Major ACT employment centre’s discussion paper paves way for residential development

One of Canberra’s first new towns, built in 1967, and a major employment centre within the territory that expects significant population growth and housing demand, has seen a new masterplan released.

The Woden town centre and Mawson group centre are the focal points of the masterplan, with population growth in the area being contributed to by recent housing developments in the core of the town centre, such as Sky Plaza, and adjacent Woden Green.

The two centres are being considered together due to a range of relationships and planning arrangements between them, however a separate masterplan will also be created for each area.

The Woden Town Centre Master Plan looks to review the 2004 plan to see if planning controls are currently adequate. Meanwhile, the Mawson Group Centre Master Plan will look to see how the centre operates and what future changes can take place.

In September last year, the Woden town centre building in Canberra's CBD was purchased by the Woden Specialist Medical Centre for $4.4 million.

According to the discussion paper, Woden Town Centre could be looking to a requirement of 100 to 150 dwellings per year, or 2,000 to 3,000 dwellings over the next 20 years.

The paper notes that a number of recent development proposals look like they may introduce residential development into the western edge of the town. There is also likely to be an expansion of the Westfield, and bus network improvements.

Mawson group centre permits residential development, but has been identified for urban intensification. Currently, the centre is largely surrounded by low density single detached housing, with some medium density close to the centre, but none within the centre.

“There are several known benefits to incorporating residential that brings more people to centres, including more economically viable shops, more ‘eyes on the street’ (safer public spaces), more housing choice in a convenient location and increased use of public transport.”

Those interested in providing feedback to the discussion paper have been welcomed to do so by the ACT Government. You can submit your thoughts online.

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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