The Belconnen Naval Transmitting Station (the site) is National Land outside of Designated Areas of the National Capital Plan (the Plan). Special Requirements for Urban Areas under Section 4.5 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 Authority.
- Development Control Plans are to reflect the relevant provisions of the Territory Plan, and meet the following requirements:
- Adverse environmental impacts from on-site development, on adjacent land and
- development, shall be identified and redressed to the extent practicable;
- Adequate provision should be made where appropriate for visitors to sites;
- Functional relationships between uses within and external to the site shall be provided for.
- Consistency in the external design and site layout of buildings and landscaping shall be sought; and
- Satisfactory arrangements shall be made for parking accommodation and vehicular access and egress. Traffic impacts of development shall be taken into account.’
Development proposals on National Land, including subdivision and proposals to lease National Land are required to be referred to the National Capital Authority (NCA). The NCA will assess proposals to ensure that they are not inconsistent with the provisions of the Plan and this Development Control Plan (DCP).
This DCP is based on environmental, heritage and site remediation investigations undertaken to determine the capability of the site for urban development. Indicative development precincts are based on these investigations, however further detailed planning is required prior to development of the site. The requirements for future detailed planning are described in this DCP.
2 Site description
The site comprises the former naval transmission buildings, naval accommodation area and adjacent open lands. The total area is approximately 143 hectares (see Figure 1). Natural heritage values are widespread across the site, with a significant proportion of the site having environmental conservation values. A number of endangered flora and fauna species and endangered ecological communities exist on site, including:
- Synemon plana (Golden Sun Moth), listed as critically endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (C’wlth) (EPBC Act) and listed as endangered under the Nature Conservation Act 1980 (ACT).
- Perunga ochracea (Perunga Grasshopper), listed as vulnerable under the Nature Conservation Act 1980 (ACT).
Delma impar (Striped Legless Lizard), listed as vulnerable under both the EPBC Act and Nature Conservation Act 1980 (ACT).
- Lepidium ginninderrense (Ginninderra peppercress), listed as vulnerable under the EPBC Act and endangered under the Nature Conservation Act 1980 (ACT).
- Natural Temperate Grassland communities:
- Natural Temperate Grassland of the Southern Tablelands of NSW and the Australian Capital Territory listed as endangered under the EPBC Act.
- Natural Temperate Grassland, listed as endangered under the Nature Conservation Act 1980 (ACT).
- Box Gum communities:
- White Box-Yellow Box-Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland, listed as critically endangered under the EPBC Act.
- Yellow Box-Red Gum Grassy Woodland, listed as endangered under the Nature Conservation Act 1980 (ACT). and
- Gallinago hardwickii (Latham’s Snipe), a migratory bird protected by international treaties (including the Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement, China-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement, Republic of Korea-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement, and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals).
The Royal Australian Naval Transmitting Station is listed on the Commonwealth Heritage List. This listing identifies the transmitting station as comprising the three main aerial masts, elements of the Rhombic and Omni Vector aerial arrays, transmitting hall, guardpost and guard house, the cricket pitch and the village site, including the tree plantings, shelter belt radiata plantations, subdivision and tennis courts and road system. It should be noted that the three main aerial masts have been removed from the site.
The heritage listings identify the importance of the site for its association with the development of Australian naval communications in Australia from 1938 in the lead up to the Second World War (1939-45). Completed in 1939 the Transmitting Station was the most powerful naval wireless station in the British Empire and the largest naval or commercial station in the southern hemisphere.
Synemon Plana (Golden Sun Moth) Habitat is listed on the Commonwealth Heritage List. The Belconnen Naval Transmitting Station has one of the largest remnants in the ACT of Danthonia grassland in good condition and this ecological community is recognised as having high conservation value. Danthonia grassland is essential habitat for Synemon plana. The grassland has one of the most extensive populations of the moth and, because of its relatively large size (approximately 100 hectares) and good condition, is important for the long term conservation of the species.
Figure 1: Location Map
3 Planning and urban design objectives
Allow for flexibility in design to ensure integration with the surrounding urban context, in particular the development of Lawson South adjacent to the site.
Maintain and integrate the existing natural and cultural heritage values of the site with future development, and allow for adaptive reuse of existing buildings on site where possible.
4 Land use
4.1 Figure 2 illustrates indicative development precincts for the site based on environmental, heritage and site remediation investigations. The desired planning outcomes for each of the identified precincts (A-E) are described below.
Figure 2: Indicative Development Precincts
Precinct A - Desired planning outcomes
4.2 Precinct A has been identified as suitable for residential use, and/or a community facility or institutional use, which will facilitate the adaptive reuse of buildings, including the Senior Sailor’s Mess and Guard House, and established landscape features. Development of this precinct shall be in accordance with environmental and heritage management plans prepared for the site.
4.3 Plantings of heritage interest shall be maintained and integrated within the development.
4.4 The landscape character of the site shall be maintained and reinforced to achieve a high quality of development within a nature conservation setting.
4.5 New development shall exemplify sustainability principles and demonstrate excellence in site amenity, urban design, landscape and architecture.
4.6 Functional relationships between uses within and external to the site shall be provided.
4.7 Properties within the precinct shall have a good address to the public realm and clear and distinctive entrances.
Precinct B - Desired planning outcomes
4.8 Precinct B has been identified as land suitable for residential uses. Development of this precinct shall be in accordance with environmental and heritage management plans prepared for the site.
4.9 Low density residential development (of maximum two storeys) shall be accommodated within the original 1939 naval village subdivision layout.
4.10 Medium density residential development (of maximum four storeys) shall be accommodated to the west of the former naval village, on areas of degraded grassland habitat.
4.11 New development shall exemplify sustainability principles and demonstrate excellence in site amenity, urban design, landscape and architecture.
4.12 Functional relationships between uses within and external to the site shall be provided.
4.13 Properties within the precinct shall have a good address to the public realm and clear and distinctive entrances.
Precinct C - Desired planning outcomes
4.14 Precinct C has been identified for the conservation of vegetation providing shelter for kangaroos. Development of this precinct shall be in accordance with environmental and heritage management plans prepared for the site.
4.15 The area identified in Figure 2 may be used as an Outer Asset Protection Zone (APZ) for the purpose of providing bushfire protection to adjoining development in Lawson South.
Precinct D - Desired planning outcomes
4.16 Precinct D has been identified for heritage (natural, historic, cultural and technical) and nature conservation only. Development of this precinct shall be in accordance with approved environmental and heritage management plans prepared for the site.
4.17 Development shall be integrated with adjoining development in Lawson South, exemplify sustainability principles and demonstrate excellence in site amenity, urban design, landscape and architecture.
4.18 Functional relationships between uses within and external to the site shall be provided.
4.19 Properties within the precinct shall have a good address to the public realm and clear and distinctive entrances.
4.20 The area identified in Figure 2 may be used as an Outer Asset Protection Zone (APZ) for the purpose of providing bushfire protection to adjoining development in Lawson South.
Precinct E - Desired planning outcomes
4.21 Precinct E has been identified primarily for nature conservation. Development of this precinct shall be in accordance with environmental and heritage management plans prepared for the site.
4.22 An access point from Baldwin Drive may be permitted within this precinct if a traffic analysis shows that no prudent and safe alternative access point can be provided.
4.23 The area identified in Figure 2 may be used as an Outer Asset Protection Zone (APZ) for the purpose of providing bushfire protection to adjoining development in Lawson South.
5 Flora and Fauna management
5.1 Protect and manage the dry Themeda grassland on the southeast of the site, bordering Baldwin Drive, as a remnant temperate grassland and habitat area. Management should focus on the control of weeds and restriction of access.
5.2 Protect and manage isolated Austrostipa grassland in the northeast corner of the site for its natural values as an open-space area for neighbouring urban development. Future management is to be guided by a management plan prepared in accordance with the EPBC Act.
5.3 24 hour cat containment measures shall be required for all blocks, in accordance with the requirements of the ACT Government.
6 Environmental considerations
6.1 Adverse environmental impacts from on-site developments or on adjacent land shall be identified and redressed to the extent practicable.
6.2 Environmental protection measures should be adopted to minimise possible adverse impacts of any new development or redevelopment on the physical environment, in terms of air quality, noise, waste water run-off, storm water run off, dust, steam and smoke.
7 Detailed planning of the site
7.1 Concept Plan shall be prepared for the site by the lessee and approved by the relevant planning authority. The Concept Plan is required to meet the objectives of this DCP and shall promote integration between the site and development to the south of the site in the area known as Lawson South. The Concept Plan should include (but not be limited to) the following:
- A detailed plan of subdivision for the site which achieves a variety of block sizes and densities, and provides appropriate block orientation to achieve maximum solar access for the majority of blocks. Adaptation and reuse of the original subdivision layout of the former naval village is encouraged.
- Detailed land use policies for the site (including residential, commercial, community facility, and open space).
- Building setbacks, building height and scale (up to a maximum of four storeys above natural ground level), and construction materials.
- Indicative development staging, if necessary.
- Streetscape design that promotes the use of high quality and durable materials.
- encourages a coordinated palette of pavement materials, street furniture and lighting.
- A detailed open space and landscape network, including a landscape master plan that encourages:
- landscape precincts of distinct character and landscape principles for each precinct.
- protection of the travelling stock route and historic pine windbreak.
- edge roads adjacent to areas of urban open space.
- the retention of historic plantings and existing trees of high quality, and integration of these into the new landscape where possible.
- an integrated on-street and off-street landscape screen to the Baldwin Drive frontage.
- the use of native species, particularly those compatible with the conservation values of the nearby grassland reserves.
- A detailed transport network, including road layout and design, pedestrian and cycle pathways, and connections to Lawson South and surrounding urban areas. The transport network will be subject to consultation with relevant ACT
- Government agencies and should include:
- vehicular access to the site from Baldwin Drive;
- a road network that has a clearly identifiable road hierarchy which is safe, legible and bus capable, while limiting through-traffic;
- direct pedestrian and vehicle access to Kaleen;
- an access connection to Lawson South while restricting access to the high value grassland;
- measures for safe and efficient pedestrian and cycle connections across roads; and
- a network of shared paths for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Other infrastructure requirements for the site, including telecommunications, electricity, gas, water and sewerage.
- A signage masterplan, including design detail and location of street signs, estate signs, and directional signage; and
- provisions for other signage that could reasonably be expected in an urban area.
- Identification of the potential for adaptive reuse of existing buildings and site layout, in accordance with an approved heritage management plan for the site.
- Requirements for fencing, including provision for fencing consistent with nature conservation and bushfire risk management.
7.2 Supporting the Concept Plan, and prior to development of the site, further detailed investigations shall be undertaken. These include (but are not limited to):
- Tree Management Plan – this should include the potential lifespan and maintenance requirements for each species.
- Geotechnical – 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 estate.
- Water – a strategy for water resource management (including stormwater management) should be devised, in accordance with the Water Ways: Water Sensitive Urban Design General Code of the Territory Plan 2008. The strategy should consider the following:
- The provision of storm water storage and water quality control ponds in accordance with a water balance and quality investigation linked to the development of Lawson South.
- Provision for stormwater harvesting capability and use of existing reservoir water tanks for supplementary reticulation.
- Bushfire Risk Assessment – an independent bushfire risk assessment using the Australian Standard for Risk Management AS/NZS 4360 and AS 3959 is required and the outcomes shall be incorporated into the estate design. The Bushfire Risk Assessment shall consider the relevance of the APZ in Precinct B as identified in Figure 2, as this is considered a developable part of the site subject to future detailed planning.
7.3 Any Concept Plan prepared for the site will be subject to public notification and consultation prior to approval by the relevant planning authority.