Architects disappointed with ACT Government’s Mr Fluffy home replacement

The ACT Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects is disappointed that the ACT Government has not adopted more recommendations for its Draft Territory Plan Variation (DV343).

Following the release of the ACT Government’s draft policy earlier in the year, the Institute recommended amendments that would address the limited supply of a variety of housing types across the city and reduce the pressure for unsustainable urban sprawl. However, the DV343 Code has been issued with only minimal changes to the draft.

‘The Mr Fluffy buyback scheme presents a rare opportunity to create innovative housing options for our growing, ageing population that also supports a sustainable future for our city.

‘The Institute believes the government has missed a never–to-be-repeated opportunity to deliver a long-term high quality design and sustainable planning policy for a growing and changing city,’ ACT Chapter President Andrew Wilson said.

Canberra needs alternative housing options to the traditional single dwelling. While DV343 has reduced the minimum allowable block size for dual occupancy, the process has been restricted by limiting the plot ratio to 35 per cent, compared to a 50 per cent ratio for a single house.

The government has also missed the opportunity to invest in master or precinct plans for groupings of Mr Fluffy sites. The Institute recommended a quality design process involving neighbour consultation that would allow for concepts that are currently restricted by the Territory Plan.

Innovative approaches like those explored last year in the successful ACT Government supported design competition New Experimental Architectural Typologies could include block amalgamations to enable duplexes and housing co-operatives resulting in more diverse communities.

The Institute wants to see the ACT Government improve DV343 to positively address urban change by providing varied housing options for all members of the community.