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Throsby to miss out on Local shops

Throsby to miss out on Local shops

I believe every suburb should have the chance to develop a community focal point around local shops. Throsby’s small window of opportunity was recently spent on townhouses. Not all suburbs can sustain local shops, but the opportunity is vital.


Throsby has 1 block zoned in a way that it could have shops built on it. Next to the future Throsby school there is a small block is zoned CZ5 – Commercial Zone: Mixed Use. This zoning allows shops, restaurants, office space, as well as a range of other uses. One of those other uses is residential. Accordingly, construction has been approved and is now underway for 72 townhouses on this block.

A group of Throsby residents has approached me with their concerns. They all have the impression that Throsby would have local shops, and want to know if there is any hope left.

What gave them that impression?

This is a story I have heard in Gungahlin for years. The planning codes do not inform people what is likely to be developed in their neighbourhood. Sales brochures have glossy pictures of parkland, or a cafe, or a sports field.

In this case, the SLA themselves were also misleading.

As of the 16th August 2020, the Suburban Land Agency FAQ on Throsby said:

Will there be schools and shops in Throsby?
A small mixed use development site is planned. The nearby Franklin and Harrison schools currently service the population of Throsby.

Suburban Land Agency – 16th August 2020

After a robust discussion on Facebook on that day, the SLA updated their FAQ:

Will there be schools and shops in Throsby?
A small development site was included in Throsby with a mixture of permissible land uses including business, office, residential and retail. However, it is up to the purchaser to determine the viability of commercial use on the site. Throsby being located close to Harrison, Franklin and Gungahlin offers a wide range of shopping options.

Suburban Land Agency – 19th August 2020

The original answer published by SLA, combined with verbal impressions given to many Throsby land owners, has clearly led to unmet expectations.

Where to from here?

Immediately behind the Mixed Use block (Section 18) is a suburban section (Section 19) of 23 residential blocks. This section is almost the same size as Section 18, and could be suitable for shops. Please join me in calling on the SLA to withdraw these blocks from the market immediately to give us time to reconsider shops for Throsby.

Now that Throsby is getting a public school, local shops make even more sense. Modern public schools are community facilities aiming for as much use as possible, not just teaching 9am until 3pm. The school, combined with shops next door, will help with generating community movement in the suburb.

Actions

  • Immediately call on the Suburban Land Agency to urgently withdraw 23 residential blocks from the market and consider consolidating and rezoning to suit shops.
  • Update community consultation practices to ensure a complete and honest understanding of the future possibilities and probabilities for suburban development.

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