Forde Car Park Removal

17 Feb, 2015

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On the weekend we shared the news it is planned the car park near the Heritage playground in Forde is to be removed. When we posted this on Facebook the reaction from the community was quite clear with the majority of comments in favour of seeing the car park remain.

This is a very popular playground and the car park used regularly for people visiting the car park. Whilst there is off street car park available nearby the convenience due to the proximity of this car park to the actual playground is an advantage for young families.

We must make it clear that CIC have a contractual obligation to remove the car park as it was always meant to be a temporary car park for the sales office removed last year. We urge the ACT Government to remove this requirement from CIC. The decision to return a sealed fully operational car park to green space for TAMS to maintain goes against an issue noted in Ngunnawal. There is currently green space in Ngunnawal opposite the shops that was proposed to be retained as green space however TAMS said they did not have the capacity to maintain it and have pushed for this land to be developed. We don't understand how in one circumstance they insist usable infrastructure the community want retained to be turned into green space and then green space the community want retained they want to see developed.

Upon discovering this we reached out to MLA Meegan Fitzharris to look into this situation and see what can be done. We were in direct contact with Ms Fitzharris throughout the day on Saturday. She did confirm she would be following up and advising what she finds out.

We also followed up with CIC Australia to find out from them what could be done to help stop the removal of the car park. We received the following response from Gavin Kemp, Project Director Forde Developments.

"The Heritage Park Carpark was originally approved as temporary works associated with the Sales and Information Centre. Last year the Sales and Information Centre was removed as the development was essentially complete. During the development of Forde it had been noted that Heritage Park had attracted large numbers of users many of which use the carpark.

Noting that the carpark had become an asset which provides a number of benefits to park users, in particular disabled spaces and an off-street parking facility for those with young children, Forde Developments approached TAMS seeking the retention of the carpark. Initial correspondence with TAMS highlighted that the carpark was not approved as permanent work and accordingly Forde Developments undertook the required design work to upgrade the car park to permanent car park standards. This design was submitted to TAMS Asset Acceptance for design acceptance and was rejected on the grounds that the car park was not on the approved Estate Development Plan. In response Forde Developments offered to prepare and lodge a Development Application for the carpark. TAMS Asset Acceptance responded that the Development Application would not be supported by TAMS. Forde Developments was directed by TAMS to remove the carpark.

Whilst we share your sentiments our consistent attempts to retain the carpark have been rejected. Should you wish to take this issue further please contact TAMS Asset Acceptance on Canberra Connect 132281. Additionally the Forde Community Association would welcome your comments as they are organising a submission to TAMS to have the decision reversed. Please visit www.fordecentral.com"

The Forde Community Association has created a survey which we encourage all Gungahlin residents to complete to help provide a complete view of the views of the community in this matter. Please see the survey here

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