Project status: In progress

The ACT Government is improving our planning and building systems to help shape Canberra’s future as our city continues to grow.

Canberra’s population is growing by approximately 8,000 per year as more people choose to live here. With this growth, 100,000 new homes will need to be built in the next 25 years and most of these will be in existing urban areas.

Our city needs a planning system that can facilitate this growth without compromising the characteristics of the city that its residents hold dear. Importantly, it needs a planning system that can deliver on the long-term vision for Canberra to be a city that is liveable, sustainable, resilient, and diverse.

An important part of the ACT Planning Review project is asking the community to identify the unique characteristics of local areas. This will help us to develop more detailed planning at local levels.

See the outcomes of engagement so far.

The Planning and Development Act 2007 requires the planning and land authority to consider the appropriateness of the Territory Plan and its various development controls every five years. In determining whether a review is necessary, the planning and land authority considers whether the Territory Plan promotes the planning strategy and meets the expectations of industry and community.

In the 10 years since the last major review of the Territory Plan the long-term aspirations for Canberra have evolved, industry has questioned the contemporary fit of certain aspects of the system, and the community has expressed concern about the quality of development, impacts on landscape character and the ability to participate in the planning process.

In the same period, the Chief Minister has released his Statement of Ambition and the Minister for Planning has released his Statement of Intent. The Government has also released several other major policy papers that connect with planning such as the Climate Change Strategy, Housing Strategy and Transport Strategy. Together with the 2018 ACT Planning Strategy, this has changed the strategic context of the Territory and that frames the planning system.

The feedback and contextual changes create an opportunity to review the planning system in a holistic way. The broad aims of the review are to:

  • simplify the planning system
  • improve the balance between certainty and flexibility in the system
  • incorporate character, context and design as key elements of the system

The Review Project will not consider the following topics:

  • The structure and role of ACT Government planning bodies
  • Incorporating the National Capital Plan into the Territory Plan
  • A developer contribution scheme
  • Incentive schemes
  • Creating suburb-specific plans
  • Removal of the leasehold system
  • An additional/alternative development approval model, such as planning panels
  • Changes to the ACT Planning Strategy 2018.