Update 4 March 2018
In March 2017, the government announced plans to build two blocks of (public housing) flats on Section 29, the only block of community land in Wright. Section 29 is bounded by Gornall St, Steve Irwin Ave, Diesendorf St.
Many residents were concerned about various aspects of the proposal and wrote letters/emails to the Minister, signed a petition, attended public meetings and took other action to raise their concerns. Although the government made some minor changes to the proposal, it did not significantly reduce the number of units or the scale of the development. In other suburbs such as Holder, the government halved the number of units it planned to build and made them all single storey units.
The Public Housing Renewal Taskforce lodged a Development Application (DA) late last year and there were 43 separate representations and objections. Regardless of these objections, and without addressing any of the significant technical planning issues and many of the community issues that were raised, the ACT Government Planning Directorate approved the DA in late January 2018.
An appeal has been lodged with the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT). The appeal will result in an independent review of the decision to approve the DA and get answers to the questions and issues that were raised by residents.
If you put in a formal representation or objection to the DA, you can become a party to the appeal. You should have received a letter/email from the government about this recently. Applications must be lodged, and the statutory fee ($338) paid by 12 March.
A town planner has offered to represent other residents in this appeal and will not charge them for his services. However, any resident (who lodged a representation) will have to pay the ACAT statutory fee to apply to be party to the appeal. You can then decide whether to take up the planner’s offer or whether to just participate yourself.
If you lodged a representation and would like details about how the ACAT process works, the application form to become a party to the appeal and information from the town planner about what is proposed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org The information will then be emailed to you.
Residents should also be aware of other recent events that may, eventually, lead to some sort of facilities (other than housing) being developed in Wright. Section 38, the block in Wright diagonally opposite the Coombs ‘shops’, was sold in December. The developer intends to build a hotel, 150 apartments, and potentially, a supermarket, bike shop, hairdresser and eateries. No plans have been lodged yet for this development.
The ACT Government has also started the process to make changes to the plan for Wright to prevent any other housing being built on the remaining half of Section 29 (eastern end bounded by Gornall St, Max Jacobs Ave & Diesendorf St). The site will be auctioned for a commercial (non-housing) development (possibly a medical or child care facility).