Public consultation has now closed


The National Capital Plan (the Plan) came into effect on 21 January 1990. In accordance with the Plan, development on National Land not included within a Designated Area ‘is to conform to Development Control Plans agreed by the National Capital Authority. Development Control Plans are to reflect the relevant provisions of the Territory Plan, and meet the following requirements:

(i) Adverse environmental impacts from on-site developments, on adjacent land and development, shall be identified and redressed to the extent practicable.
(ii) Adequate provision should be made where appropriate for visitors to sites.
(iii) Functional relationships between uses within and external to the site shall be provided for.
(iv) Consistency in the external design and site layout of buildings and landscaping shall be sought.
(v) Satisfactory arrangements shall be made for parking accommodation and vehicular access and egress. Traffic impacts of development shall be taken into account.’

Blocks 4 and 5 Section 38 Campbell is National Land located outside the Designated Areas of the Plan. Section 4.5.1 of the Plan outlines the Special Requirements for the site.

The purpose of this Development Control Plan (DCP) is to provide guidance on the future development capacity of the site within the framework of the Plan and the Territory Plan and provide requirements for further review and consultation on detailed planning for the site. Draft DCP 16/01 has been prepared in accordance with the Plan.

Part 1: Context

1. Background

The National Capital Authority (NCA) has received a request from Purdon Planning Pty Ltd on behalf of Abacus Property Group as lessee of the site to prepare a DCP for the site. The DCP will guide future detailed planning, master plan development for the site. The site is currently operating as office accommodation for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The current use for the site is restricted to a ‘Scientific Research Establishment’ by way of the National Land Crown Lease.

The site has been subject to a number of investigations to support a request for changes to the permitted land use for the site. These studies have identified that the site could support and be suitable for high density residential and some mixed use development. The site is currently National Land not within the Designated Areas of the Plan and therefore subject to a DCP and subsequent planning approval from the NCA. In addition to the requirements of the Plan, a concept plan detailing the proposed development will need to be submitted to the NCA and be subject to public consultation. The Crown Lease will also need to be varied to facilitate any future development of the site.

2. Explanatory statement

2.1 Purpose of Draft Development Control Plan 16/01

If approved, DCP 16/01 will establish broad planning provisions including land use, urban design principles and provide an upper limit on development capacity for the site, including land use, building height, setbacks and design, landscape character, access and parking.

The DCP will also require the submission of a concept plan and supporting planning report to the NCA to provide further clarity on the proposed development prior to any development being approved on site. This concept plan and supporting information will subject to further community consultation in accordance with the NCA’s ‘Commitment to Community Consultation (August 2015)’.

2.2 Effect of Draft Development Control Plan 16/01

Draft DCP 16/01 includes the following provisions:

  • general planning and urban design principles for redevelopment of Blocks 4 and 5 Section 38 Campbell.
  • general requirements for land use on the site.
  • general requirements for urban design and public realm outcomes on the site.
  • requirements for a concept plan to be submitted and approved by the NCA prior to submitting an application for any works or development on the site which is consistent with the requirements of the  DCP in regard to:
    • building height and architectural quality in built form.
    • access to the site and parking and traffic impacts on surrounding infrastructure.
    • providing for an enhanced landscape character on the site consistent with the site’s location in the National Capital.
    • ensuring requirements under Commonwealth environmental legislation are considered during the detailed planning for the site.

3. Outline of the process

  1. Development intention expressed
  2. Preparation of a Draft DCP. NCA considers the views and issues expressed by key stakeholders and prepares the Draft DCP for public consultation
  3. Public consultation on a Draft DCP
  4. Consideration by Authority
  5. Decision

4. Public consultation

The NCA invites written comments on Draft DCP 16/01 from community and stakeholders by 4.00pm on 11 April 2016. All responses received will be considered before a decision on Draft DCP 16/01 is made by the NCA.

Written comments should be forwarded to:

Mr Andrew Smith
Chief Planner
National Capital Authority
GPO Box 373

Or delivered by hand to:

National Capital Authority
Treasury Building, Ground Floor,
King Edward Terrace
Between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday

Or Email:

Copies of Draft Development Control Plan 16/01 are available from:
National Capital Authority
Ground Floor, Treasury Building
King Edward Terrace

Between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday

Further information is available from Jordan Smith on (02)6271 2888 or email

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 16/01


Blocks 4 and 5 Section 38 Campbell is National Land outside Designated Areas and is defined as Urban Areas in the National Capital Plan. Special Requirements for National Land sites in the Urban Areas under section 4.5.1 of the Plan apply and state:

Development, including subdivision and leasing proposals, of all National Land not included in a Designated Area of this Plan, is to conform to Development Control Plans agreed by the National Capital Authority. Development Control Plans are to reflect the relevant provisions of the Territory Plan, and meet the following requirements:

 (i) Adverse environmental impacts from on-site developments, on adjacent land and development, shall be identified and redressed to the extent practicable.
 (ii) Adequate provision should be made where appropriate for visitors to sites.
 (iii) Functional relationships between uses within and external to the site shall be provided for.
 (iv) Consistency in the external design and site layout of buildings and landscaping shall be sought.
 (v) Satisfactory arrangements shall be made for parking accommodation and vehicular access and egress. Traffic impacts of development shall be taken into account.

The Plan further requires that development proposals on National Land be referred to the National Capital Authority (NCA). The NCA will assess proposals to ensure they are not inconsistent with the provisions of the Plan or this Development Control Plan (DCP).

The provisions of this DCP apply to Blocks 4 and 5 Section 38 Campbell. In the absence of a provision in the DCP or 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 or this DCP, the National Capital Plan or this DCP prevails.

2. Planning and urban design objectives

The planning and urban design objectives for the site reflect the relevant metropolitan planning objectives of the National Capital Plan, the Territory Plan and the NCA’s desire for exemplary design in the National Capital.

Metropolitan Planning Objectives

Development on the site is not to be inconsistent with the following objectives for metropolitan planning in Canberra.

  • Provide opportunities for increased residential population in the central area of Canberra and within close proximity to the city centre, town centres and along major transport routes.
  • Ensure development contributes to the overall design quality and landscape structure of the National Capital.
  • Ensure development and redevelopment is carefully managed so that it achieves a high standard of residential amenity, makes a positive contribution to the neighbourhood and landscape character of the area and does not have unreasonable negative impacts on neighbouring properties.
  • Provide for a diversity of living, working and recreation opportunities in the existing urban areas of Canberra.

Urban Design Objectives

Development of the site is to demonstrate its consistency and applications are to provide specific details on how the following urban design objectives are met.

  • Ensure that a high level of amenity is provided in site layout and urban design.
  • Ensure that noise impacts are mitigated through appropriate building design, materials and
  • construction.
  • Encourage building design that exhibits excellence in architecture, landscape architecture and urban design and demonstrate sustainable features through the use of high quality and durable materials.
  • Enhance the character of Limestone Avenue as a Main Avenue of the National Capital and recognize its importance as one of the main approaches to the Australian War Memorial and Anzac Parade.
  • Encourage modulation, tactility, silhouette and human scale in relation to built form and streetscape design.
  • Maintain and reinforce the character of both Ainslie Avenue and Limestone Avenue and the wider landscape setting of the National Capital.
  • Ensure that future indirect and direct impacts of the adjacent proposed major infrastructure alignment are considered in site layout and building design.
  • Provide allowance  for buildings with an appropriate scale in relation to adjacent residential development and community facilities along Limestone Avenue.
  • Provide a wide range of affordable and sustainable housing choices that meet changing household and community needs.
  • Maintain and enhance environmental amenity and undertake development using best practice environmentally sustainable development principles


3. Land use and desired planning outcomes

Figure 1 illustrates the development areas for the site based on preliminary investigations. The land use and desired planning outcomes for each of the identified areas are described below.

Figure 1 - DCP Drawing

Development Area

Permitted land uses on the site are:

A. Office.
B. Residential.

with one or more of the following uses ancillary thereto:
i.     Retail
ii.    Café and/or
iii.    Restaurant.

Such that the gross floor area (GFA) of all buildings erected on the site must not exceed 60,000 square metres provided that:
A. the maximum GFA in the building or buildings erected on the site to be used for offices shall not exceed 12,000 square metres.
B. the maximum GFA in the building or buildings erected on the site to be used for any one individual ancillary use shall not exceed 200 square metres.
C. the maximum GFA in the building or buildings erected on the site to be used for ancillary uses shall not exceed 1,200 square metres.

Landscape Zone 1

This area is to provide for the main access road from Limestone Avenue to the site as identified in Figure 1. This area shall be 20 metre wide and can incorporate a new access road and parking but must include a mandatory 8 metre wide landscape zone consisting of a continuous canopy of deep rooted trees and shrubs endemic to the ACT. This landscape zone should be complimentary to the landscape character of Mount Ainslie and its nearby foot hills. Mid-storey shrubs should also be used to provide effective screening to and from the Campbell High School. No structures or buildings other than those stated here are permitted in Landscape Zone 1. This area shall not be inconsistent with the structure described in Figure 2, in particular that:

  • no parking is permitted within Landscape Zone 1 within 50 metres of the Limestone Avenue frontage of the site.
  • no parking area along the Main Access road is to exceed 15 metres in length along that road (nominally six parking bays) without use of deep rooted tree plantings to break up the visual impact of these areas.


Figure 2 - Indicative structure of Landscape Zone 1

Landscape Zone 2

This area shall form the building setback to the Limestone Avenue frontage. This area shall be a minimum of 15m wide and shall be well landscaped with native trees and/or shrubs commensurate with the landscape character of Mount Ainslie. This area will need to mitigate the potential impacts of major infrastructure on the site. No structures, buildings or articulation elements are permitted to encroach on Landscape Zone 2.

Landscape Zone 3

This area shall form the building setback along the northern frontage of the site. This area shall be a minimum of 10m wide and shall be well landscaped with native trees and/or shrubs commensurate with the landscape character of Mount Ainslie. This area will need to mitigate the potential impacts of major infrastructure on the site. No structures, buildings or articulation elements are permitted to encroach on Landscape Zone 3. Access roads and associated infrastructure may be permissible in the area of the access point shown in Figure 1.

4. Urban design principles

Building Height and Form

  1. Buildings should provide high quality articulated frontages to Limestone Avenue. Large expanses of blank walls will not be permitted to street frontages. Built form shall be distributed as to ensure no specific building dominates the site and will be sufficiently separated to provide ample space for functional open space areas and provide sufficient sunlight to areas of the public realm.
  2. A consistency in the external design of buildings and the overall site layout is required.
  3. Buildings and structures on the site shall conform to the requirements of part 3 of this DCP. The height of buildings is to be such that the shadow cast at 9am on 21 June must not encroach on Sections 11 or 18 Reid. No structure shall exceed RL 617.
  4. Careful consideration is to be given to the built form, roof form and roofscape structures as viewed from each of Mount Ainslie, Ainslie Avenue, Limestone Avenue, Campbell High School and the Australian War Memorial.
  5. Roof top plant and equipment, if required, must be enclosed. Enclosures are to be carefully integrated with the roof form and design of structures and buildings. All plant and equipment is to be totally concealed from view from both Mount Ainslie and Limestone Avenue.
  6. Highly reflective external materials are not permitted.
  7. 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.
  8. Articulation elements are not permitted to encroach in the Landscape Zones as described by Figure 1. Blank facades to public spaces or streets are not permitted.
  9. All mechanical plant and equipment should be contained within buildings or located within services enclosures appropriately screened from all public areas.
  10. Visually exposed air conditioning units and plant that are visible from public areas shall not be permitted.

Landscape Structure

  1. A high standard of landscape design is required for the site, in particular a continuous canopy of endemic trees shall dominate the border of the site commensurate with the landscape character of Mount Ainslie. No exotic plant species are permitted in the landscape zones as defined by Figure 1.
  2. Exotic trees and plant species are permitted for establishing localised amenity within the site provided the broad landscape character of the site required by this DCP (being commensurate with the character of Mount Ainslie) is maintained.
  3. This land scape structure shall be in conjunction with low level and mid storey vegetation to meet screening and landscape structure requirements of this DCP.
  4. Site coverage of all development should be limited to enable the implementation of high quality public spaces.
  5. The landscape internal to the site shall utilise street trees commensurate with the surrounding suburban areas.
  6. All trees used shall be of advanced stock to establish an integrated and unified landscape character for the site.
  7. Paving, lighting, street trees and planting beds shall be of high quality and should reinforce the amenity and visual quality of the pedestrian environment. Street trees and other large trees are to be planted in deep-root soil conditions. Existing large trees are to be retained (where possible).

Access, Circulation and Parking

  1. Primary Access to the site shall be from Limestone Avenue.
  2. A secondary access is permitted from the northern part of the site as an extension of the current street network.
  3. Traffic impacts of development on the surrounding infrastructure shall be assessed and taken into account as part of any development proposal.
  4. Access and circulation shall provide a clear hierarchy of movement and spaces consistent with the Road User Hierarchy prioritising pedestrian and cyclist movement over private vehicle movements.
  5. A parking strategy shall be provided for the entire site.
  6. Large off-street permanent surface car parks are not permitted. Car parking is to be accommodated in basements and/or in above ground structures concealed from view of public areas. No parking areas are permitted within 50 metres of the Limestone Avenue frontage within Landscape Zone 1 and no parking is permitted in other Landscape Zones.
  7. Some short stay on-street parking shall be provided.

5. Concept Plan

Prior to development (including subdivision) of the site, a concept plan shall be prepared for the entire site by the lessee and approved by the NCA. The concept plan shall promote integration between the site, adjacent community uses, the Mount Ainslie vista and the potential major transport infrastructure corridor to the north of the site. The concept plan is required to be consistent with the objectives and urban design objectives of this DCP. The concept plan shall include (but not be limited to) the following:

Detailed plan of subdivision

This Plan must show the area and dimensions of all proposed blocks at a legible scale and any required easements. The subdivision must provide appropriate block orientation to ensure buildings are perpendicular or parallel to the Mount Ainslie vista and to achieve maximum solar access for the majority of buildings. Adaptation and reuse of the existing CSIRO Headquarters buildings is encouraged consistent with the recommendations of the required Heritage Impact Assessment (see Supporting Reports and Studies required to support concept plan below).

Built form typologies

A set of built form typologies are to be submitted to provide clarification on the intended built form to be developed. These plans should show notional building footprints, internal driveways and car parking areas and demonstrate that dwellings can be provided with suitable orientation to the street and open space frontages, maximise solar access, and provide appropriate vehicular and pedestrian access.

Development shall exemplify sustainability principles and demonstrate excellence in site amenity, urban design and environmentally sustainable design. Functional relationships between uses within and external to the precinct shall be provided.  Properties within the precinct shall have a good address to the public realm and clear and distinctive entrances.

In accordance with the desired planning and urban design outcomes of this DCP, these plans shall:

  • demonstrate that the proposed height of buildings shall not dominate the landscape setting of the locality.
  • demonstrate a high level of design quality in regard to solar orientation, noise, views, privacy, and passive cooling features such as ventilation and shading.
  • include indicative materials and finishes.
  • identify areas of private open space consistent with the minimum requirements of the Territory Plan.
  • include indicative elevations and sections.

Landscape masterplan, streetscape and public realm design

A landscape masterplan for the entire site must be provided as part of the concept plan. The masterplan shall provide for a mix of landscape precincts of distinct character and landscape principles for each precinct.
These plans shall ensure integration of the adjacent landscape character of Limestone Avenue and take into account the Mount Ainslie vista and landscape character of nearby residential areas.
In accordance with the desired planning outcomes of this DCP, the landscape masterplan shall:

  • identify the location and species of trees and shrubs that enhance the Mt Ainslie vista by incorporating native trees in the Limestone Avenue frontage and northern boundary setbacks. (Landscape Zone 2 and 3).
  • identify the location and species of preferred exotic trees internal to the site commensurate with the residential character of Ainslie.
  • retain existing mature trees where possible.
  • include indicative plans and cross sections for streetscapes and public realm design.
    include a suite of materials and finishes for use in the public realm.

Indicative development staging

The staging plan shall provide clear guidance on the intended staging of development.

Detailed transport assessment and network design

An assessment of the concept plan’s traffic impacts and how these are mitigated through construction of additional onsite and offsite infrastructure is required.

A plan detailing transport network, including road hierarchy, layout and design (road and verge widths), pedestrian and cycle pathways (including indicative dimensions), and connections to surrounding urban areas is required. Offsite works shall be detailed to the same level. A detailed traffic analysis shall form part of this component. The transport network shall be subject to consultation with relevant ACT Government agencies.

In accordance with the desired planning outcomes of this DCP, the transport network shall provide:

  • a road network that has a clearly identifiable road hierarchy which is safe, legible and bus capable, while limiting through-traffic.
  • a whole of site parking strategy with adequate parking for visitors to the site . On-street parking shall be available for visitors within the internal street network of development of the proposed development. Car parking rates shall be consistent with the Territory Plan’s Parking and Vehicular Access General Code.
  • indicative locations and capacity surface car parking areas and basements and strategies to ensure these areas are screened from view from Ainslie Avenue, Limestone Avenue and Campbell High School.
  • areas identified as being accessible or inaccessible to heavy vehicles.

Servicing strategy plans

A strategy for providing the necessary infrastructure requirements for the site, including telecommunications, electricity, gas, water and sewerage is to be included. Plans illustrating the indicative alignment of such services shall be provided.

Signage masterplan.

A signage masterplan that includes design detail and location of street signs, estate signs, and directional signage is required.

Supporting Reports and Studies

Supporting the concept plan, further detailed investigations are required to be undertaken and submitted accompanying the plan. Completed reports and statutory processes, such as endorsement by external entities will be required prior to approval of the concept plan. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Planning and Design Report – This is to include as a minimum:
    • A written assessment against the requirements of the National Capital Plan, this DCP, the ACT Planning Strategy and the Crown Lease applicable to the site.
    • Site location and analysis plans.
    • Slope analysis plans (including proposed cut and fill required to achieve the concept).
  • Tree Survey and Management Plans – This should include the potential lifespan and maintenance requirements for each species.
  • Geotechnical Investigation Report – A detailed geotechnical investigation should be carried out concurrently with detailed design of road and block layouts to ensure that subsurface conditions will not adversely affect the construction of infrastructure within the site.
  • Water Sensitive Urban Design Strategy – A strategy for water resource management (including storm water management) should be devised, in accordance with the WaterWays: Water Sensitive Urban Design General Code of the Territory Plan. The strategy should consider the following:
    • The provision of storm water infrastructure, storage and water quality control ponds
    • Provision for storm water harvesting capability and use of existing reservoir water tanks for supplementary reticulation.
  • Lighting Strategy - Outdoor lighting including security and car park lighting shall be designed and sited to minimise light pollution and shall be of a high quality design in detail and execution. All street and footpath lighting shall use full cut-off light fittings. Any up-lighting of buildings and structures should be 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 3.


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

Figure 3 – Full cut off light fixture

  • Heritage assessment and impact statement - The heritage significance and values of those existing elements of the site shall be assessed and a heritage impact statement prepared by a heritage consultant shall be provided. The heritage impact statement must be provided for any redevelopment works and must include advice on mitigation measures to protect any identified heritage values.
  • Ecological assessment and EPBC Act requirements- Any adverse environmental impacts arising from the development proposals shall be identified by the lessee in accordance with the relevant Commonwealth and Territory legislation.  The lessee shall demonstrate compliance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cwth) in relation to any matters relevant to the site or adjacent to the site as part of the concept plan. The NCA will await a finalisation of any EPBC Act referral process before making a decision on the concept plan.
  • Bushfire Risk Assessment and Management Plan – an independent bushfire risk assessment using the Australian Standard for Risk Management AS/NZS 4360 and AS 3959 (as may be updated or replaced from time to time) is required and the outcomes shall be incorporated into the site design.
  • Environmental Management Concept plan – This must detail the proposed pollution control measures that will form part of the sediment and erosion control plan required under the Environmental Protection Agreement for the development of the site. The plan should be in accordance with the ACT EPA 2007 Environment Protection Guidelines for Construction & Land Development in the ACT and include items identified in Schedule 11.1 Pollution Control Plan Checklist of the Environment Protection Guidelines.In addition, the EMC Plan is to include:
    • site compound location(s).
    • identification of areas affected by traffic and other noises.
    • provision for noise mitigation works where this may be necessary.

Further Public Consultation

Any concept plan prepared for the site, in accordance with this DCP, will be subject to public notification and consultation prior to approval. Any subsequent approval of the concept plan does not remove or prejudice the requirements of future development proposals to be assessed by the relevant planning authority against the Plan, this DCP and any approved concept plan.

No map available