne and Alistair Coe) arranged a public meeting to be held two weeks later.
The Friends of Hawker Village were formed in response to the way the ACT Government’s infill policy was being implemented at the Hawker shopping centre (see A Brief History of the Hawker Shops). The first step towards infill at Hawker occurred in 2004, when land behind the shops, near Belconnen Way, was sold without notification. The community became aware the site was to be developed only when construction commenced in 2009. In February 2009, Hawker traders objected when a ‘For Sale’ sign appeared on the car park beside the KFC. Liberal MLA, Vicki Dunne, then raised the matter in the ACT Legislative Assembly (see Hansard 25 Feb 2009). This resulted in public consultation later in the year and, on 23 December, the Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, announced that both car parks between KFC and the service station would be sold.