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Development application lodged for 88 townhouses in Watson

The site opposite Prime Media Group and Justice Robert Hope Park near Antill Street.The site opposite Prime Media Group and Justice Robert Hope Park near Antill Street. Photo: Supplied

The block of land opposite the Prime Media Group building and Justice Robert Hope Park in Watson will be home to 88 townhouses if a development application is approved.

The DA outlines plans for a $17.9 million project comprising a mix of two, three and four-bedroom two-storey, terrace-style homes, each with their own garage parking.

Developed by JWLand and designed by Front Architects, the complex was designed to respond to its bushland setting, according to Front practice director Sean Hogan.

An early conceptual impression of the development.An early conceptual impression of the development. Photo: Supplied

He said it will feature a contemporary palette of materials including stone work, brick and metal cladding and six large native trees will be retained as focal points of the development.

“We try to keep as many trees as we can because the relationships between landscape and architecture is pivotal for liveability in these residential arrangements,” Mr Hogan said.

“We want to do the best we can to ensure the projects that we’re involved in are as sustainable as possible.”

Mr Hogan said the site slopes from the south to the north, allowing all homes to have a northerly aspect and bushland views.

He said the product mix, which includes a number of accessible homes, should appeal to a large cross section of the community, including couples, families and downsizers.

“The site will cater for people living in an old house in Watson looking to age in place,” Mr Hogan said.

Block 9 Section 64 Watson has been slated for residential development since 2013 when it was listed on the ACT government’s indicative land release program.

An application for a 110-apartment development by Morris Property Group was lodged in 2015.

The Watson Woodlands Working Group raised concerns about how the project, which included the construction of a stormwater pipeline, would impact the adjacent native woodlands.

An Estate Development Plan then capped the maximum number of dwellings at 89 for the 23,345-square-metre block and three multi-unit sites of 21, 33 and 35 dwellings were approved.

Morris Property Group put the three sites on the market in November and they sold to JWLand in February.

There are a number of greenfield sites surrounding the block that are slated for residential development, including Mt Majura Estate, which comprises 129 single-residential blocks and three townhouse sites, and a 320-home sustainable village, on the Southern Cross Ten Austereo site.

Public comments on the townhouse DA are open until August 30. Mr Hogan said the developer hopes to start building before the end of the year, with an estimated construction time of 12 to 18 months.