St Lukes site to be redeveloped as ECEC service despite community concern
The Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn has been given permission to build an early childhood education and care (ECEC) service on the site of the former St Luke’s church in Deakin, a decision which the Deakin Residents’ Association (DRA) believes is “completely wrong”.
The ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) made a final decision about the 120-place service, as well as two townhouses for church workers, which is to be constructed on an island site between Newdegate Street and Macartney Crescent in Deakin after a series of back and forth approvals and objections since the application was first put forward in 2019.
The DRA believes that the proposed development is too big, is not suited to the residential area it is in, and that parents and families parking on the street will lead to “traffic chaos”.
The ACT Planning and Land Authority approved the development application in September 2022 and the DRA took the matter to ACAT.
ACAT’s ruling was that only two rules had not been met, and that minor adjustments to the proposal, such as screening of the waste enclosure on the north-east frontage and improvements to the streetscape would be sufficient for the development to pass. The Tribunal also agreed with the DRA in relation to the proposed wall facing Macartney Crescent, saying it was not articulated or broken up enough to provide an attractive streetscape, and supported the planning authority’s changes set out in the approval conditions.
DRA President John Bell spoke with local news source The RiotACT saying the outcome was disappointing.
“There are a number of errors in the judgement but I imagine the [Anglican] Church will be quite happy, make the adjustments that are required and go ahead,” he said.
Mr Bell added that the guidelines were “there for a purpose”, and asked “why have them?” if they were just going to be ignored.
Speaking with the same publication Bishop Mark Short said the diocese welcomed the ACAT decision and was excited this project would now be able to get underway.
The Deakin Early Learning Centre (ELC) will be operated by the Anglican Diocesan Services (ADS) under the St Luke’s brand.
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