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Environment Minister Rebecca Vassarotti rejects community claims Federal Golf Course development plan puts rare birds at risk
Canberra Times Thursday 5 August 2021
A community petition has called on the Legislative Assembly to oppose housing development on the Federal Golf Course.
The ACT Environment Minister has rejected community claims a plan to allow development on the Federal Golf Course will damage breeding areas for the gang-gang cockatoo and superb parrot.
Rebecca Vassarotti said the plan, first flagged in 2019, provided the best way forward to protect key environmental values for the area, by limiting scale and location.
“It also enhances protection for biodiversity by recommending the expansion of the Red Hill Nature Reserve to currently unprotected woodland areas of high ecological value in the northern section at Deakin Section 66 and at the Federal Golf Club,” Ms Vassarotti said. (more…)
The Federal Golf Club has posted information online about the proposed development on their lease. This proposed development forms part of the Red Hill Integrated Plan. More…
The Red Hill Regenerators ParkCare Group supports the recently released Red Hill Integrated Plan, which provides the means to bring certainty to the protection and management of the Red Hill environment.
The Plan is a well-researched, professional document that responds comprehensively to the Legislative Assembly Resolution from which it arose. The Plan strikes a good balance between the important need to provide strong protection for biodiversity both inside and outside the Red Hill Nature Reserve, protecting the amenity of residents and allowing for some limited development activity.
It provides an opportunity for adding several areas of woodland to Red Hill Reserve and limits development near Kent Street, Deakin to the existing built footprintThe Plan is a framework document that now requires a great deal of implementation activity, including funds, to deliver real outcomes. We trust (and remain vigilant) that the coming years will bring to fruition the strategic, well informed vision of the Plan.
The ACT Government published for public comment a Draft Integrated Plan for Red Hill, after sustained engagement from the Red Hill Regenerators, the Federal Golf Club and other stakeholders, and a resolution of the Legislative Assembly. On 16 June 2021, the Minister for Planning and Land Management, Mick Gentleman MLA informed the President, Red Hill Regenerators that the ACT Government had finalised the Plan.
For more than two decades the Red Hill Regenerators battled a near constant barrage of ad hoc, ill-conceived development proposals on land in and adjacent to Red Hill’s woodland. This was incredibly frustrating and time consuming. We, together with other local community groups, called for a strategic plan that takes a landscape focus that protects the woodlands key values and functioning and reflects community wishes before setting development options. The plan strikes a balance between providing protection for biodiversity both inside and outside the Red Hill Reserve, protecting the amenity of residents and allowing for some limited development activity. It provides an opportunity for adding several areas of woodland to Red Hill Reserve, limits development on Kent Street Deakin to the existing built footprint and to commercial/business purposes, seeks to enhance the ecological functioning and community use of open space corridors joining Red Hill to woodland patches in Hughes and Garran and allows for up to a 125 unit retirement village in the southern portion of the Federal Golf Course (well away from Red Hill Nature Reserve and at least 50m from any existing houses).
The Red Hill Regenerators consider that the Plan balances the diversity of community needs. The Plan is a framework document which now requires a great deal of implementation activity, including funds, to deliver real outcomes. We trust (and remain vigilant) that the coming years will bring to fruition the strategic, well informed vision of the Plan
The Federal Golf Club issued the following statement on 17 June 2021:
The draft Red Hill Integrated Plan was a very thorough piece of work which included wide ranging input from multiple agencies and community groups. The Club acknowledges the many contributions to this study and looks forward to continuing close contact with community groups as we work through the implementation of the Plan towards a Development Application.
This is a very important and pleasing day for the future of our Club. The Over 55 Development provides for our water and financial security, replaces ageing course and clubhouse infrastructure, improves course and practice facilities and provides much improved facilities for the local community including the ability to downsize and age in place in a beautiful environment. It secures our Club for the whole community.
Next steps with our Over 55 Development partner, Mbark, will involve consultation with the Government’s Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) on implementation arrangements and preparation of a Development Application for the Over 55 Village and associated course changes working closely with Club members and the local community and based on the approved provisions contained in the Final Red Hill Integrated Plan.
Much more news and discussions to be had in the days ahead.
Bob Correll, Chair of the Board Development Committee.
More information can be found here.
A consortium of Nikias Diamond, developer, Stewart Architecture and Canberra Southern Cross Club have proposed a $25m development located on part of the Federal Golf Club consisting of a 36 room hotel, 300 person function centre, health club and associated works. The proposal indicates that the development would be funded entirely by the developers and that the Golf Club would receive around $1mpa as ‘landlord’. Comments on this design concept should be sent to Jane Seaborne at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Federal Golf Club has indicated that this development proposal was assembled without prior consultation with the Club, and that it appears to be inconsistent with the draft Red Hill Integrated Plan. More…
Further information was provided on 18 December 2020 by the proponents of this proposal here…
The full Draft red Hill Integrated Plan was released for public comment on 13/11/19 by the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD). Comments should be provided by 31 December 2019 to email@example.com
The draft plan considers four possible options for the context area and identifies a preferred option which includes the following recommendations (refer to the map in the attached document for further detail):
- Retaining open space which adjoins and links to the Red Hill Nature Reserve, preserving the ecological values of the area.
- Implementing buffers around the Federal Golf Course and associated development.
- Managing the Red Hill Nature Reserve in line with the Plan of Management for the Canberra Nature Park and the National Capital Plan.
- Identification of proposed upgrading to a number of roads and intersections to cater to the current traffic volume of the roads and prepare for future growth and capacity.
- Retaining residential zones adjoining the Nature Reserve.
- Expanding the Deakin Office Park (rezoning Deakin Section 66) to partly include further urban open space and commercial use.
- Increasing housing choice particularly for the ageing population through the development of a retirement village, to be located in the southern portion of the Federal Golf Course with access via Kitchener Street
“Red Hill draft plan stymies Hindmarsh development plans” RiotACT 14 November 2019
The Red Hill Regenerators responded with a submission which was emailed to the ACT Government on 24 December 2019. More…
The Draft Map and Proposed recommendations for the Integrated Plan for Red Hill Nature Reserve and surrounds, dated 12 September 2019, was released for public comment on 23 September 2019.
While the ACT Government has not provided a date when comments have to be received, comments should be provided before December 2019.
More information here…
The Federal Golf Club plan to hold a public meeting at the clubhouse at 5.30pm on 23 September 2019, to discuss the potential for relocating the proposed housing development to a location having access from Kitchener St, Garran instead of access via Gowrie Drive. The Hughes Residents Association has also alerted its members to this meeting.
A flier was distributed on 11 October 2019 concerning some of the outcomes from the above meeting and committing to further community consultation. More…
Six conservation groups wrote to Dr E Brady, Deputy D/G, Land, Strategy and Environment, EPSD Directorate on 29 August 2019, to reintegrate the importance of settling the status of the 12.5ha of Yellow Box/Red Gum Grassy Woodland currently within the Federal Golf Club concessional lease, and to ensure that it is included within the Red Hill Nature Reserve. The letter also requested that appropriate conservation measures are undertaken at the location of the proposed retirement village at the southern end of the golf course. The six conservation groups include the Conservation Council of the ACT, Deakin Resident’s Association, Garran and Hughes RA, Hughes RA, Hughes Garran Woodland Group, and the Red Hill Regeneration Group. More…