Date Approved
7 December 2010

On 7 December 2010 the National Capital Authority (NCA) approved Development Control Plan (DCP) No. 10/04 for Block 1 Section 25 and Blocks 7 and 12 Section 26 Forrest.

The DCP establishes planning and urban design provisions including building scale, setback, landscape character, access and parking for the site.

For further information please contact (02) 6271 2888 or email

1. Preamble

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 Block 1 Section 25 and Blocks 7 and 12 Section 26 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 the Designated Area of the Plan and therefore the ACT Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA) is responsible for assessing development applications relating to the subject area. In doing so, ACTPLA 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 an appropriate urban scale relationship to that section of Canberra Avenue known as Manuka Circle 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.
  • Architectural design and construction should exhibit excellence in urban design, architecture and landscape, in a manner appropriate to the physical, social and historic context of the site, 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 addressing Canberra Avenue have their main frontage to Canberra Avenue with a clearly articulated entry.
  • Ensure St Christopher’s Cathedral remains the dominant landmark element on this section of Canberra Avenue.

3. Land Use

  1. Land use on Block 1 Section 25 Forrest and Blocks 7 and 12 Section 26 Forrest shall be consistent with the land use of the National Capital Plan, and the land use of the Territory Plan.

4. Building Mass, Height and Articulation

  1. 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.
  2. Building height for development shall be a maximum of RL 592.
  3. Rooftop plant shall be an integral part of the overall design and consistent with the requirements of Section 6 ‘Roofscape Design’ of this DCP.
  4. The cathedral and campanile are to remain a landmark element on this section of Canberra Avenue. New buildings shall be designed to ensure they do not dominate the cathedral.
  5. Overlooking of adjoining properties must be mitigated through building and landscape design. The design of the building upper levels must incorporate measures to protect the amenity and privacy of adjacent development. This may include the use of blank walls, window sill heights greater than or equal to 1.7 metres from the floor, windows with permanently fixed panes of obscure glass or screened decks.

5. Building Setback, Articulation and Street Address

  1. Buildings or significant structures are to be setback in accordance with the requirements set out in DCP Drawing No. 10/04
  2. Buildings are to be setback a minimum of ten (10) metres from Canberra Avenue. Encroachment of minor articulation elements may be permitted within the ‘articulation zone’ as defined in DCP Drawing No. 10/04. Minor articulation elements shall not occupy more than a 25 per cent footprint in the defined articulation zone. The articulation zone will commence no lower than RL580. Articulation elements may include verandahs, balconies, porches, awnings, articulated shade devices, pergolas, bay windows, dwelling entries, and roof elements. Setbacks to Franklin Street and all other block boundaries are to be in accordance with the Territory Plan.
  3. Encroachment of basement parking into this area may be considered where this would not detract from the quality of the landscape treatment and would not effect the root zone of existing street trees. At least five (5) metres must be maintained along the Canberra Avenue frontage for future deep rooted planting. On-grade parking within the setback is not permitted.
  4. Buildings are to address street frontages as shown in DCP Drawing No. 10/04.
  5. The primary address frontage for development on Block 7 Section 26 Forrest is to be oriented toward Canberra Avenue to reinforce the prestige and visual interest of the Avenue. Building frontages to Canberra Avenue shall be articulated incorporating modulated form, tactility, silhouette and respond to human scale. A secondary address frontage is permitted to Franklin Street. Blank facades and prominent service entries facing Canberra Avenue and Franklin Street are not permitted.
  6. Buildings shall have a maximum unarticulated length of 15 metres to the Canberra Avenue frontage. Articulation may be provided by:
    1. changes in wall planes of a minimum one (1) metre in depth and no less than four (4) metres in length; and/or
    2. inclusion of balconies; and/or
    3. horizontally stepping facades by at least one (1) metre.

6. Roofscape Design

  1. Careful consideration is to be given to the roof form and the roofscape of buildings as viewed from Canberra Avenue and Parliament House.
  2. Roof top plants and equipment, if required, must be enclosed. 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

  1. The facades and roof of buildings are to be constructed of high quality, durable and low maintenance materials. Highly reflective external materials are not permitted.
  2. 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. Vehicular Access and Car Parking

  1. DCP Drawing No. 10/04 shows an indicative location of an access point from Franklin Street and an existing access point from Canberra Avenue. The actual locations of site access will be determined or agreed by the relevant approval authorities. The total number of access points from each of Franklin Street and Canberra Avenue shall not exceed one (1).
  2. A traffic and parking assessment should accompany development proposals for the site, and this will be determined in consultation with the approving authority.
  3. On-site parking is to be in accordance with the ACT Parking and Vehicular Access General Code.
  4. The visual impact of surface car parking must be minimised through adequate screening and landscape treatment that appropriately considers view lines and safety.
  5. Car parking that is underground within the setback areas on the Canberra Avenue side 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 10 ‘Landscape Design’ of the DCP.

9. Pedestrian Access

  1. Pedestrian access through the site from Franklin Street to Canberra Avenue shall be in accordance with DCP Drawing No. 10/04.

10. Landscape Design and Heritage

  1. A high standard of landscape design and verge treatment is required for the area along the Canberra Avenue frontage.
  2. The existing avenue planting pattern along Canberra Avenue shall be maintained and reinforced. Mature trees should be retained to the maximum extent practicable and integrated into the landscape design. Where existing trees must be removed, they must be replaced elsewhere
    on the site.
  3. A Landscape Plan (incorporating a tree conservation and management plan) must accompany any development proposal.
  4. A tree assessment for all verge trees must accompany any development proposal. Trees recommended for removal from the tree assessment shall be replaced with a similar species consistent with the existing avenue plantings along Canberra Avenue. Gaps in the existing avenue plantings shall be replaced.
  5. Development of the site shall recognise the heritage values of the St Christopher’s Cathedral Precinct.

11. Fencing and Walls Forward of the Building Line

  1. Blank walls to Canberra Avenue are not permitted. Courtyard or retaining walls are permitted forward of the building line to Canberra Avenue providing they are appropriately articulated and/ or integrated with soft landscape design treatments.
  2. Courtyard walls must not exceed 30% of the length of the Canberra Avenue frontage.
  3. The use of hedges is encouraged in lieu of (or combined with) fences and walls when forward
    of the building line.

12. Signs

  1. All signage is to be integrated with building design and landscape is to be of a high design quality. All proposed signage shall recognise the heritage values of the St Christopher’s Cathedral Precinct.
  2. 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.

13. Mechanical Plant and Equipment, Electrical Substations, Storage and Service Areas

  1. 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, Franklin Street or Parliament House.

14. Sustainable Development

  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.

15. DCP Drawings No. 10/04

  1. The above provisions should be read in conjunction with DCP Drawing No. 10/04 which forms part of this DCP.
Canberra Avenue