Explanatory Statement

Part Four(b) sets out Special Requirements for Territory Land, for areas where the requirements are desirable in the interests of the National Capital.

In areas where Special Requirements apply, any development proposal is administered by the Territory planning authority in compliance with the Special Requirements specified in this part of the Plan.

In some cases, a Development Control Plan is required to be prepared. Development Control Plans may be prepared by either the National Capital Authority or the Territory planning authority, or undertaken jointly by agreement. Such plans are subsequently administered by the Territory.

Development Control Plans may be maps, drawings, photographs, specifications and written statements. They should include sufficient detail for the guidance and management of development in the area, and may include design, siting, scale, purpose, timing and phasing, construction, landscaping and other relevant matters.

Figure 141 illustrates Territory Land subject to Special Requirements.

Figure 141 - Territory Land subject to Special RequirementsFigure 141 illustrates Territory Land subject to Special Requirements.


4.23 Main Avenues

Special Requirements for Main Avenues

It is in the interests of the National Capital that development flanking main avenues in the city is of a type and quality that will enhance the role and status of the city. For the purposes of Special Requirements the Main Avenues are:

  • Northbourne Avenue, between Antill/Mouat Streets and Barry Drive/ Cooyong Street
  • Adelaide Avenue, outside the Central National Area
  • Canberra Avenue, between Hume Circle and the Central National Area
  • Brisbane Avenue outside the Central National Area
  • Constitution Avenue.

These Special Requirements apply to development on land (not included within Designated Areas) adjacent to the Main Avenues identified above.

Special Requirements

Development, except in relation to Northbourne Avenue, is to conform to Development Control Plans (agreed by the National Capital Authority) which seek to secure the integrity of the Main Avenues as approaches to the Parliamentary Zone and ensure that the setting, buildings and purposes of development enhance that function.

Development Controls Plans and (in relation to Northbourne Avenue) development, must:

  • make provision for national uses, offices for national associations, tourist accommodation and residential development
  • seek high standards of building design and finish. External materials should be predominantly light in tone and require little maintenance. Continuous glass façades should be avoided. Criteria for controlling the use of reflective glass should be incorporated

Development Control Plans must:

  • incorporate the following where Main Avenues are the final approaches to the Parliamentary Zone:
    • building height controls, to ensure that buildings are at least three storeys in height unless specifically shown otherwise in an agreed Development Control Plan. Plant and equipment must be enclosed and integrated with the form and design of the building. Any rooftop plant must be contained within maximum height limits.
    • building setbacks to be 10 metres unless specifically shown otherwise in an agreed Development Control Plan. The area in front of the building line is to be landscaped, and exclusive of parking. Minor encroachment of basement parking into this area may be considered where this would not detract from the quality of the landscape treatment and where the parking is located beneath a driveway or other paved area. Canopies may cover set-down areas forward of the building line. Minor encroachment by balconies, awnings and porticos may be considered if the materials and designs are such that the visual integrity of the building line is retained
  • for Main Avenues with predominantly commercial frontages:
    • see Main Avenues – Northbourne Avenue for location specific requirements
    • provide that buildings adjacent to Main Avenues other than Northbourne Avenue may be up to four storeys, plus plantrooms, in height.

Note:

Where these maximum heights are already exceeded by existing buildings, extensions or rebuilding up to the height of the existing building may be permitted.

  • for Main Avenues having predominantly landscaped frontages, generally provide for buildings to not exceed the height of the established tree canopy (typically three to four storeys)
  • consider parking, vehicle access, and the traffic impacts of development. Access from and to the Avenues may be permitted where practicable and where traffic safety will not be affected adversely.

Location specific

Northbourne Avenue

For Northbourne Avenue, the requirement for a Development Control Plan has been met by the passage of Variation No. 96 to the Territory Plan. The integrity of the approach to the Parliamentary Zone remains an objective, however, and Special Requirements for development continue to be necessary in other areas.

Building Height

  • ensure that buildings adjacent to Northbourne Avenue are not less than 3 storeys, however for special non-commercial uses such as a tourist information centre exceptions to this requirement may be considered.
  • plant and equipment must be enclosed and integrated with the form and design of the building. Any rooftop plant must be contained within maximum height limits.,
  • ensure that the parapets of buildings adjacent to Northbourne Avenue are not higher than 25 metres above natural ground level except for the two ‘landmark nodes’ at the intersections of Mouat/Antill       Streets and Macarthur/Wakefield Avenues with Northbourne Avenue where parapets may be up to 32 metres above natural ground level

Where the maximum heights are already exceeded, existing buildings, extensions or rebuilding up to the height of the existing building may be permitted.

Building Setbacks

  • for Northbourne Avenue, ensure building setbacks are 10 metres except for the east side of the Avenue between Wakefield Avenue and Ipima Street and for the ‘landmark nodes’ where Northbourne Avenue is crossed by Mouat/Antill Streets and Macarthur/Wakefield Avenues, where increased building setbacks may be permitted

The area in front of the building setback is to be landscaped, and exclusive of parking. Minor encroachment of basement parking into this area may be considered where this would not detract from the quality of the landscape treatment and where the parking is located beneath a driveway or other paved area. Canopies may cover set-down areas forward of the building line. Minor encroachment by balconies, awnings and porticos may be considered if the materials and designs are such that the visual integrity of the building line is retained.


4.24 Approach Routes

It is in the interests of the National Capital that development flanking Approach Routes to the city is of a type and quality complementary to the role and status of the city. Special Requirements apply to the following Approach Routes:

  • the Barton and Federal Highways from the ACT borders to their junction with Northbourne Avenue, and extending to include Northbourne Avenue north of Antill Street/Mouat Street
  • the Monaro Highway from the ACT border through to Morshead Drive
  • Canberra Avenue from the ACT border to Hume Circle
  • Pialligo Avenue from the ACT border to Morshead Drive
  • Fairbairn Avenue

These Special Requirements apply to development on all land (not included within an Area of Special National Importance) which fronts directly onto the Approach Routes AND is not more than 200 metres from their middle lines.

Special Requirements

Development along the identified Approach Routes is to conform to Development Control Plans agreed by the National Capital 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 will shift to a more formal character.<


4.25 City Centre

Figure 142 - City Centre area subject to Special RequirementsFigure 142: City Centre area subject to Special Requirements

National interest in City Centre

City Centre, as part of Canberra’s central area (which includes the Parliamentary Zone and therefore has a dual national capital and local role), and as the dominant metropolitan centre, has a special role in the context of the Plan. The functional and symbolic relationship between City Centre and the Parliamentary Zone is critical. Because of this both the Territory and Commonwealth Governments have a legitimate interest in its future planning and development. The Territory interest relates mainly to City Centre’s role as the prime commercial and retail centre and as a location for Territory administration, major private sector business, regional and metropolitan head offices, recreational and entertainment, tourist accommodation and important cultural community activities.

The Commonwealth’s interest in City Centre is different and is related to:

  • maintaining the geometry and intent of the plan for City Centre which is integral to the integrity of the Griffin Plan as a work of national and international significance and the role of the Griffin Plan as the principal organising framework for City Centre and the Central National Area.
  • its location at the apex of the National Triangle, the centrepiece of Griffin’s Plan. The point of the apex is City Hill which will ultimately become the symbolic and geographical centre of City Centre as it develops to the south and west.
  • its position as a visible and identifiable element within the ‘amphitheatre’ ie the central basin, which contains Canberra Central. It is a major component of the vista north from Parliament House and other parts of the Parliamentary Zone. Consequently, it can not be considered separate or isolated in a visual sense from these key national capital elements. Existing policies on height and colour have also ensured that City Centre is seen as a cohesive and homogeneous mass when viewed from various vantage points within and on the edge of this amphitheatre
  • its location straddling the most important entrance route to Canberra (i.e. Northbourne Avenue) in general and the Parliamentary Zone in particular.
  • the nature of the topography surrounding Canberra Central (rolling hills and sweeping horizontals) the predominance of the landscaping, and the comparatively low profiles or silhouettes of the majority of the features of the Central Basin, which demands that development in City Centre does not overwhelm or detract from key national capital features (the Parliament House in particular) in terms of height, bulk, colours and materials.
  • the Main Avenues converging on City Centre provide important strategic corridors linking major centres of Commonwealth and municipal activity in the Central National Area – for example Government, University, Defence and City Centre administration. These Main Avenues are suitable for the development of higher densities of retail, employment and residential activity to support key public transport corridors and provide the principal visual and symbolic connections between the city and the landscape.

National Capital interests in City Centre can be summarised as:

  • overall consideration of height, colour, materials, and architectural and environmental quality, aimed at ensuring that City Centre’s continued development is of a harmonious and high quality nature, consistent with its role and its location within the Central Basin in general, and its relationship with the Central National Area in particular.
  • specific interest in areas within London Circuit because of their critical importance at the apex of the National Triangle.
  • specific interest in the avenues which form axes terminating on City Hill. They have symbolic importance on Griffin’s Plan in visually connecting the city to its natural setting, and their treatment and their landscaping should be of a high standard.
  • particular interest in ensuring that City Centre’s future development conforms with the metropolitan strategies for a decentralised distribution of employment as set out in employment location policies of the Plan.

City Centre has a multi-faceted role as the most important metropolitan centre, as the apex of the National Triangle, a location astride an important entrance route to Canberra and the Parliamentary Zone, and a significant element in the physical structure of central Canberra.

It is in the interests of the National Capital that the development of City Centre balances these roles.

Principles for City Centre

City Centre’s continued development should recognise its metropolitan significance and role, achieve a satisfactory relationship between City Centre and other development and features of the Central area, and meet the following principles:

  1. Future development and redevelopment in City Centre should aim both to reinforce City Centre’s role as the prime metropolitan centre, and contribute to a diverse, lively and attractive character.
  2. The design of buildings and the amenity and environmental quality of the main public spaces should result in an accessible, attractive, high quality and distinctive centre consistent with City Centre’s role as the major metropolitan centre and its location at one point of the National Triangle, Griffin’s major organising element of the Central National Area.

Policies for City Centre

The following Policies apply within those areas of City Centre identified in Figure 142.

Transport and movement

Long term impacts of development must be taken into account. Measures for discouraging through traffic from using the City Centre road network in peak periods must be considered. Future demand for car parking should be met by the construction of structured car parks in locations that service needs throughout City Centre while aiming to minimise congestion, and/or by on-site provision of parking spaces. Vehicle access and traffic management throughout the area should seek to maintain the ease and comfort of moving around the city, catering to a diversity of pedestrian, cycle, vehicular and public transport modes.

Urban Design

  1. The symbolic importance of the Main Avenues radiating from City Hill (Northbourne, Ainslie, Constitution, Edinburgh and University Avenues) and their role as the main public transport corridors should be complemented through the landscape and architectural treatment on abutting blocks.
  2. The design and development of City Centre should continue to reflect the geometry and fine grain pattern of streets and blocks of the Griffin Plan.
  3. The design and development of streets should provide a continuous planting of large scale street trees and high quality landscape character that fosters a compact, connective and pedestrian-friendly environment for central city living.
  4. The massing, height, colours and materials used for buildings in City Centre should result in a harmonious and high quality urban design outcome with a recognisable city edge.
  5. Buildings in City Centre must be of permanent construction.
  6. The height of buildings in City Centre may be less than but not more than nine storeys provided that:
    • plant rooms and other service elements may be allowed above this height subject to being set back from the building edges and screened from street level view.
    • one or more taller building(s) per section up to a maximum height of RL617 will be considered only in accordance with an approved comprehensive design for the whole section. Comprehensive section designs should seek to use building height to emphasise and reinforce the geometry of the Griffin Plan and the symbolic Main Avenues radiating out from City Hill.
    • where an existing building exceeds the height limitations set out above it will be permissible to consider rebuilding to the same height as the existing building or lower.


4.26 Kingston Foreshore

Figure 143 - Kingston Foreshore area subject to Special RequirementsFigure 143: Kingston Foreshore area subject to Special Requirements

The Commonwealth’s interest in Kingston Foreshore is to ensure the Lake Burley Griffin Foreshore in East Basin continues to be developed as a major landscape feature helping to unify the National Capital’s central precincts. The Kingston Foreshore area forms a prominent urban environment when viewed from within and across East Basin, and from key tourist vantage points such as from Mount Ainslie and Mount Pleasant. Ensuring a notable visual quality, as part of the lake foreshores vista, will be important to maintaining the unity of the central precincts of the National Capital. The Kingston Foreshore area, which is subject to the following Special Requirements, is that land at Kingston bounded by Bowen Park, Wentworth Avenue (and including the Avenue), Cunningham Street, The Causeway through to Jerrabomberra Creek, Jerrabomberra Creek and a line approximately seven metres behind the wall of Lake Burley Griffin (refer Figure 143). Development in the Kingston Foreshore area (the ‘area’) is to retain a working boat harbour and lake maintenance facility and conform to the following Aesthetic Principles.

Foreshore Precinct Landscape

The landscape of the precinct adjacent to the Lake Burley Griffin foreshore Designated Area should be of an open space parkland character consistent with that in Bowen Park. The landscape should permit views into the development through informal tree planting and should include landscape treatment of a high quality allowing for pedestrian and cycleway movement through the area.

The edge of Jerrabomberra Creek should be landscaped as open space allowing for pedestrian movement and have a character not inconsistent with the role of the Creek as the edge to the Jerrabomberra Wetlands.

Built form and materials

Massing of building development addressing the lake edge

The massing of building development directly addressing the lake edge is to be articulated and modulated to present a varied appearance and avoid an apparent unbroken wall of development when viewed from the lake.

Colour

The colour scheme of development is to be generally light in tone. Some highlighting with darker colours may be acceptable where these do not present the dominant colour scheme when viewed from or across the Lake.

Roofs

A variety of roof forms, materials and colours should be introduced into the area.

Building Height

The overall height of buildings in the area is to be generally consistent with that of the tree canopy of mature trees in the area. This can be achieved through buildings being a maximum of four storeys except for some taller buildings or focal elements where these do not significantly impact on the landscape of the area or detract from the massing of the Kingston Powerhouse building.

Materials and Finishes

Materials on buildings and structures near the Lake edge are to be of a durable and low maintenance nature with a high quality in the materials used. Buildings fronting the Lake edge should generally avoid the use of highly reflective materials.

Lighting

Outdoor lighting in the area should generally use full cut-off light fittings and up-lighting of buildings and structures should be carefully designed to keep night time overspill lighting to a minimum.

The overall lighting impact should not compete in prominence with the lighting of the National Triangle. The area should be lit predominantly with high pressure sodium light sources for streets and mercury vapour for pedestrian routes. Lake frontage external lighting should use metal halide sources.

Wentworth Avenue

The landscape of Wentworth Avenue is to create a strong balanced planting regime of trees along the Avenue in terms of the species used and spacing. Planting used on both sides should generally be consistent in terms of type and spacing.

The landscape of the median area is to be progressively upgraded to a character consistent with that of Telopea Park being large canopy trees in a grass setting. Car parking in the median may be permitted in the short term pending the phasing out of such parking consistent with the implementation of a parking strategy for the Kingston area which does not involve parking in the median of the Avenue.

The design of street furniture (including lighting) used in the Avenue should generally be consistent with the design of such facilities used on other major Avenues leading to the centre of the National Capital. Signage in the Avenue should be limited to traffic control signs and to direct the public to commercial centres in Kingston and the foreshore area.

Developments along the Avenue should address the Avenue but should generally have vehicular access from a road other than directly from the Avenue. Development having direct vehicular access to the Avenue should include a predominantly landscaped frontage treatment exclusive of parking but may include canopies covering set down areas. The landscape of the frontage should respond to the pattern of movement systems created from the Kingston Centre to the foreshore area.


4.27 Haig and Telopea Parks

Figure 144 - Haig Park area subject to special requirementsFigure 144: Haig Park area subject to Special Requirements
Figure 145 - Telopea Park area subject to special requirements
Figure 145: Telopea Park area subject to Special Requirements

It is in the interests of the National Capital to ensure that important open space places are conserved.

Development of land within open space places must conform with Development Control Plans agreed by the Authority. The Plans are to meet the following:

  1. to conserve landscape and environmental qualities, having regard to the historic and aesthetic importance of the area the following requirements will apply:
    1. historical context will be considered and established planting patterns respected.
    2. functional linkages to other open space elements should be enhanced.
    3. Utility of the areas for recreation should be optimised to the extent possible within aesthetic constraints. Provision should be made for appreciation and use of the areas by visitors to the city.