What’s happening now and how can I get involved?

Demolition of the building on Block 22 Section 72 Dickson (block leased by the Salvation Army)

The vacant building on Block 22 Section 72 Dickson will be demolished under an agreement between the contractors for Common Ground Dickson (Richards Crookes Construction) and the Salvation Army (the lessee of Block 22). Richard Crookes Construction will use Block 22 for parking and storage whilst works continue on Common Ground Dickson.

A Development Application (DA 202038118) to demolish the disused building was approved on 24 February 2021 and demolition will commence on 7 April 2021. Demolition works will take approximately one week to be completed and will be dependent on weather.

The building has not been used for several years and has been raised as a safety concern by members of the community and local businesses in the precinct. Demolition of the building will assist in providing improved safety and amenity in Section 72 Dickson, while the future of the site is being considered by the lessee.

During demolition, construction vehicles will access the site which may cause some additional noise and occasional traffic disruptions. All measures will be taken to keep this to a minimum. There will be no public access to the site during demolition as a safety precaution.

If you have any enquiries, please contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

Section 72 Dickson Urban Renewal

Through a series of community engagement phases and activities we have heard a wide range of views on the future of Section 72 Dickson. This feedback has already been used to shape the preliminary planning for the site, including the development of a draft landscape and urban design concept plan showing how the precinct could be renewed.

Surplus buildings and structures have been removed from a government-owned site on Block 6 (5 Rosevear Place). An independent community needs assessment has also been completed to guide future planning and uses.

We will continue to engage with the community on the Section 72 Dickson urban renewal once the future of Block 22 (the Salvation Army site) is resolved. A community reference group is proposed to build on what we’ve heard so far and provide further guidance on the planning and infrastructure for Section 72 Dickson.

These processes will be finalised in an estate development plan and Territory Plan variation proposal that will be presented to the community for feedback.

Dickson pedestrian trail

A new pedestrian trail has been built between the Dickson Pool and Hawdon Place to improve pedestrian safety and growing conditions for the trees along the Dickson stormwater channel. See the document library for the plans of the trail.

Community engagement on Dickson Section 72 identified the opportunity to upgrade the dirt tracks, which are frequently used by residents walking to the Dickson Pool, shops and community facilities in the area. The project was brought forward as part of the ACT Government’s new program to Fast-track infrastructure and maintenance projects across Canberra as part of the Government’s economic survival package to keep our city going during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pedestrian trail has been built from a permeable gravel to allow the nearby trees to continue to access rain water and includes mulching along the trail edges and around the trees close to the trail. A liquid stabiliser has been added to the edges of the trail to ensure it is durable and will last for years to come. Specialists, including landscape architects and arborists, have identified ways to maintain the health of the trees along the trail alignment and to provide an improved and safer experience for people who walk through the area.

Dickson swimming pool forecourt upgrade

Over summer we asked the community about improvements we were trialling at the Dickson Pool forecourt to help the community enjoy this space more. Your ideas will help guide the design of more permanent upgrades further down the track.

Common Ground Dickson

Canberra’s second Common Ground affordable and social housing initiative will be delivered on Section 72 Dickson. See more details on the proposal, including how you can comment on the concept designs here.

In order to build Common Ground and the additional community uses, a variation to the current zoning under the Territory Plan is required. Consultation on the draft variation has closed but you can see more details on the EPSDD Planning website.

Parking in Dickson

Construction by Coles Group Property Developments in Dickson may place pressure on parking around the Dickson Centre. As part of the requirements of their development approval, Coles Group Property Developments is preparing a construction period parking plan. EPSDD is working with Coles to identify suitable parking arrangements to ease the pressure for visitors, shoppers and workers during this time. Block 6, Section 72 could be used as a temporary carpark for construction workers during the week, and for overflow public parking outside of construction hours.

Information will be provided to the community before construction begins.

Tree management

Following an investigation after a tree fell near the Section 72 Dickson precinct in February, Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS) arborists identified that several trees posed a public safety risk. See the plan in the document library. Sixteen dead trees were removed in April 2020 and others will be pruned as part of TCCS’s usual tree management program.

More than 860 trees make up the much-loved landscape setting of Section 72 Dickson and surrounds. These trees make a vital contribution to the health of our community and urban environment.

To inform planning and guide tree management for the urban renewal of Section 72 Dickson, an independent tree assessment was prepared in October 2018. The assessment evaluated regulated and significant trees across Section 72. The report recommends some trees be considered for future removal due to tree age and limited life expectancy, invasive weed species, poor condition, health issues (disease, insect attack and dead wood) or general risk. This information will inform ongoing management of trees in Section 72.

The recommendations of the tree assessment will be considered in any further design development to maintain and enhance the landscape character, canopy cover, public safety and enjoyment of trees in Section 72. These plans currently remain on hold and are subject to further community engagement, to be progressed once the future of Block 22 is resolved.

There are no plans to remove regulated trees within Section 72 Dickson, prior to a landscape plan and tree management plan being developed for the precinct in consultation with the community. Tree removal for the urban renewal of Section 72 will subject to further design, community engagement, a coordinated landscape plan for replacement plantings, and a plan of management of the existing trees. The tree assessment has been used to inform design work for Common Ground on Block 25.

This assessment is available in the documents list, in four parts.

Previous engagement

2018 to 2019

Early 2018

In early 2018 we heard from inner north residents, the wider Canberra community and stakeholders about their aspirations for Dickson. See more information on what we heard from stage 1 of engagement in the Stage 1 Engagement Report and Stakeholder Workshop outcomes.

The first stage of engagement told us there is support for people to live in an area close to the services at the Dickson centre. There was also support for more community facilities in the inner north.

Mid 2018

Following feedback from the first stage of engagement, two design scenarios were developed that show how the future of Dickson Section 72 might take shape.

A second stage of engagement looked at feedback on these scenarios and how best to shape future land uses and public space. Read the outcomes of this engagement in the Listening Report.

Late 2018 to early 2019

Building on what we heard in Stage 2, a draft concept design was prepared and tested in community design workshops. The workshops focused on the desired urban design and landscape design outcomes for the precinct. The design team then started preparing the draft estate development plan using feedback received on the draft concept design and other engagement outcomes to date.

2014 to 2015

The 2018 planning and engagement for Dickson Section 72 acknowledged and built on key outcomes from previous community engagement undertaken in 2014 and 2015. Previous messages from the community included:

  • Provide integrated precinct planning for Dickson Section 72, including planning and design controls
  • Retain community facilities, trees and open spaces in the precinct
  • Deliver integrated public spaces and walking and cycling network
  • Investigate alternative funding models for public space upgrades
  • Understand the future demand for community facilities.

Frequently asked questions