In December 2014, the NCA received a request from Spacelab on behalf of the lessees of Block 2-4 Section 27 Forrest to prepare a Development Control Plan (DCP) that sets out planning and urban design policies to guide the future development for the site. The site is proposed to be redeveloped into a residential apartment building.
Between 21 January and 5 March 2015, public consultation on the draft DCP was undertaken in accordance with the NCA's 'Commitment to Community Engagement' (August 2011). The NCA received a total of nine submissions on the draft DCP. The key issues raised by the community during the consultation process were:
- Building Height and Form
- Building Setbacks
- Vehicular Access from Canberra Avenue
- Existing Trees
- Setback and Articulation of Courtyard Walls
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.
DCP 15/02, for Blocks 2-4 Section 27 Forrest, was approved on 8 May 2015, with six changes to the draft DCP.
Draft DCP released for consultation
The National Capital Plan (the Plan) came into effect on 21 January 1990. The subject site is adjacent to Canberra Avenue, a Main Avenue as defined in the Plan. Special Requirements for Main Avenues, under Section 2.3 of the Plan, apply to the site and state:
Development, except in relation to Northbourne Avenue, is to conform to Development Control Plans (agreed by the 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.
The provisions of this Development Control Plan (DCP) apply to Blocks 2, 3 and 4 Section 27 Forrest. In the absence of a provision to the contrary, all development should be in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Territory Plan. Where an inconsistency arises between the Territory Plan and the National Capital Plan, the National Capital Plan prevails.
The purpose of this DCP is to provide guidance for the future development of the subject site within the framework of the National Capital Plan and the Territory Plan.
Draft DCP 15/02 has been prepared in accordance with the Plan.
Part 1: Context
The National Capital Authority (NCA) has received a request from Spacelab to establish a DCP for Blocks 2 - 4 Section 27 Forrest.
Three two storey dwellings currently occupy the subject site. The proponent intends to develop the site into a multi-unit residential building.
The DCP will guide the future redevelopment of the site.
2. Explanatory statement
2.1 Purpose of draft Development Control Plan No. 15/02
If approved, DCP 15/02 will establish planning and urban design provisions for the site, including building height, setbacks and design, landscape character, access and parking.
2.2 Effect of draft Development Control Plan No. 15/02
Draft DCP 15/02 includes the following provisions:
- General planning and urban design objectives
- Requirements for building height and setback, and architectural quality in built form
- Requirements for access and parking
- Providing for an enhanced landscape character along the Canberra Avenue frontage.
3. Outline of the Process
- Development intention expressed
- Preparation of a Draft DCP. NCA considers the views and issues expressed by key stakeholders and prepares the Draft DCP for public consultation
- Public consultation on a Draft DCP
- Consideration by Authority
4. Public consultation
The NCA invites written comments on draft DCP 15/02 from community and stakeholders by 4 pm on 5 March 2015. All responses received will be considered before a decision on draft DCP 15/02 is made by the NCA.
Comments should be forwarded to Mr Andrew Smith, Chief Planner, National Capital Authority, GPO Box 373, CANBERRA ACT 2601. Or delivered by hand to National Capital Authority, Treasury Building, Ground Floor, King Edward Terrace PARKES ACT 2600
A public information session will be held on 4 February 2015, between 12.00noon and 1.30pm at NCA offices.
Further information is available from Richard Nash on (02) 6271 2888 or email DCP@natcap.gov.au
Permission to disclose name and address
The NCA seeks an open and transparent DCP process. Following public consultation on the draft amendment, the NCA will prepare a Consultation Report which will be published on the NCA website. This report will include a summary of each submission. The NCA intends to publish the name and suburb of each person making the submission, but will not publish contact details (such as physical address, email or phone number).
If you have a concern about having your name published on the internet or if you wish to make a confidential submission, you must make this clear when submitting your comments. Say why you want your submission to be kept confidential.
The NCA will consider requests for confidentiality, but cannot make promises in advance. If you have concerns about confidentiality, please contact the NCA to discuss before making a submission.
Part 2: Draft Development Control Plan No. 15/02
The subject site is adjacent to Canberra Avenue, which is a Main Avenue as defined in the National Capital Plan (the Plan). Special Requirements for Main Avenues under Section 2.3 of the Plan apply to the site and state:
Development 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 the development enhance that function.
The provisions of this Development Control Plan (DCP) apply to Blocks 2-4 Section 27 Forrest. In the absence of a provision in the Plan to the contrary, all development should accord with the relevant provisions of the Territory Plan. Where an inconsistency arises between the Territory Plan and the National Capital Plan, the National Capital Plan prevails.
The subject area is Territory Land outside Designated Areas of the Plan and therefore the planning and land authority within the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate (EPD) is responsible for assessing development applications relating to the subject area. In doing so, EPD is required to ensure any proposal is not inconsistent with this DCP or the Plan.
The Canberra Avenue 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 Canberra Avenue road reservation.
2. Planning and urban design objectives
- Enhance the character of Canberra Avenue as one of Griffin's Main Avenues and as one of the main approaches to Parliament House and the Parliamentary Zone.
- Maintain and reinforce the character of Canberra Avenue as a setting for prestigious buildings.
- Allow for buildings with appropriate urban scale relationship to Canberra Avenue and the final approach to the Parliamentary Zone.
- Ensure that a high level of amenity is provided in site layout and urban design and that noise impacts are mitigated through appropriate building design, materials and construction.
- Development should exhibit excellence in urban design, architecture and landscape, and demonstrate sustainable features using a palette of high quality and durable materials.
- Encourage modulation, tactility, silhouette and human scale in relation to built form and streetscape design.
- Ensure all new buildings have their main frontage to Canberra Avenue, with clearly articulated pedestrian entries.
3. Land Use
- Land use on the site shall be consistent with the National Capital Plan and the Territory Plan.
- Mandatory requirements regarding maximum number of dwellings, building height, dwelling replacement and prohibition for apartments imposed by the Territory Plan are not applicable to consolidated blocks for the subject site.
4. Building mass and height
- Buildings and other permanent structures should be designed to a high architectural design standard and must ensure an overall consistency in form, massing and detail.
- Maximum building height is to be in accordance with DCP drawing 15/02.
- Development to the rear of the building should be articulated in accordance with the built envelope shown in DCP drawing 15/02 to reduce visual bulk of the building visible to dwellings which front Franklin Street.
- Overlooking of rear yards of properties fronting Franklin Street should be avoided through techniques such as siting living areas to front Canberra Avenue and Dominion Circuit, the provision of fixed louvres (directing views away from rear yards), planter boxes and like elements.
- Rooftop plant shall be an integral part of the overall design and consistent with the requirements of Section 6 'Roofscape Design' of this DCP.
5. Building setback
- Buildings are to be setback a minimum of ten metres from Canberra Avenue and six metres from Dominion Circuit. All setbacks are as defined in DCP drawing 15/02.
- Minor encroachments of articulation elements may be permitted within the 'building articulation zone' as defined by DCP drawing 15/02.
- Articulation elements shall not occupy more than 25 per cent of the defined articulation zone. Articulation elements permitted are verandas, courtyard walls, porches, awnings, shade devices, pergolas, bay windows, dwelling entries, and roof elements. The articulation zone will commence no lower than RL 579, except for residential proposals where balconies may be provided below RL 579 provided they are designed in a manner that is unobtrusive, with minimal visual impact and are included in the calculation of articulation elements.
- The primary pedestrian address frontage for development is to be oriented to Canberra Avenue to reinforce the prestige and visual interest of the avenue. Building frontages to Canberra Avenue and Dominion Circuit shall be articulated incorporating modulated form, tactility, silhouette and respond to human scale. Building entries should be appropriate to the scale and character of the avenue.
- Development adjacent to the side boundary of Block 1, Section 27 will be three metres as defined in DCP drawing 15/02. Development adjacent the side boundary of Block 13, Section 27 will be four metres as defined in DCP drawing 15/02.
- Buildings shall have a maximum unarticulated length of 15 metres. Articulation may be provided by:
- changes in wall planes of a minimum one metre in depth and no less than four metres in length; and/or
- inclusion of balconies; and/or
- horizontally stepping facades by at least one metre.
6. Roofscape design
- Careful consideration is to be given to the roof form and the roofscape of buildings as viewed from Canberra Avenue.
- Roof top plant and equipment, if required, must be fully enclosed and the enclosures are to be carefully integrated with the roof form and design of the building. All such plant and equipment shall be totally concealed from view from Canberra Avenue and Parliament House.
7. Building materials and colours
- The facades and roof of buildings are to be constructed of high quality, durable materials. Highly reflective external materials are not permitted.
- Building materials, construction and finishes are to be responsive to microclimate issues. Use of sunscreen devices as articulation elements may be employed to achieve climate responsive facades.
- Colours of external finishes should contribute to (and not detract from) the general development and amenity of the locality.
8. Vehicular access and car Parking
- Access point location(s) will be determined or agreed by the relevant approval authorities, but will reflect the indicative site entry points illustrated on DCP drawing 15/02.
- A traffic and parking assessment should accompany development proposals for the site, and this will be determined in consultation with the approving authority.
- Onsite parking shall not be located within the Canberra Avenue and Dominion Circuit frontage landscaped zone and should generally be provided within basements.
- Parking basements and ventilation openings are to be concealed from public view. Ventilation openings will be configured to minimise light spill and noise from the basements.
- Basements and underground car parking within the setback areas on the Canberra Avenue frontage will only be permitted where it cannot be seen from Canberra Avenue and where it does not affect the planting of trees and shrubs consistent with the landscape provisions set out under Section 9 'Landscape Design' of the DCP and DCP drawing 15/02.
9. Landscape design
- A high standard of landscape design and verge treatment is required for all road frontages.
- The landscape zone defined in DCP drawing 15/02 is to possess high quality landscape design and finishes that reinforce the landscape corridor of Canberra Avenue. Soft landscape, paths, lighting, fencing and terracing should enhance the quality of the developmentís address frontage. Letter box pillars, utility meters and minor service structures located in the landscape zone should be harmoniously integrated with the landscape design or fully concealed from public view.
- A rear landscape zone as defined in DCP drawing 15/02 is to provide a landscaped buffer space to rear neighbours, and to promote deep rooted trees and screening plants along the fence line.
- A Landscape Plan must accompany any development proposal, which achieves the requirements of Section 9 ëLandscape Designí of this DCP and reflects the intent illustrated on DCP drawing 15/02. Where mature trees are proposed for removal, the Landscape Plan should include provision for new semi-mature stock.
- A tree assessment for all verge trees must accompany any development proposal. Trees recommended for removal based on the tree assessment shall be replaced with a species consistent with the existing avenue plantings along Canberra Avenue. Where there are gaps in the existing avenue planting, new specimens consistent with the existing large deep rooted plantings along Canberra Avenue shall be planted, in accordance with the ëindicative plantingí shown in DCP drawing 15/02.
10. Fencing and walls forward of the building line
- Blank walls to Canberra Avenue and Dominion Circuit are not permitted. Courtyard or retaining walls are permitted forward of the building line to Canberra Avenue and Dominion Circuit providing they are appropriately articulated and/or integrated with soft landscape design treatments.
- Courtyard walls must not exceed 30 per cent of the length of the Canberra Avenue frontage.
- The use of hedges is encouraged in lieu of (or combined with) fences and walls when forward of the building line.
- Courtyard fences forward of the building line are permitted but shall be generally transparent in character. Such fences shall be comprised of high quality materials in colours and finishes consistent with the principle building. The maximum height of courtyard walls and fences is 1.35 metres.
- All signage is to be integrated with building design and landscape and is to be of a high design quality.
- All building or free-standing signs proposed on site are to be consistent with the relevant signs policies of the Territory Plan and the National Capital Plan. Where an inconsistency arises between the policies of the two plans, the National Capital Plan policies shall prevail.
12. Mechanical plant and electrical equipment substations, storage and service areas
- All mechanical plant and equipment (including air conditioning units) is to be contained within buildings or located within service enclosures. Such elements, in addition to electrical substation, storage and service areas (including storage sheds), are to be carefully sited and must not be visible from Canberra Avenue or Dominion Circuit.
- 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.
- 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 degrees as per Figure 1.
Figure 1 Full Cut Off Light Fixture
14. DCP Drawing
The above provisions should be read in conjunction with the DCP drawing, which forms part of this DCP.
Figure 2: Development Control Plan Drawing 15/02