RECOGNITION of Oaks Estate’s uniqueness must be addressed in a future master plan, the suburb’s Progress Association president Karen Williams believes.
‘‘It’s trying to articulate what that uniqueness is ... some sort of term that does represent Oaks Estate,’’ Mrs Williams said.
‘‘It comes down to the fact that Oaks Estate is quite a hybrid place.
‘‘[With the] territory boundaries it was severed from Queanbeyan and didn’t develop the way Queanbeyan did.
‘‘It has a village style and urban development on one side.’’
Mrs Williams said it was important that a buffer was put in place and maintained to separate Oaks Estate from Queanbeyan in order to protect the suburb’s village feel.
At a public workshop last week held by representatives from the ACT government Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate, a draft master plan was presented to locals with a vision for the suburb in the next 20 to 30 years.
Residents were strongly opposed to high density development and some expressed concern about a proposal to introduce cluster housing – where residential properties are grouped closely together – due to their size, scope and what it would mean for the unique feel of the town.
The plan suggested the scale of development should be limited to two storeys in order to maintain the village character.
‘‘We’re not saying no development, we’re just saying be really aware of the densities,’’ Mrs Williams said.
A suggestion to close McEwan Avenue in order to establish an artisan’s garden plaza at the heart of a cultural precinct comprising of residential properties, services, studio art spaces and galleries was an interesting concept, she said.
‘‘We’re not saying we accept that idea, but it made us think outside the box,’’ Mrs Williams said.
Other concerns raised in the workshop related to the use of Railway Street as a by-pass into Canberra, the amount of traffic it created and the speed at which it travelled.
The plan proposed constructing traffic calming measures to help ease congestion and speeds. Mrs Williams said generally residents were curious about the ideas that were presented but hadn’t had a proper chance yet to think about what it all really meant.