CSIRO locks in affordable housing plans for field station site

April 26th, 2016

Published on 24 April in the Canberra Times. Written by Tom McIlroy.

The CSIRO will explore innovative technology, finance and governance models to effectively incorporate affordable housing options into the planned redevelopment of its Ginninderra Field Station.

About 30 experts from universities, social service groups, charities, and banks joined a think tank event on affordable housing options for the 700-hectare site earlier this month, advising the research organisation to use technology to reduce the cost of living on the site and to incorporate place-making and a master plan to manage affordable housing.

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The CSIRO has asked the National Capital Authority to allow the sale of its Ginninderra field station site for possible new development.

 

The planning comes as the CSIRO waits for federal government approvals on required zoning changes. Once approved, a consortium or joint-development partner will be engaged for the redevelopment project.

Established in 1960, the field station replaced a research site near the Dickson shops. The area has been home to the development of a range of projects including novel grains and agricultural systems. The field station sits on the ACT-NSW border, framed by the Barton Highway, William Slim Drive, Owen Dixon Drive and Kuringa Drive.

Redevelopment of the site could be under way within two years.

Some residents near the field station oppose changing the land’s zoning classification from hills, ridges and buffer spaces to urban area.

Design of houses and public spaces was raised by participants, as well as incorporation of CSIRO research outcomes.

Planners could consider allocating blocks of land and specific areas of the site as designated affordable housing supply, with the cost in part covered by higher value sales in other areas. Ballots or other allocation methods will be considered.

A community information session is planned in coming months to give local residents and other stakeholders with the chance to receive an update on the project and to suggest ideas and ask questions.

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