4 Achieving The Canberra Spatial Plan goals

The purpose of this section of The Canberra Spatial Plan is to identify the actions that will flow from adopting the Strategic Direction for Canberra. It does this by outlining the goals and objectives to be addressed through the implementation of The Canberra Spatial Plan. It then outlines the policy response that underpins the actions to be initiated when The Canberra Spatial Plan is adopted.

GOAL Create and maintain a healthy community

OBJECTIVE — Provide opportunities for a diverse range of housing for the full range of household types and lifestyle preferences

Over time there has been a shift towards construction of higher density dwellings, such as townhouses, apartments and flats. This shift reflects a trend that has been experienced in most Australian cities over the last 10 to 15 years. The Canberra Spatial Plan enables a range of dwellings to be provided to match household types and lifestyle preferences. All members of a community should be able to access housing that meets their needs, including access to public housing. Thus, the provision of stable, secure and affordable housing is a critical element of a more sustainable community. Additional land is also required to provide for aged care accommodation in the short term and this trend will continue to increase in the long term.

Policy response
  • The Spatial Plan identifies proposed urban areas within the ACT for future development to meet projected demand of between 58,000 and 90,000 additional dwellings. The residential settlement strategy provides for:
  • Consolidation of development in existing areas, particularly in and adjacent to Civic and town centres and along major transport corridors, through redevelopment and development, using both unused and underused land. In total approximately 41,500 to 45,000 additional dwellings can be catered for through consolidation in the Spatial Plan (including 4,500 dwellings within the current urban limits of Queanbeyan City).
  • Continuation of some greenfields, medium and low density development in Gungahlin — approximately 28,000 additional dwellings (dependent on the outcomes of detailed structure planning).
  • The Molonglo Valley to become the next residential settlement area, with between 12,500 to 20,000 dwellings (dependent on the outcomes of detailed urban suitability assessment and structure planning).
  • The Kowen Plateau to be a long term (at least 15–20 years) urban settlement area, depending on the level of population growth — up to 8,000 dwellings could be provided by 2032, with a total capacity of up to 26,000 dwellings to be made available (dependent on the outcomes of detailed structure planning).
  • Overall, housing choice will be achieved through a mix of residential releases balanced between greenfields development, redevelopment and development within existing urban areas. Such a mix will reflect the projected demand for medium to higher density dwellings due to changing household characteristics.
  • To protect the character and amenity of existing suburban areas of the ACT, residential redevelopment will be strategically directed to locations which will contribute to overall levels of accessibility to facilities and services and reduce dependency on vehicle use. In the short to medium term, this will mean further opportunities for redevelopment will be primarily within Civic, the Northbourne Avenue corridor, Constitution Avenue, the town centres of Belconnen, Gungahlin and Woden and around key nodes including Kingston, Dickson, Barton and Russell.
  • The principle of the life cycle neighbourhood is adopted so that housing for the ageing population can be provided in the best locations to meet the diverse needs of the community. This will be particularly relevant within established areas so that people can remain living in their familiar environment close to existing social networks, that is, to enable ‘ageing in place’.
  • Greenfields development and major redevelopment and urban renewal projects will ensure opportunities for a range of housing to provide for life cycle ageing in place, including housing for families, adaptable housing, older persons accommodation and affordable housing for young people and social housing (public and community housing) in appropriate locations with high levels of accessibility to services and public transport.
  • Within non-urban areas, residential development (villages and rural settlements) and other institutional and tourism related uses, will only be considered where sustainability principles can be met, including:
  • sufficient water resources are available;
  • acceptable bushfire risk;
  • acceptable effluent and water management;
  • equitable and timely access to facilities and services are available without undue cost; and
  • efficient and cost effective provision of infrastructure.
  • Timely release of land to meet the predicted demand for medium and low density housing choices within greenfields areas. This will occur simultaneously with the completion of areas committed for residential development in Gungahlin and a shift towards higher density urban form within the existing urban areas facilitated by release of additional sites in Civic and other key locations.
  • In the short term the effectiveness and appropriateness of the Territory Plan’s residential policies to meet housing demand and housing choice will be evaluated.
  • Work with the NSW Government on regional planning, including input to the Sydney-Canberra Corridor Strategy.
  • In the short term, the ACT Government will work with the National Capital Authority towards an amendment to the Metropolitan Structure Plan in the National Capital Plan to include the Molonglo Valley and the Kowen Plateau as future urban areas.
  • A joint study between the ACT Government and the National Capital Authority will determine the areas suitable for urban development in the Molonglo Valley. This investigation will inform a joint amendment to the National Capital Plan and variation to the Territory Plan. It will also inform the preparation of documentation for environmental impact assessment and other statutory requirements before the development can proceed. The policy variations where appropriate will be completed by 2006 to allow development to commence by 2007/2008.
  • In the medium term, detailed structure planning will determine the urban form and structure for the Kowen Plateau.
  • Master planning will identify the suitability of other potential residential development areas identified for residential intensification. Investigations will ensure these areas are consistent with sustainable planning principles, including proximity to existing infrastructure, proximity to transport services, environmental constraints and proximity to services and facilities.
  • Introduce lease and development controls on selected sites to ensure a minimum provision of affordable housing.
  • The land release program will be reviewed and managed to ensure supply keeps up with the demand to achieve sustainable provision of affordable housing.
  • Residential planning policies will be reviewed to address the need for small scale residential development within existing suburbs to provide affordable and adaptable housing and allow ageing in place.
  • Planning policies will be reviewed to ensure sufficient flexibility to cater for the increased trend towards home-based care and supported accommodation.
  • Housing preferences (price, dwelling type and location) and needs of the ageing population will be monitored to identify the appropriate mix of housing. Land and planning controls will be put in place to facilitate the required mix.
  • The minimum requirements for the provision of accessible and adaptable housing will be progressively increased through planning and building legislation and regulation.
  • Adaptable housing standards will be adopted in various government land releases so that the range of housing needs of an ageing population can be met.
  • Further investigations will be undertaken to determine whether Uriarra, Pierces Creek and Stromlo settlements can be rebuilt as sustainable rural villages consistent with the recommendations of Shaping Our Territory. If sustainability is demonstrated the villages will be rebuilt.
  • Dwelling demand for the full range of household types met.
  • Adequate choice of housing type and location provided.
  • Adequate and affordable housing and public housing available in accessible locations through the urban areas.
  • Adequate adaptable housing for the disabled and aged.
  • Representative mix of demographics (including age profile) in each suburb or neighbourhood throughout Canberra.
Monitoring indicators
  • The total number of new dwellings within 7.5 kilometres radius of the city centre as percentage of total new dwellings.
  • The total number of new dwellings within the 15 kilometre radius of the city centre as percentage of total new dwellings in ACT and in ACT sub-region.
  • The net migration gain or loss of population in the ACT.
  • Housing affordability indicator.
  • House price to income ratio.
  • Affordable housing as a proportion of total housing.
  • Proportion of affordable housing close to transport and employment opportunities and services.
  • The number of adaptable and accessible developments per capita.