Ginninderry

History of the Ginninderry Project

c21,000BP

Indigenous occupation

Evidence has been found of Aboriginal habitation along the Murrumbidgee River some 21,000 years ago. Artefacts discovered on the Ginninderry site suggest that the area along the Murrumbidgee River and lower Molonglo River was used as a focus for hunter-gather economic resource exploitation up to the time of white settlement.

Early 1820s

First Europeans

European explorers reach the Murrumbidgee and Molonglo Rivers and occupation of grazing lands begins. A number of land grants made to absentee owners.

1826

George Palmer takes up land in the Ginninderra Creek area. He formally requested permission to purchase the land in 1829, which was granted by the colony of New South Wales in 1831. Robert Hoddle then surveyed the land in 1832, followed by James Larmer in1836.

1835

Charles Sturt’s selection

Sturt initially selected the land in 1835 and was surveyed by NSW’s Deputy Surveyor General, Robert Hoddle. It was then gazetted in 1836.

1837

New South Wales Government granted 5000 acres (2000 hectares) of land to explorer Charles Sturt in recompense for his expeditions. It was bounded by waterways on two sides and crossed what is now the ACT border. Sturt called the property the ‘Grange’.

1838

Sturt’s land sold to Campbell family

Sturt sold his holding to the Campbell family of Duntroon who named it Belconnen, variously spelled as Belconnel, Belconon and Belcomon. The farm was developed by Charles Campbell as a sheep property and in 1850 he had a stone house built on it, now known as “Belconnen Farm”.

1854

Ginninderra Creek, Parkwood and The Falls

Thomas Southwell arrived in the Ginninderra district in 1840 and worked as a farmer and carrier. In 1854, he bought land at the junction of Ginninderra Creek and Murrumbidgee from absentee owner Alick Osborne and named it Parkwood.

1861

After the passage of The Free Selection Act of 1861, Robert Kilby and his father William, who came to NSW in 1856, established a 16ha freehold farm, ‘Land’s End’ in the parish of Weetangera.

1877

Charles Campbell’s son Frederick took over the management of Belconnen in 1877 and employed overseers and staff for his holdings and those who managed Belconnen included Richard Vest, D Macdonald and Duncan McInnes.

1895

James Kilby, son of Robert, acquired crown land overlooking the junction of Ginninderra Creek and the Murrumbidgee next to Thomas Southwell’s Parkwood. The land included Ginninderra Falls and he named his property ‘The Falls’. In 1897, he married Thomas Southwell’s daughter Beatrice. In 1910 James bought Parkwood and the two properties became one.

1910

ACT borders surveyed

After Federation, land was granted by New South Wales for the new capital. Surveying of the borders commenced in 1910 and the “straight bit” between existing trig points at Mt Coree and One Tree Hill was determined first as a matter of convenience. The other borders were determined by water catchments. The straight line between the trig points cut through the natural peninsular of land bordered by the Murrumbidgee River and Ginninderra Creek. Natural boundaries mean the only practical access to this land is via the ACT.

1910

ACT leases created

The passage of the Seat of Government (Administration) Act 1910 meant all property within the ACT was resumed by the Crown and became leasehold rather than freehold. The section of land in NSW north of the border (now known as Parkwood) remained freehold.

1913

Belconnen Farm leasehold

The leasehold of the Belconnen Farm area in the new Federal Capital Territory was acquired by the Miller family. With the introduction of the Soldier Settlement Scheme following World War I the Belconnen Farm lease passed to Austin Shepherd. The lease was extended several times and the Shepherd family continued to operate the sheep property until 2004.

1922

Prince of Wales plan

When the Prince of Wales visited Australia in 1920; he was presented with a plan of the Territory, which included the section of NSW land bordered by the Murrumbidgee and Ginninderra Creek. The logic of the cross-border geography was already being recognised.

In 1922 the former Sturt land grant and Campbell holding was subdivided into Blocks 14, 18, and 18a. The present Belconnen Farm heritage area was within Block 14.

1970

Parkwood, with the exception of 25 acres, which remained in Kilby family, was sold to consortium interested in development

1979

Ginninderra Falls Park Opens

Ginninderra Falls Park opened to the public with trails developed by lessees of the consortium, Robert and Elizabeth Caldwell.

1984

Corkhill farming property

As a result of the failure of the consortium’s plans, Parkwood was split up and sold or leased to a number of buyers. Parkwood land in NSW was bought by the Corkhill family as a farming property.

2002

Family farm extended

The family sought to extend their farm and increase its viability by entering into a contract to acquire a new 99-year rural lease in the ACT. The lease was approved in 2004 and the purpose clause limited the use to ‘agriculture’.

2006

Cross-border concept first raised

The concept of a cross-border residential community was first raised with the ACT Government, the Yass Valley Council and the National Capital Authority. This initiated a series of meetings with the ACT Government and baseline studies taking place through to 2009, as the idea was explored and a plan developed.

2007

Community consultation begins

Consultation covered a wide range of topics including conservation, community services, recreation, transport, municipal services, environmental management, renewable energy and housing affordability. The outcomes of the early consultation were fed into the design of the engagement processes for the master planning phases of the project.

2010

Inter-departmental committee set up

The plan was referred by the ACT Chief Minister to an inter-departmental committee (IDC) for further investigation of the proposal for a joint venture. After consultations with a range of government entities, the IDC proposed a structure for a 50/50 Joint Venture Board between Riverview and the then ACT Land Development Agency, with an independent Chair.

2013

Heads of agreement

In May 2013, the ACT Government announced an agreement with Riverview Developments, to facilitate the planning and development of new suburbs adjacent to the existing suburb of Holt in the ACT over the next 30 years. This was a significant milestone in the engagement process related to the proposed development of Ginninderry.

2013

ACT Land Development Agency (LDA) involved

In June 2013 the ACT Government identified the then LDA as the ACT’s representative in the proposed Joint Venture, tasked with obtaining value for the Territory from the development project.

2014

Re-zoning applications lodged

Re-zoning applications were lodged with for ACT Government/National Capital Authority approval and with Yass Valley Council on 30 June 2014.

2015

NSW Planning Proposal

The NSW Planning Proposal was considered by Yass Valley Council and the NSW State Government and determined to be compatible with the proposed Yass Valley Settlement Strategy (Yass Valley Shire Council) and the Sydney-Canberra Corridor Strategy (NSW Department of Planning).

2016

Rezoning

The ACT land was re-zoned and the lease surrendered by the Corkhill family at an amount calculated by independent valuation to equal the value of the property under the current terms of the rural lease. The plan for a cross-border community allowed zoning to the border.

2016

Joint Venture commenced

The Joint Venture (JV) commenced in May 2016. The split of benefits between the JV partners was based on a residual land valuation approach and took into account each party’s contribution and costs. It considered the net developable area (the land, minus the conservation corridor and landfill site) and the combined benefits that accrue to both parties.

Net developable area:

  • ACT 63% Riverview 37% Development benefits
  • ACT 56% Riverview 44% Agreed JV position
  • ACT 60% Riverview 40%

The agreed JV position is the negotiated equity split after taking account of the above analysis and benefits of planning and delivery for both parties.

2016

Development approvals

ACT Planning Authority approved the ACT portion of the project and the National Capital Plan Amendment was approved, allowing development in the ACT up to the border.

2017

Sales commenced in the ACT

The first sales at Ginninderry took place in April 2017 with more than 1300 individuals registering for blocks of land and the affordable flexi-living series in the first suburb of Strathnairn.

2017

EPBC approval

On 1 September 2017, the West Belconnen Strategic Assessment (SA 024) for the Ginninderry Joint Venture (JV) project was approved by Minister Frydenberg, Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Energy, an important environmental milestone which, together with the necessary planning approach, will allow urban development to proceed.

2018

NSW approval expected

The NSW Planning Proposal is expected to be publicly exhibited in early 2018, then re-considered by Council and referred to State Government for review, with a decision from the NSW Planning Minister on rezoning expected in late 2018.

2017 – 2022

Proposed Urban Development

Phase 1 to include 1,800 dwellings (4,680 population), Link Community Centre, first primary school, community garden, dog park and acquire landfill site (2021).

2022 – 2032

Proposed Urban Development

Phase 2 to include 4,800 dwellings (12,480 population), market centre, K-10 school, second primary school and the landfill site opening to the public.

2032 – 2042

Proposed Urban Development

Phase 3 to include 7,800 dwellings (22,800 population), new ‘Link’ at Belconnen Farm, Belconnen Farm Heritage Precinct, third primary school (NSW) and Landfill site recreation and community facilities.

2042 – 2055

Proposed Urban Development

Phase 4 to include 11,500 dwellings (30,000 population) and the third Link Community Centre at Ginninderra Falls.

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Members from the Ginninderry Joint Venture been talking to local stakeholders for the past eight years to find out what they love about the existing community and how the area should be shaped into the future. We will continue being good neighbours by listening to local residents and stakeholder groups and responding to any queries you may have. There are many opportunities for you to get involved, have your say and find out information about the project.

Watch the community video

Zoning

There has been a great deal of community consultation during the master planning and rezoning process for Ginninderry. The Ginninderry project includes land in both the ACT and NSW. For the development to occur, the land on both sides of the border needed to be rezoned. This is a complex process and required a variation to the Territory Plan in the ACT, an amendment to the National Capital Plan in the ACT and an amendment to the Yass Valley Local Environment Plan. In addition an approval under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act is also required for the entire site.

Prior to submitting the documentation required to support the rezoning processes in each jurisdiction extensive technical studies were undertaken and the draft master plan developed These studies covered a broad range of matters including traffic and transport, water sensitive urban design, conservation and heritage, community services, social impacts, noise and odour.

Where are we up to?

The variation to the Territory Plan and the amendment to the National Capital Plan were placed on public exhibition for six weeks in mid-2015. The Territory Plan variation (V351) was approved on 23 October 2015. The National Capital Plan has been approved and is now subject to tabling in Federal Parliament. . The consultation period related to the EPBC Act commenced in mid May 2016.

For the NSW land a ‘gateway determination’ was made in May 2015. This means that the project has merit to continue to work towards a rezoning. The rezoning process and community consultation phase is anticipated to commence in late 2017, with a decision anticipated in 2018.

Parkwood Planning Proposal

The rezoning process

The process to rezone the ACT component of the Ginninderry project was completed when the ACT Minister for Planning approved draft Variation 351 to the Territory Plan in October of 2015. The project will now move into the development phase and applications for approval of successive stages will be submitted to the Environment Planning and Sustainability Directorate (EPSD). These will be “development applications” in accord with the requirements of the Planning and Development Act 1987. Development applications for subdivision of land (as these will be) are known as “Estate Development Plans”. Each stage will include residential blocks, roads, parkland and other land uses. Notionally each stage will be about 300 residential blocks although this will vary depending on the nature of the topography and market demand. They will be prepared in consultation with stakeholders and, as part of the development application process, will also be formally advertised and public comment will be invited for consideration by EPSD when they are assessing each proposal.

For more information on the process to rezone the NSW component on the Gininnderry project, Parkwood click here.

NSW Rezoning (Planning Proposal) Process

The process listed below outlines the steps involved in the Planning Proposal. Every stage requires support and endorsement before the next can occur.

June 2017 – Lodge Planning Proposal with YVC
September 2017 – Council Endorse to Proceed
December 2017 – Gateway Determination Issued
December/February 2018 – Exhibition
May 2018 – Council Considers & Adopts Final Proposal
September 2018 – Made ‘Adopted’ by Minister

Important note: The timetable is indicative only and subject to changes such as Council and State Government and community consultation.

History of community engagement

In June 2013 the ACT Government announced an agreement with Riverview Projects (ACT), to facilitate the planning and development of new suburbs adjacent to the existing suburb of Holt in the ACT over the next 30 years. This was a significant milestone in the engagement process related to the proposed development of Ginninderry.

Riverview Projects has been consulting with key groups in the community about the proposal for a cross-border residential development since 2007. The consultation covered a wide range of topics including conservation, community services, recreation, transport, municipal services, environmental management, renewable energy and housing affordability.

Through this consultation, some key themes recurred: the desire for a range of housing options, including housing at the affordable end of the market; sustainable energy use at the household level and across the community; good public transport options and decreased reliance on cars; increased options for recreation for all people in West Belconnen; and a new development that is a natural extension of, and does not detract from, the existing suburbs of West Belconnen.

The outcomes of the early consultation were fed into the design of the engagement processes for the master planning phases of the project.

Community liaison

We have been very keen to engage with as many local people and groups as possible.  Since 2009, there have been hundreds of meetings with local residents and with community, arts and sporting groups in the area. This liaison with the community has alerted us to issues that need addressing and has also raised new ideas for the project to consider.  In particular, liaison with the local community has highlighted the importance of Ginninderry supporting and adding to the existing West Belconnen community and the surrounding suburbs of Holt, Higgins, Macgregor, Latham, Dunlop and Charnwood. Liaison has led to the formation of partnerships with local groups that will continue well into the future.

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