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CONSULTATION REPORT

HAWKER GROUP CENTRE MASTER PLAN








March 2012



Hawker Group Centre Master Plan

Consultation Report

ii

Table of Contents

1.0

I
NTRODUCTION

................................
................................
................................
.......

2

2.0

P
ROFILE OF
R
ESP
ONDENTS

................................
................................
.........................

2

3.0

C
OMMUNITY
A
TTITUDES

................................
................................
...........................

3

3.1

Draft Master Plan Proposals

................................
................................
........................

3

3.2

Improvements to the Hawker Group Centre

................................
..............................

4

3.3

Community concerns

................................
................................
................................
...

6

3.4

Further comments

................................
................................
................................
.......

8

4.0

C
ONCLUSIONS

................................
................................
................................
.......

10



Figures

Figure 1: Overview of Feedback

4




A
ny representation, statement, opinion or advice expressed or implied in

this publication is made in good faith but on the basis
that Purdon Associates, its agents and employees are not liable to any person for any damage or loss whatsoever which has
occurred or may occur, in relation to that person taking or not taking (as th
e case may be) action, in respect of any representation,
statement or advice referred to in this report.









Prepared by:

Purdon Associates Pty Ltd

3/9 McKay Street

Turner ACT 2612

ABN 20 008 610 080


Tel: 02 6257 1511

Fax: 02 6248 8347

Email: purdons
@purdon.com.au

Web: www.purdon.com.au




Hawker Group Centre Master Plan

Consultation Report

2

Introduction

In early 2011, the ACT Government established a Hawker Centre Reference Group to
assist in the development of a master plan to guide the future of the Hawker Centre.
The reference group consisted of re
presentatives of the Friends of Hawker Village, the
Belconnen Community Service, traders and lessees from the Hawker Centre, the ACT
Government Architect and the Land Development Agency. The group was chaired by
the Director
-
General of the Economic Develo
pment Directorate, Mr David Dawes. The
Terms of Reference for the group are on the EDD website
(
http://www.economicdevelopment.act.gov.au
).

The group met over 20 times during 2011, including a one
-
day workshop and assisted
with the preparation of a master

plan including providing guidance and advice to
various consultants and developing master plan options for subsequent assessment.
From this process a draft master plan evolved which was subject to community
consultation.

The following summarises the re
sults of the community consultation. It should be
noted that it does not summarise the results of the reference group meetings.
However the minutes of meetings are available on the EDD website.

The
draft Hawker Master Plan was made available for public c
omment on 3 December
and the consultation period continued until 31 January 2012, although feedback was
accepted until 5 February 2012. The initial consultations included two drop
-
in sessions
held on Saturday 3 December 2011 and 10 December 2011 in the ce
ntre and
several
drop
-
in sessions held on the weekdays between the Saturday sessions at Christ
Church. In addition the plans and supporting information, including a feedback fo
r
m
were available on the Economic Development Directorate (EDD) website.

The dr
op
-
in sessions were manned by staff from the Land Development Agency, EDD
and the consultants who have assisted with the master planning and facilitation of the
reference group. Attendees at the drop
-
in session were provided with an opportunity
to be brie
fed about the draft master plan and staff and consultants answered any
questions. Attendees at the drop
-
in sessions were encouraged to provide comments
on the draft master plan via the feedback sheet.

A total of 274 feedback sheets and comments were recei
ved. The following
summarises the results.

Profile of Respondents

274 people provided feedback
,

o
f these

47% were male and 53% were female.

Overall respondents were older than the total catchment population: 33% of
respondents were aged 41
-
60 years compar
ed with 26% of the catchment population
while 43% were aged 61 years or over (22%). Only 11% of respondents were aged
below 30 years (38%).

Almost half of the respondents lived in Hawker (47%). In comparison, 22% lived in
Weetangera, 10% lived in Page
and 8% lived in Scullin. The balance (13%) came from
other areas of Canberra.



Hawker Group Centre Master Plan

Consultation Report

3

About 40% of respondents visit the Hawker centre daily and the same proportion visit
2
-
3 times per week. About 9% of respondents visited weekly and 9% occasionally.

Community
Attitudes

Draft Master Plan Proposals

As part of the feedback, respondents were asked to indicate whether they agreed or
disagreed with a series of statement about different aspects of the draft master plan.
Figure 1 presents the results which are summar
ised below.



The same proportion of respondents agreed (44%) as disagreed (44%) with the
proposed location of the supermarket, however only 35% of people agreed that
a bigger supermarket would better meet residents’ needs and 10% were
neutral.



44% of respon
dents liked the location of the additional shops proposed in the
draft master plan and 37% did not agree. In comparison 59% of respondents
agreed with the provision of additional cafes and outdoor dining.



The majority of respondents considered that parkin
g would not continue to be
available and accessible (56%) whereas 36% agreed that parking would
continue to be available and accessible. Similarly 48% of respondents
disagreed that the pedestrian access from the proposed undercroft parking
would be conven
ient with 39% agreeing.



Respondents generally agreed that higher buildings should be located near
Belconnen Way (59%) whereas 24% disagreed. However over half of
respondents (59%) did not agree that the proposed building heights for new
development in the

centre were appropriate and 31% agreed.



Half of respondents agreed that the plaza would be an attractive meeting place
compared with 31% who did not agree that the plaza would be an attractive
meeting place. However a much higher proportion of respondents

(78%)
agreed with the proposal to retain the playground in the plaza and only 8%
disagreed.



A higher proportion of respondents disagreed that the development of
apartments in the centre would increase housing choice for residents (47%)
than agreed (37%).

Similarly a higher proportion (53%) considered that housing
would not enliven the centre than considered that it would (39%).



Respondents did not consider it necessary to rename parts of Hawker Place:
24% of respondents agreed whereas 38% disagreed. A r
elatively high
proportion of respondents (39%) were neutral.


Hawker Group Centre Master Plan

Consultation Report

4



A higher proportion of respondents disagreed (52%) that the draft master plan
proposals would make the Hawker Centre a more attractive place to visit
compared with 39% who considered that they w
ould make it a more attractive
place to visit. Similarly a higher proportion did not agree that they would visit
the centre more often if the plan was implemented: 28% agreed they would
visit the centre more frequently compared with 56% of respondents wh
o did
not agree.


Figure
1
:
Overview of Feedback

0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
A bigger supermarket will better meet resident's needs
The location proposed for the supermarket is appropriate
I like the location of the additional shops
I like that the plan provides for additional cafes and more outdoor dining
Parking will continue to be available and accessible
Pedestrian access from the undercroft parking via the travelator to the
plaza will be convenient
The higher buildings should be located near Belconnen Way
The proposed heights for new development are appropriate
The new plaza will be an attractive meeting point in the centre
I like the retention of the playground in the plaza
Residential apartments in the centre will increase housing choices for
residents
Housing over commercial and retail will enliven the centre
Some parts of Hawker Place should be renamed
The proposals will make the Hawker centre a more attractive place to visit
I would visit the centre more frequently if the master plan was
implemented
Strongly Agree
Agree


Improvements to the Hawker Group Centre

As part of the feedback, respondents were asked to indicate
the
main features of the
draft master plan they believed would improve the H
awker Group Centre. Responses
have been grouped and summarised below.

Overall

Generally respondents felt the proposed impro
vements

to the Hawker Group Centre
w
ould
enhance the area
. Many respondents indicated the existing state of the centre
was run do
wn and in need of urgent upgrades and rejuvenation.


Hawker Group Centre Master Plan

Consultation Report

5

Respondents suggested that the Hawker Group Centre cur
rently lacked a sense of
place and hoped
that an

increase in amenity, choice, and development opportunities
would help add life to the plaza.

In r
egards to the overall design of the centre
,

respondents
were

positive about the
proposed densification of the precinct, the modern, contemporary feel, northern
orientation of buildings, improved weather protection, and mixture of uses. Many
suggested the
master plan would allow for greater utilisation of the vacant surface car
parks, and would lead to greater choice and increased trading on the weekends and
after hours.

Respondents were impressed
with the
high level of strategic thinking for the
area that

included
a
short, medium, and
long term implementation plan.

Public Plaza
and Open Space

In relation to changes to the public realm, respondents liked the development of a
public plaza area that would provide a
community
meeting
space, children’s
playgro
und,

public seating, and alfresco dinning opportunities. Retention of the wide
footpaths, the proposed landscape treatment, as well as an emphasis on open public
spaces rather than enclosed shopping areas
was

considered
to be
positive elements of
the Hawk
er Group Centre master plan.

Retail and Commercial Activity

Respondents were positive about the opportunity to provide a greater variety and
number of retail and commercial premises, including cafes, shops, restaurants, and
other businesses
,

through the i
mplementation of the Hawker Group Centre master
plan.


T
he potential to provide alfresco dining, leading to a livelier cafe/restaurant precinct
was

seen as a positive change for the centre. Likewise, providing an opportunity for
existing shops to expand

was important to a majority of respondents.

Respondents felt the proposed active retail and commercial frontages would
significant
ly

improve

the current appearance and would transform the outlook of the
centre.

Community and
Medical Services

The propose
d increase in community space, including the possible expansion of the
existing Church, as well as complementary uses,
was regarded
by a majority of
respondents as a positive change to the centre. Similarly, the potential to provide
additional community s
ervices, including an enlarged medical centre,
was

viewed as a
positive change for the centre.



Hawker Group Centre Master Plan

Consultation Report

6

Supermarket


A number of respondents considered that the
proposed full line supermarket
would be
an improvement on the existing situation, with many suggestin
g a larger supermarket
would lead to an increase in activity within the centre and a greater variety and
number of other business and services.

Residential Development

A large number of respondents
were

positive about the proposed increase in
residentia
l accommodation within close proximity to the Group Centre and major
transport corridor.

The proposed higher density housing and increase
d

building heights was
considered
necessary
, providing an adequate number of new residents in the area which w
ould

co
ntribute
to
and sustain the additional activity proposed within the centre. Many
respondents saw the need for greater population density within the area, suggesting
the local residents would make additional business more viable and attractive for a
greate
r range of services.

Access,
Servicing,
Traffic, and Parking

Respondents suggested there was an o
ver
-
supply of parking i
n Hawker
,

which is never
fully utilised.
The removal of the surface car parking in order to make way for an urban
village environment
with active streets and public spaces was considered a positive
element of the proposed Hawker Group Centre Master Plan.

The proposed master plan
was

considered to provide a better distribution of parking
across the centre, improved access for families, a
ged and handicapped people, as well
as a safer interface between vehicles and pedestrians. Likewise, the relocation of
servicing, delivery and waste activity, vehicles and storage from pedestrian areas to
secondary streets was also considered a
desirable
outcome,

allowing greater
pedestrian access throughout the centre.

A number of respondents felt the proposed travelator from the public plaza to the
underground car park would provide a convenient accessible connection for visitors to
the centre.

Respond
ents agreed that the pedestrian friendly shared zone w
ould

help enliven the
area through an increase in foot traffic. While
an increase in
density along
a
major
transit route would promote further use of public transport services.

Community concerns

As p
art of the feedback, respondents were asked to indicate which aspects of the
Hawker Group Centre draft master plan they disliked. Responses have been grouped
and summarised below.

Building Height
s

and Density

Many respondents suggested the proposed Hawke
r Group Centre Master Plan would
have a detrimental effect on the current village atmosphere of the centre due to the

Hawker Group Centre Master Plan

Consultation Report

7

height and density of the projected development.
There
were

significant concerns

that the proposed building height and density
would be
t
oo large for a suburban
environment, with many respondents suggesting the proposal w
ould

lead to a feeling
of enclosure and a loss of character.

Several respondents suggested that the proposed building heights
were

out of scale
with the rest of the centr
e

and suburb,

and that
commercial and retail spaces d
id

not
mesh well with residential development due to noise and pollution
issues and
associated
complaints
.

Respondents were also not convinced of the need for a
significant increase in
population
densit
y close proximity of the centre.

Retail and Commercial Activity

Many respondents were not convinced
of the

need for additional retail and
commercial activity within the centre, stating that the existing situation
was

acceptable
because of
the proximity of

other local centres.

Issues were raised over the orientation of proposed outdoor cafes and restaurants,
with many suggesting these should be north facing. Similarly,
some respondents
considered that the additional retail and commercial activity within t
he centre would
result in a considerable increase in
noise levels.

Public Plaza and
Open Space

Respondents suggested the proposed public plaza w
ould

be too small for all the
planned

uses, stating that
other areas should be available
for open space,

childr
en’s
play areas
, and community meeting spaces
.

Concerns were also raised over the lack of
“green” spaces within the centre.

Supermarket

Many respondents
were

concerned
that
the proposed full line supermarket w
ould

lead
to the destruction of the existing v
illage atmosphere and the closure of many smaller
retail services such as the butcher and/or baker.

Concerns were also raised over a
potential takeover of the proposed full line supermarket by a major chain such as Coles
or Woolworths.


Similarly, respon
dents were not convinced of the need for a larger supermarket in the
centre, stating the current need
s

of the community
were

being met by the IGA and
other smaller retailers.

Concerns were also raised
over competition from Belconnen
Mall and other smaller

local shopping centres within close proximity.

Several

respondents felt the proposed full line supermarket would impact on the
convenience of the centre and affect the existing community feel.

Community and Medical Services

Respondents suggested that
t
he presence of the health services within the centre
should be
emphasiz
ed
, stating that this

is currently the centre’s competitive edge.


Hawker Group Centre Master Plan

Consultation Report

8

Access,
Servicing,
Traffic and Parking

Several respondents voiced concerns over the proposed parking arrangement for
the
centre, suggesting the
new arrangement would be less convenient than the current
situation. There
wa
s a perceived loss of parking, access, and convenience associated
with the proposed Hawker Group Centre Master Plan.

Many respondents consider the pr
oposed underground parking arrangements as less
accessible for parents with children and prams, the elderly, and the disabled. There
are also concerns that the proposed underground parking w
ould

be unsafe due to a
lack of passive surveillance.

Concerns
were raised over the lack of short
-
term parking in close proximity to retail,
commercial, community and medical services, with many respondents suggesting that
this was the current main attraction of the Hawker Group Centre.

Similarly, concerns were raise
d

about

the number of parking spaces required for the
proposed residential accommodation within the centre,
and

many respondents
suggest
ed

overflow residential, including visitor parking, w
ould

take up the proposed
public parking areas. Respondents were a
lso not convinced that the proposed parking
arrangements would not lead to paid parking in the area.

Several respondents
were

concerned
that
an increase in services within the centre
w
ould
lead to traffic problems in the

wider

neighborhood, as well as alo
ng Belconnen
Way and Springvale Drive.

Respondents suggested
that
the community
should be
encouraged
to leave their cars at home and use public transport when visiting the
centre.

They also
suggested
that
pedestrian and bicycle access
should be encourag
ed
through
active
ly

discourag
ing

vehicles
in

pedestrian areas.

F
urther comments

As part of the feedback, respondents were given an opportunity to include any
additional comments in regards to the Hawker Group Centre draft master plan.
Responses have been

grouped and summarised below.

Master Plan

Many respondents
were

positive about the level of strategic planning associated with
the proposed Hawker Group Centre Master Plan, with many suggesting that
there has
been a lack of new development in
t
he immedia
te
area
.

Several respondents
indicated
that
t
he
proposed residential accommodation, variety of retail and commercial
activities
, bus network and

potential employment

prospects
we
re positive
improvements for the area.

A number of respondents felt the pro
posed Hawker Group Centre Master Plan allowed
for better use of the current space while creating an attractive, modern, and lively
space for the community.
Many respondents would like to see the Hawker Group
Centre become a café and restaurant precinct wi
th an emphasis on outdoor dining
areas.


Hawker Group Centre Master Plan

Consultation Report

9

However,
a number of
respondents raised concerns
over the density of proposed
residential infill,
with some suggesting the proposed Master Plan is unnecessarily over
-
developing the area.

Respondents suggested that
development should be staged to allow for gradual
change throughout the centre.

Development

Type

and Land Use

Many respondents suggested that if the proposed Master Plan was to go ahead
Hawker would no longer be a “drop
-
in” small community shopping centre
, but a
commercial hub of activity.

Respondents
perceived that the master plan would result in
a loss of convenience,
and
in particular that the

proposed residential accommodation, increased

retail and
commercial activity including full line supermarket,

and future parking arrangements

would be

disadvantageous
. Many respondents indicated they feared the proposed
Master Plan would have a detrimental effect on the existing village character of the
centre.


Respondents were not convinced of the need to pro
vide residential accommodation
in
the Hawker Group Centre, with many suggesting there
was

an over
-
supply of
apartments within the local area. Likewise, respondents were not convinced of the
need to provide additional retail and commercial space due to the

proximity of other
local shopping centres.

Public Plaza and
Open Space

Several respondents indicated the high level of amenity, ambience, and vegetation
within the centre and throughout the surrounding area

should be retained
.

Access,
Servicing,
Traffi
c
, and Parking

Many respondents were c
oncern
ed about
the level of accessibility provided in the
proposed Master Plan
. They
suggested

that
the proposed scheme
would

not be as
user friendly as the present situation, especially for the elderly, parents with
young
children and/or prams, as well as disabled customers.

Respondents suggested
that
safe pedestrian crossing points
should be provided
along
Springvale Drive, Coniston Street, and Beetaloo Street.

Many respondents
were

not convinced

that

the potential

increase in traffic volume
w
as
analysed

and accounted for correctly, with some suggesting the potential increase
in traffic w
ould

add to an already hazardous arrangement.

Several respondents indicated they were concerned about the accessibility,
convenie
nce and safety of the proposed u
ndercroft parking
, suggesting it

c
ould

be
difficult for the increasing number of elderly residents in the area
, as well as parents
with small children and/or prams, and the disabled
.

Many respondents were not convinced that
parking provisions w
ould

be adequate in
all areas of the centre, particularly
in the vicinity of
the medical centre. Respondents
indicated
that the Master Plan did not provide sufficient
short
-
stay surface
parking,


Hawker Group Centre Master Plan

Consultation Report

10

which
in turn
would have a detrimental e
ffect on visitor numbers to the centre due to
a lack of convenience and accessibility.

A number of respondents
were

uncertain how the redevelopment of the Hawker
Group Centre
would
be funded, with many wondering if paid parking
would

be
introduced to the
area to help subsidize the proposed changes.

Several respondents felt the issue of overflow parking, particularly stemming from the
proposed residential accommodation, had been overlooked in the proposed Hawker
Group Centre Master Plan. Many respondents h
ighlighted the need to take into
account additional parking requirements for visitors, as well as added delivery, service,
and waste activity associated with the residential development. Safe bicycle parking
with the centre was also considered an importan
t aspect which had been overlooked.

A number of respondents were not convinced that
public transport services to/from
the centre had been adequately
consider
ed
.

Several respondents suggested
that
public transport use

could be encouraged for example by
in
cluding a park and ride
facility

and direct bus routes to the City Centre

and that these should have been
essential
component
s

of the Master Plan if the proposed development
was
to succeed.

Safety

Several respondents indicated that safety was a significan
t concern within the Hawker
Group Centre, stating that the existing centre
wa
s
unsafe due to its weary, tired and
unattractive character/atmosphere.


Likewise, the increased number of traffic movements as well as service, delivery, and
waste activity
wa
s c
onsidered a significant safety concern for several respondents.

Other Land Uses

A

number of respondents
suggested that the master plan cold include
additional land
uses
that did not appear to have been
considered in the proposed Master Plan
.

T
hese
includ
ed:

o

H
otel and/or motel accommodation;

o

Gymnas
ium or swimming pool facilities;

o

Additional recreational facilities including larger playground and public park
;

o

University of Canberra student accommodation
.


Conclusions

The consultation attracted a relativel
y large number of residents from the surrounding
areas and over 270 feedback sheets and submissions were received. Males and older
people were over
-
represented among respondents compared with the population
profile.

Overall many people
considered that the

centre was tired and should be revitalised
and upgraded. However
just

over half of the respondents considered that the
proposals would not make Hawker Centre a more attractive place to visit. Further
although many people agreed with some or all of the d
raft master plan proposals

Hawker Group Centre Master Plan

Consultation Report

11

intended to achieve this outcome, there was broad disagreement with many aspects of
the draft plan.

Larger numbers of people supported the proposed location of additional shops in the
entre and especially the development of more
cafes/restaurants than opposed these
proposals. Similarly larger numbers of people supported the proposals for the
pedestrian plaza an
d

considered that it would be a more attractive place.

While the same number of people agreed as disagreed with the pro
posed location of
an expanded supermarket, over half did not agree that a larger supermarket was
required.
Further there was limited support for multi
-
unit development in the centre
and the proposed heights and density were considered incompatible with th
e
character of the area.

It was concluded from previous consultations that the
community highly values the
current parking arrangements at the centre.
Although some people recognised that
the existing parking was underutilised and supported the proposed p
arking
arrangements, larger numbers did not support the proposals and considered they
were inappropriate for some groups within the population.

The consultation process was extensively advertised and many people, although by no
means the majority of resid
ents in the trade area of the Hawker Centre, attended the
consultations or reviewed the master plan online and provided feedback.



Purdon Associates

March 2012