Date Approved
27 June 2014

1. Preamble

The Barton Highway is defined as an Approach Route in the National Capital Plan (the Plan). Special Requirements for Approach Routes, set out at Section 2.4 of the Plan, apply to all sites (including the Gold Creek Tourist Area) flanking the highway that are outside the Designated Areas of the Plan. The Special Requirements state:

'Development is to conform to Development Control Plans agreed by the Authority, which seek to enhance the surrounding predominantly rural character and landscape outside the urban areas. As the Approach Routes enter the built up areas, the emphasis shall shift to a more formal character.'

Special Requirements set out in Appendix V of the Plan also apply to the Gold Creek Tourist Area. The relevant provisions of Appendix V have been taken into consideration in setting the development controls as part of the Development Control Plan (DCP).

In the absence of a provision in the Plan to the contrary, all development should be in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Territory Plan.

The subject area is Territory land outside the Designated Area of the Plan and therefore the ACT Government is responsible for assessing development applications relating to the subject area. In doing so, the ACT Government is required to ensure any proposal is not inconsistent with the DCP or the Plan.

The Barton Highway road reservation forms part of the Designated Areas of the Plan and therefore the National Capital Authority (NCA) is responsible for granting works approval within the Barton Highway road reservation.


2. Planning and urban design objectives

  • The character of this locality contributes to the quality and experience of the Barton Highway as a significant Approach Route to the National Capital. In this respect, development of the area must respond to the following general objectives set out for Approach Routes:
  • Establish a clear and identifiable route from the border to the symbolic centre of the Capital by providing visual cues and strong structural links such as verge and avenue planting.
  • Identify and enhance distinct realms and elements that will introduce visitors to the inherent characteristics of Canberra.
  • Recognise and reinforce the importance of the setting of the Capital by directing views to the rural landscape and surrounding hills by ensuring adjacent development respects the natural features, character and scale of the landscape.
  • Guide planning and design so that built elements are sited within a landscape setting with filtered screening of views from Barton Highway.

3. Building mass, height and articulation

3.1. Gold Creek Tourist Area should continue to be developed as a series of pavilions in well landscaped settings suitable for deep-rooted plantings.

3.2. The quality, scale and siting of the built form is critical to the character of the precinct, hence buildings must:

  • be designed and sited to create distinct spaces like courtyards and squares
  • not be discordant with the current urban form of the area
  • be of a form and design quality that contributes to the existing historic and cultural character of the area
  • create distinct and active edges to the streets (particularly O’Hanlon Place) and open spaces by the use of verandahs, pergolas and similar architectural features.

3.3. Buildings on sites fronting O’Hanlon place, in addition to providing an active frontage to O’Hanlon place, should also present an attractive visual form when viewed from the Barton Highway.

3.4. Building frontages to the Barton Highway shall be articulated incorporating modulated form, tactility, silhouette and respond to human scale. Buildings shall have a maximum unarticulated length of 15 metres to the Barton Highway frontage. Articulation may be provided by:

  • changes in wall planes of a minimum of one metre in depth and no less than four metres in length
  • inclusion of balconies
  • horizontally stepping facades by at least one metre.

3.5. Building height shall be a maximum of 12 metres above natural ground level. No encroachments above 12 metres will be permitted. Natural ground level shall be taken to be the level of the Barton Highway Road Reserve that adjoins or is perpendicular to the block. As natural ground level rises away from the Barton Highway this can incorporate a split level rise, so that natural ground level may be taken from O’Hanlon Place or Edie Payne Close, whichever adjoins the block, within the area shown in DCP Drawing 14/01.

4. Building Setback

4.1. Minimum setbacks for siting buildings, structures or hard paved areas (including parking and internal roads) on sites along Barton Highway vary between 10 metres and 25 metres from the Barton Highway frontage and should be in accordance with the DCP Drawing 14/01.

4.2. A minimum six metre setback from the site boundary must be maintained for buildings, structures or hard paved areas along the Curran Drive frontage.

5. Roofscape Design

5.1. Careful consideration should be given to the roof form and roofscape of buildings as viewed from the Barton Highway.

5.2. Roof top plant and equipment, if required, shall be fully concealed from view. This may be achieved through integration within the roof form.

5.3. Roofscape design shall not be discordant with the architectural character of the locality.

6. Colours and materials

6.1. The facades and roofs of buildings shall be constructed of high quality and durable materials. Pre-coloured metal and highly reflective external materials are not permitted.

6.2. Colour of external finishes of buildings and structures must ensure that they are appropriate to and not discordant with, the general development and amenity of the locality.

6.3. Building materials, construction and finishes should be responsive to microclimatic issues. Use of sunscreen devices as articulation elements should be employed to achieve climate responsive facades where appropriate in relation to setting and orientation.

7. Landscape design

7.1. The landscape of the precinct should be dominated by trees so as to set a continuous canopy level which will assist in defining the precinct. The whole area is to be visually contained with clear boundary treatments.

7.2. The view of buildings set amongst trees is what gives the precinct its character and should be further developed. Landscaping shall be incorporated between buildings to break up the visual impact of the built form as shown in DCP Drawing 14/01. Tree planting should allow for filtered views into the sites from the Barton Highway.

7.3. The distribution and development of the open space within the precinct should relate to the adjacent uses, the landform and be treated in a manner which complements the functions or uses considered for the sites.

7.4. Each open space is as important as the buildings surrounding it and as such must be designed and developed concurrent with the built form.

7.5. Noise mitigation measures consisting of soft landscaping solutions (such as mounding or earthworks) are permitted in the setback areas.

7.6. A Landscape Plan must accompany any development proposal, which achieves the requirements of Section 7 'Landscape Design' of this DCP and which reflects the intent illustrated in the DCP Drawing 14/01.

7.7. The landscape treatment of the Barton Highway median adjacent to the Gold Creek Tourist Area is to reinforce the landscape character of the Highway and adjacent precinct. The landscape treatment is to give definition to and emphasise Gold Creek Road as the main entrance to the precinct.

7.8. Verge planting, similar to that in Curran Drive, should be introduced along Gold Creek Road to give greater definition to the main access road to the precinct.

8. Fencing

8.1. Fencing to site boundaries shall:

  • be of a form that is not obtrusive or bulky
  • allow filtered views into the site from the Barton Highway
  • not exceed 1.8 metres in height
  • be constructed of high quality and durable materials
  • be highly integrated with landscape design.

8.2. Pre-coloured solid metal fencing is not permitted.

8.3. Fencing which prevents filtered views into the site and detracts from the presentation of Barton Highway will not be permitted.

9. Roads, vehicular access and car parking

9.1. Access to the precinct from the Barton Highway must be in locations shown in DCP Drawing 14/01.

9.2. A traffic and parking assessment should accompany development proposals, and this will be determined in consultation with the approving authority.

9.3. The visual impact of large car parking areas must be minimised through adequate screening and landscape treatment that appropriately considers view lines and safety.

9.4. Careful consideration should be given to the access, internal circulation and parking of service and heavy goods vehicles within the area. These areas shall be screened from the Barton Highway

10. Signs

10.1. Apart from a single combined sign which identifies the precinct as a whole and its attractions, all other signs associated with individual developments must address Curran Drive, Gold Creek Road or O’Hanlon Place and not the Barton Highway.

10.2. All signs are to be contained within the site. Design of all signs should enhance the historic and cultural character of the area and not detract from the overall character of the built environment and its landscape setting.

11. Mechanical plant and electrical equipment substations, storage and service areas

11.1. All mechanical plant and equipment should be contained within buildings or located within service enclosures appropriately screened from the Barton Highway. External air conditioning units and plant shall not be visible from the Barton Highway.

11.2. Careful consideration must be given to the siting of any electrical substation, storage and service areas (including storage sheds) if required. Any such structures or areas must be carefully sited and totally screened from the view from the Barton Highway.

11.3. Rainwater tanks are to be fully integrated into the building design or screened from view to ensure they do not detract from the Barton Highway frontage.

12. Lighting

12.1. All outdoor lighting, including security and car park lighting shall be designed and sited to minimise light pollution. Outdoor lighting shall use full cut-off light fittings. Any up-lighting of buildings should be carefully designed to keep night time overspill and glare to a minimum.

12.2. A full cut-off light fitting allows no light to be directed upward. No light dispersion or direct glare is allowed to shine at or above a 90-degree, horizontal plane from the base of the fixture. The lens/diffuser should not project beyond housing and minimal light should be emitted above 80˚ as per Figure 1.

Image of Luminaire showing the angle and that the Lens/Diffuser is not to project beyond luminaire housing.

Figure 1 - Full Cut Off Light Fixture

13. Sustainable Development

13.1. Development proposals will demonstrate a high level of performance in terms of environmental design where applicable including energy efficiency, climate management and water sensitive urban design.

14. DCP drawings

The above provisions should be read in conjunction with the DCP Drawings, which form part of this DCP.

Development Control Planning Drawing 14/01

Figure 1: Development Control Plan 14/01

Public Consultation

In May 2013, the NCA received a request from Knight Frank on behalf of the lessees of Block 12 Section 83 Nicholls (the National Dinosaur Museum site) to amend the current DCP for the Gold Creek Tourist Area (DCP 12/04). The DCP will guide future development on the site.

The subject site is adjacent to the Barton Highway, an Approach Route as defined in the National Capital Plan (the Plan). Special Requirements for Approach Routes apply 'to development on all land (not included within any Designated Area) which fronts directly onto Approach Routes AND is not more than 200 metres from their middle lines'. Special Requirements for Approach Routes under section 2.4 of the Plan apply to the site and state:

'Development is to conform to Development Control Plans agreed by the Authority, which seek to enhance the surrounding predominantly rural character and landscape outside the urban areas. As the Approach Routes enter the built up area, the emphasis shall shift to a more formal character.'

The previous DCP (DCP 12/04) allowed access to the Gold Creek area via Curran Drive and Gold Creek Road only. No direct access to specific blocks was permitted. Draft DCP 14/01 proposed that direct access be permitted to Block 12 Section 83 Nicholls (the Dinosaur Museum site) to enable a wider variety of development opportunities for the site. Roads ACT were consulted about the proposal prior to the release of the draft DCP.

In addition to amending the DCP to allow access to Block 12 Section 83 Nicholls, an indicative landscape structure was added to guide development proposals adjacent to the Barton Highway, consistent with the Special Requirements of the Plan.

Between 13 February  and 25 March 2014, public consultation on the draft DCP was undertaken in accordance with the NCA's 'Commitment to Community Engagement'.

The NCA received a total of four submissions on the draft DCP. The key issues raised by the community during the consultation process were:

  • Direct access from arterial roads
  • Traffic safety
  • Setback terminology
  • Landscape requirements.

The NCA prepared a Consultation Report to provide responses to the issues/objections raised by those persons who made a submission in relation to the draft DCP.  The Consultation Report is now being made publicly available.

DCP 14/01, for the Gold Creek Tourist Area, was approved on 27 June 2014, with two changes to the draft DCP.

For further information, please contact Jordan Smith at the NCA on 02 6271 2888.

Barton Highway