NB. Place Names and Proper Nouns where used in the Plan have the meaning ordinarily given them or as defined by or under relevant legislation, gazettals or regulations.

ACT Government

The body politic established under the Australian Capital Territory (Self Government) ACT 1988 and includes the Executive of that body, and agencies established by it, whether by enactment or otherwise.


Those qualities or conditions associated with a site, or locality, that are conducive to its better enjoyment for any permitted use.

Arterial Roads

Roads which provide principally for intra and inter-town traffic collection and distribution are arterial roads. The main elements are shown on the General Policy Plan. The arterial road network in the Territory comprises two elements – the arterial roads within Canberra's urban areas, which are major traffic collectors and distributors, and the network of peripheral parkways which serves to carry traffic between towns along routes lying largely at the periphery of the built-up areas.


Any floor area built wholly or partly in the roof of a building but an attic will not be regarded as a storey if it is wholly contained within a roof pitched at the level of the ceiling of the storey next below the attic.


In relation to a sign; the internal illumination of a sign box and the internal illumination of individual letters or characters comprising a sign, provided that the sign box, letter or character is constructed of translucent and not transparent materials.


A sign erected for the purpose of advertising products or services which are not being offered on a site on which the sign is erected.

Canberra Central

Comprises the Inner North and Inner South areas of Canberra, includes Canberra City at its centre.


The division of City defined by registered survey for land administration and the legal description of land parcels. Broadly, commencing at the intersection of Kingsley Street and Barry Drive, land bound by Barry Drive, Cooyong Street, Coranderrk Street, Parkes Way, Edinburgh Avenue, Hales Street, the eastern portion of McCoy Circuit, Ellery Crescent, Childers Street (including the land on the north-east side of Childers Street to Hutton Street), Hutton Street and Kingsley Street.

Commonwealth Authority

  1. a body, whether corporate or not, established by or under a law of the Commonwealth other than the Self-Government Act
  2. any other body, whether corporate or not, established by the Commonwealth
  3. an office established by, or appointment made under, a law of the Commonwealth other than the Self-Government Act
  4. an appointment made by the Commonwealth.

Conservation Plan

A statement setting out all the processes of looking after a place so as to retain its cultural or natural significance, including maintenance, presentation, restoration, reconstruction and adaptation or a combination of more than one of these.

Datum ground level

Means the surface ground level as determined in a field survey authorised by a registered surveyor:

  1. at the time of Operational Acceptance for subdivision; or
  2. if a. is not available, provided no new earthworks have occurred; or
  3. at the date of grant of the lease of the block;

whichever is the earliest.

Where a., b. or c. is not available, datum ground level is the best estimate of the surface ground level determined in a field survey considering the levels of the immediate surrounding area and authorised by a registered surveyor.

Deep soil zone

Means an area of soil within a development that is unimpeded by buildings or structures above and below ground, and which has sufficient dimensions to allow for the growth of healthy trees. Deep soil zones exclude basement car parks, services, swimming pools, tennis courts and impervious surfaces including car parks, driveways, podium and roof areas.

Defined Activity Centre

Those sites identified as primary activity centres for the location of major employment generating land uses. Includes town centres and industrial areas, but does not include group or local centres.

Designated Area

An area of land identified as having the special characteristics of the National Capital under Section 10(1) of the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988. For the purposes of the Plan Designated Areas are referred to as Designated Areas.

Development Control Plan

A plan prepared for the guidance and control of development including design, siting, scale, purpose, timing and phasing, construction, landscaping and other relevant matters. The plan may include maps, drawings, photographs, specifications and written statements.

Gross Floor Area

With respect to detached houses, is the sum of the gross areas of the floor or floors of a building or buildings, measured from the external faces of exterior walls or form the centre lines of walls separating two buildings. Without attempting to be exhaustive, gross floor area includes garages and any area capable of being adapted for use as anything other than the storage of goods, and floor space in interior balconies or mezzanines and external balconies which are used as corridors. In the event of no garage or carport being shown on the plan, there will be included in the calculation of the floor space, 15 square metres floor space for the first 150 square meters of gross floor space shown on the plan and 1 square metre of floor space for every 10 square metres of floor space for every 10 square metres over 150 square metres. In the case of a commercial, multi-unit residential, industrial or business building floor space does not include any areas used for elevator shafts or stairwells, fixed mechanical plant or car parking.

External balconies in multi-unit residential buildings are excluded from gross floor area calculations where two or fewer sides are enclosed. Where three sides are enclosed, the balcony will be included in gross floor area calculations.

Habitable (including habitable room)

Means a room within a dwelling capable of being lawfully used for the normal domestic activities of living, sleeping, cooking or eating, and –

  1. includes a bedroom, study, living room, family room, kitchen, dining room, home theatre, rumpus room; but
  2. does not include a bathroom, laundry, utility room, hallway, garage or other spaces of a specialised nature occupied either frequently or for extended periods.

Height of Building

The difference between the mean natural ground level of that length of the side boundary which is adjacent to the building and the highest point or points or the parapet, eaves or fascia in the case of flat roofs or roofs pitched at less than 45 degrees. Where the roof is pitched at more than 45 degrees the highest point will be measured to a line midway between the top of the eaves or fascia and the ridge.

Height of Sign

The difference between ground level and the highest point of the sign.

Heritage Place

Includes places listed under either Commonwealth or Territory legislation, or those under the National Capital Authority’s heritage register maintained under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Land Acquisition Act

The Act for the time being in force relating to the acquisition of land by the Commonwealth and associated matters.

Lanyon Bowl Area

Lanyon Bowl Area is approximately 5000 hectares, located in the Murrumbidgee Valley 20 kilometres south of Canberra, comprising the visual catchment of the Lanyon Homestead complex and defined as the land bound by a line commencing at the Castle Hill trig; then south-west and south-east along the watershed boundary of Sawyers Gully to the Tennant trig; then generally north-east in a straight line to toward the Murrumbidgee River at Tharwa;  then eastwards directly to an peak of 729m ASL; then along the ridgeline to a peak of altitude 858m ASL immediately north  of the Gigerline trig; then north-east along the crest of the range to the Rob Roy trig; then north along the ridgeline to the Big Monks trig; then via straight lines to Tharwa Drive then Lanyon Hill trig and then a straight line to the commencement point.’


In relation to land, includes care, control and maintenance.

National Triangle

The land bounded by Constitution Avenue, Kings Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue.

Parking Space

An unobstructed hardstanding or manoeuvring area of 28m2 open or enclosed. However, an area of less than 28m2, but in no event less than 19m2 may be considered as one space, when the layout and design of the parking are adequate to permit convenient access and manoeuvring. In no event, except for detached houses, must the dimensions of any parking space be less than 5.5m long and 2.6m wide.

Pedestrian Walkway

A strip of land, whether paved or unpaved, which is designated by the National Capital Authority as being set aside for the purpose of foot traffic between two or more places.

Plot Ratio

The gross floor area in a building, divided by the area of the site.

Rear Property Boundary

The boundary line of a block located furthermost from the front property boundary. In the case of blocks which have not more than two property boundaries, there will be deemed to be one front boundary and one side boundary.


Block of land, excepting blocks which include an access driveway or right of way, in which case the area contained within the access driveway or right of way will not be included in the area of the block for the purpose of the calculation of the site area.


That portion of any building including any portion used for the parking of vehicles or any portion capable of being adapted for use as anything other than storage or the installation of fixed mechanical plant or equipment which is situated between any floor level and the floor level above, or, if there is no floor above, and the ceiling above.

Surface Area

In relation to a sign; the entire area within a single continuous perimeter enclosing the extreme limit of writing, representation, emblem, or any figure or similar character, together with any material or colour form an integral part of the display or used to differentiate such sign from the background against which it is placed. In any event, the supports or uprights on which such sign is supported will not be included in determining the surface area of a sign.

The surface area of a double-faced sign must include only one of the sides when:

  1. the sides are back to back
  2. the sides are divergent but display identical writing or other representation in substantially different directions.

Any additional side of a multi-faced sign will be included in the assessment of surface area.

Management Plan

A plan, including statements or programs, setting out the objectives, actions, works, standards and procedures for the care, control, maintenance and protection of land, and for the activities for which the land is used.

National Capital Plan

The Plan prepared by the National Capital Authority under Part III of the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988 and includes a stage or part of that Plan. May also be referred to as the Plan.

National Land

Has the meaning given by Section 27 of the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988.

Parliamentary Precincts

The area of land specified by the Parliamentary Precincts Act 1988.

Parliamentary Zone

The area of land specified by the Parliament Act 1974.


Unless the context otherwise requires, the National Capital Plan.

Policy Plan

A plan prepared for the purposes of setting out land uses for an area, whether existing or intended, or to deal with a class or classes of land use within an area.

Special Requirements Area

An area of land specified in the Plan under Section 10(2) (d) of the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988.

Territory Land

Any land that is not National Land as described by Section 28 of the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988.

Territory Plan

The plan referred to in Section 25 of the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988.

Territory Planning Authority

The authority referred to in Section 25 of the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988.



  1. the construction, alteration, extension or demolition of buildings or structures
  2. landscaping
  3. tree-felling
  4. excavations

but excludes anything done inside buildings or structures.