National Capital Plan

Planning within the Territory is guided by the Commonwealth, through the National Capital Plan and the National Capital Authority, as well as the ACT Government and its planning authority. The National Capital Plan provides a general policy framework for land use and planning in the Territory, and more specifically guides the planning, design and development of areas of the Territory that have been identified as having national capital importance (Designated Areas). The General Policy Plan — Metropolitan Canberra in the National Capital Plan broadly adopted the 1984 Metropolitan Policy Plan which was based on a comprehensive review of earlier metropolitan plans, including the 1967 plan (the Y-Plan). The General Policy Plan sets out the current planned arrangement of major land uses in the Territory.

Any significant departure from the metropolitan planning structure for the Territory contained in the National Capital Plan requires the Commonwealth’s agreement to amend the National Capital Plan. Any such amendment would include consideration of matters of national significance.

Matters of national significance in the planning and development of Canberra and the Territory to be protected as identified in the National Capital Plan include:

  • securing Walter Burley Griffin’s planning legacy;
  • maintaining a metropolitan structure plan that includes a hierarchy of centres and defines the urban/non-urban relationship;
  • maintaining the rural and National Capital Open Space setting of the national capital;
  • providing for a system of inter-town public transport;
  • minimising traffic congestion in the Central National Area;
  • maintaining high quality design for entry points and along approach routes to the Central National Area; and
  • maintaining a legible and functional hierarchy of roads in the Territory.