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Four ‘Billboards’ Outside Curtin, ACT as developers and community meet over shops stoush

Yet another protest has sprung up about the state of the Curtin shops, in spite of developers sitting down with the residents association for the very first time. 

A series of signs along Adelaide Avenue appeal to ACT planning minister Mick Gentleman to “save” the southside suburban centre, where a fence was erected last month around one of its ageing buildings.


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Signs on the side of Adelaide avenue saying Mr Gentleman Save Our Shops.  Photo: Karleen Minney

Building owners, the Haridemos family, wanted to redevelop 44 Curtin Place into a six-storey building with three basement levels, ground floor retail and five levels of units.

Their proposal was knocked back and tenants ejected at the end of their lease last year.

The Curtin Residents Association met with the development team and said they came away “with some of our concerns reduced”.

“The meeting has given an ear to the voicing of our community objections that had not come through in the meetings of the community panel, and we think that we have been heard in constructive ways,” the association said.

“The developers will hold more public information and consultation sessions with the community as part of developing the new DA.”

The developers are working on a revised proposal, smaller than the original, with a single storey of shops on Curtin Square.

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They said they would try and open the ground floor retail before the rest of the building was finished, to minimise the impact on the square.

There would still be five levels of units but they’ve been moved to the south-west part of the block and does not intrude onto the square as it did before. The number of units proposed has also been reduced from 50 to 40.

The revised proposal is still higher than the four storeys allowed under the Curtin Draft master Plan, so the developer will need to make a case for the extra height on merit.

The association also said the architect for the project had agreed to look at the building‘s shading of Curtin Square in spring and autumn afternoons until 4pm, when the area was filled with people.

“Although some significant matters remain for the developer to work through before arriving at a new application, we shared with the development team the concern to reinstate shops, trading and employment around Curtin Square,” the association said.

“We believe that redevelopment or major refurbishment is needed. And we believe that it is possible for a development to keep and possibly increase the urban village character of Curtin centre, according to the community expectations in the territory planning rules and the Draft Master Plan.

“If a redevelopment can bring noticeable benefits to the character of Curtin Square and the flow of traffic and access to parking around it, then the result will be something worthwhile.”

Traders still open around Curtin Square include: Benson’s Hairdresser; Capital Chemist; Choku Bai Jo; Coles Supermarket; Curtin Bakery; Curtin Barber; Curtin Community Bank; Curtin Dental; Curtin Medical Practice; Curtin Optical; Curtin Physio; Curtin Post Office; Curtin Vet; Deli Cafe; Downtown Duty Free; Ivy Flowers; Nunie and Yu Ladies Fashion Boutique; Peter Blackshaw Real Estate; Programmed Recruitment; Red Brick Café.

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