Date Approved
8 May 2015

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 15 Section 25 Griffith. In the absence of a provision in the Plan or the DCP 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 and any approved instrument under the National Capital Plan prevails. Should an inconsistency arise in a method of quantitative measure (i.e measuring building height as storeys or metres from ground level), the method and measure defined in this DCP shall apply wholly in place of the method outlined in the Territory Plan.

The subject area is Territory Land outside the Designated Area 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.
  • 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

  1. Land use on the site shall be consistent with the National Capital Plan and the Territory Plan.

4. Building mass and height

  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. The height of buildings subject to this DCP shall be a maximum RL 591.
  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.

5. Building setback

  1. Buildings are to be setback a minimum of 10 metres from the Canberra Avenue frontage of the site. Internal setbacks are subject to the Territory Plan. Internal setbacks and rear setbacks are subject to the Territory Plan.
  2. Minor encroachments of articulation elements may be permitted within the ‘building articulation zone’ as defined by DCP drawing 15/03.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 Leichardt Street 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.
  5. 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

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

  1. The facades and roofs of buildings are to be constructed of high quality, durable 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. The principal vehicle access and ramps to the basement should be taken from Leichardt Street.
  2. A secondary vehicular access point is permitted on the Canberra Avenue frontage provided it does not provide basement access to the main building.
  3. A traffic and parking assessment should accompany development proposals for the site, and this will be determined in consultation with the approving authority.
  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. Basements and car parking that is underground 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.

9. Landscape design

  1. A high standard of landscape design and verge treatment is required for all road frontages. Landscaping should include a mixture of hard and soft treatments. Soft landscaping should include trees and shrubs which reflect the existing avenue planting pattern along Canberra Avenue, which should be maintained and reinforced.
  2. A Landscape Plan must accompany any development proposal, which achieves the requirements of Section 9 ‘Landscape Design’ of this DCP and reflects the intent illustrated on DCP drawing 15/03. Where mature trees are proposed for removal, the Landscape Plan should include provision for new semi-mature stock.
  3. 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 ‘indicative planting’ shown in DCP drawing 15/03.

10. 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 and fences must not exceed 30 per cent of the length of the Canberra Avenue frontage. A minimum three metre setback from the block boundary is to be maintained for all courtyard walls and fences fronting Canberra Avenue. The use of hedges is encouraged in lieu of (or combined with) fences and walls when forward of the building line.
  3. Courtyard walls and fences forward of the building line are permitted but shall be generally transparent in character or integrated with considerable landscaping. Such structures shall be comprised of high quality materials in colours and finishes consistent with the principle building.
  4. The maximum height of courtyard walls and fences forward of the building line is 1.35 metres.

11. Signs

  1. All signage is to be integrated with building design and landscape and is to be of a high design quality.
  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. 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

  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 or Leichardt Street.

13. Lighting

  1. 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.
  2. 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

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

14. DCP drawings

The above provisions should be read in conjunction with the DCP drawing, which forms part of this DCP.

Figure 2 - DCP Drawing 15/03

Figure 2 - DCP Drawing 15/04-1

Public Consulation

In November 2014, the NCA received a request from Stewart Architecture on behalf of BLOC Developments to prepare a Development Control Plan (DCP) that sets out planning and urban design policies to guide the future development for Block 15 Section 25 Griffith. The site is proposed to be redeveloped into a residential apartment building.

The subject site is adjacent to Canberra Avenue, a Main Avenue as defined in the National Capital Plan (the Plan). Special Requirements apply to land outside Designated Areas adjacent to Main Avenues and state:

Development is to conform to a Development Control Plan (agreed by the National Capital Authority) which seeks to secure the integrity of the Main Avenues as approaches to the Parliamentary Zone and ensure that the setting, buildings and purpose of development enhance that function.

DCP 15/03 will guide development of the Block 15 Section 25 Griffith and includes provisions for:

  • general planning and urban design objectives for development requirements
  • building height and setback, and architectural quality in built form.
  • requirements for access to the site and parking.
  • providing for an enhanced landscape character along the Barton Highway frontage.

Between 12 February and 30 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:

  • Access from Canberra Avenue
  • Terminology used to describe setbacks and building height
  • 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.  The Consultation Report is now being made publicly available.

DCP 15/03, for Blocks 15 Section 25 Griffith, was approved on 8 May 2015, with six changes to the draft DCP.

For further information, please contact Jordan Smith on 02 6271 2888.

Canberra Avenue