Project status: Closed

How you had YourSay

How you had YourSay

The ACT Government is progressing with work to address paving uplift caused by it being too close to tree roots at Charnwood shops.

In mid-2021 the community was invited to provide feedback on potential solutions to address paving trip hazards. We heard the community values safety and accessibility, shade and increased amenity.

Following feedback from the community we carried out a feasibility study which has helped identify the preferred solution to address paving and associated trip hazards. A preliminary design was released with comments invited between 16 August and 11 September 2022. Minor amendments were made to the design in response to feedback about flooding concerns. The final designs are now available.

We looked at

Charnwood shops is a thriving group centre in Belconnen providing access for locals and visitors to a range of retail businesses and essential services.

There are a number of well-established and healthy Plane trees growing around Charnwood shops. These provide shade for shoppers and contribute positively to the environment. The existing pavement is laid too close to tree root zones leading pedestrians through areas of lifted paving. Whilst the Government has attempted several times to rectify the paving damage, the current arrangement is continuing to present safety issues in a busy part of the local centre.

In response, the ACT Government is addressing these issues by:

  • removing trip hazards
  • maintaining most trees and removing trees in poor health
  • replacement landscaping.

More about the trees

There are a number of well-established and healthy deciduous London Plane trees growing around Charnwood shops. These provide shade for shoppers and contribute positively to the environment. However, they also cause issues to the surrounding pavement by causing it to lift. When this damage occurs in a highly frequented area such as the front of a busy supermarket there is a higher risk of the damage presenting a trip hazard.

The ACT Government undertook work in late 2020 to install a special treatment near some trees to allow water penetration to the roots and minimise surrounding pavement damage. Repair work was also most recently undertaken to pavers in June 2021. However, as the tree roots continue to grow there will be ongoing issues.

While plane trees are known to have extensive root zones that can cause uplift issues if paving is laid too close, other species can also cause issues due to the nature of urban environments and how trees obtain moisture and air to survive.

We used your views to

Feedback received during the engagement periods were used to both shape the preliminary design and finalise it ahead of construction procurement.

Updates on the construction phase are available via the City Services website.


What you told us

  1. Improving safety and accessibility is a key priority for the community.
  2. There is strong support for reducing trip hazards and replacing the existing paving with a safer, level, non-slip option.
  3. There is considerable support for maintaining tree canopy.
  4. Shade is highly valued by the community.
  5. There is support for additional furniture at the shops to improve amenity.
  6. Flooding issues appear in heavy rain on the lower level pavements and laneways.

How we have used your feedback

  • Improved accessibility and visibility of shopfronts, benefiting the local traders.
  • Placement of street furniture adjacent to pedestrian movement paths.
  • Repaved surfaces including the reuse of existing pavers, new concrete and tree surrounds.
  • New trees to replace vandalised trees and those assessed for removal. Following completion there will be more trees than what there was prior to this project.
  • Improved tree health, for existing and proposed trees.
  • Drainage improvements to address flooding issues in heavy rain on the lower level pavements and laneways between Woolworths and the Tavern.
  • Increased shade to seating areas and car parks. This includes the removal of the existing pergola and replacing it with a shade sail in a better location to allow more opportunities for outdoor dining
  • Safer crossing points throughout the carparks for pedestrians including replacement steps and pram ramps.
  • Improved connections to bus stops on Lhotsky Street.



Construction will be delivered in two stages.

The first stage will be improvements to the parking arrangements which will include:

  • formalising the one-way traffic flow through the carpark
  • replacement of existing signage where required
  • adjustments to existing accessible parking bays (bottom left corner) and new kerb ramp
  • four new accessible parking bays in the rear/western carpark.

Timing is currently being confirmed for implementation of these changes.

The second stage of works will encompass the major construction works detailed in the designs.