26 September 2023

New building rules to include active travel

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Many newly built offices in the ACT are to be required to provide end-of-trip facilities such as showers, changerooms, lockers and bicycle parking under a proposed variation to the Territory Plan.

Approving the End-of-Trip Facilities General Code variation, the Minister for Planning and Land Management, Mick Gentleman said it would apply to new buildings and those undergoing major refurbishment to encourage greater use of active travel.

In the Code, the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD said that in order to support active travel, end-of-trip facilities were required to meet existing demand and foreseeable increases in demand, without incurring an unreasonable burden on building developers, owners and managers.

“The Code plays a pivotal role in seeking to make active travel a mainstream element of Canberrans’ daily lives,” EPSDD said.

“Although principally for bicycle riders, showers, lockers, change rooms and drying facilities are also used by other active travel users who use active travel to get to work or educational institutions, or exercise at lunch time,” it said.

“End-of-trip facilities encourage people to use active travel modes of transport now and into the future.”

EPSDD said showers and change facilities in workplaces reduced barriers to active travel and contributed to making active travel a viable alternative to less sustainable travel modes such as private car trips.

“To change travel choices, and make active travel more attractive, it is necessary to equip workplaces with convenient, easy to locate and functional end-of-trip facilities,” the Directorate said.

“These facilities offer benefits and/or incentives to bicycle riders as well as other people who walk or exercise regularly.”

Mr Gentleman said the Directorate had engaged extensively with industry and community stakeholders to make sure the new rules wouldn’t create an unreasonable burden for building developers, owners or managers.

“By not including the space dedicated to end-of-trip facilities in the calculation of gross floor area, I think we’ve reached an excellent compromise between industry and employee benefits,” Mr Gentleman said.

“This allows end-of-trip facilities to be provided without reducing the floor space for offices, retail spaces or dwellings in multi-unit complexes,” the Minister said.

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