New planning rules for Belconnen town centre have officially come into effect, paving the way for more high-rise developments to reshape the precinct.
Building height limits scaling up from 18 to 28 storeys, at the site of Geocon's $1 billion Republic development, have been rubber-stamped as part of the rezoning.
The restrictions could yet have been looser after developers and commercial leasees last year pushed for increased height limits at their respective sites during consultation on the proposal.
Planning Minister Mick Gentleman has signed off on a package of territory plan variations to guide growth in the heart of Belconnen in the coming decades.
The changes, designed to implement the government's 2016 Belconnen masterplan, seek to encourage more high-rise housing developments across the district, as well as create a new commercial precinct on Lathlain Street opposite Westfield Shopping Centre.
The height limits took "interim effect" last year, as developers pressed ahead with projects in line with new restrictions earmarked for their sites.
Geocon has started work on its 1250-unit Republic development, which will include a 27-storey building - one storey below the maximum allowed on the Edmonstone Place site under the new rules.
A 25-storey height limits has been imposed on land at the corner of Emu Bank and Benjamin Way, the site of Per Se developments' Cirrus tower.
Buildings of up to 23 storeys will be encouraged a parcel of land off Cameron Avenue, between Chandler Street and Eastern Valley Way. A 21-floor cap now applies on the block bounded by Cohen Street, Benjamin Way, Cameron Avenue and Chandler Street.
The Canberra Labor Club site has been rezoned to allow buildings of up to 18 storeys, with the same limit to apply to land immediately north of that block.
The variation has introduced a 12-storey limit on and immediately behind the Canberra City Gymnastics Club. Developer HTI Group last week unveiled plans for a $35 million, 12-storey mixed use complex behind the club.
A report prepared on public consultation on the draft variations showed a number of developers and tenants called for increased height limits on their land, though it did not disclose their names or respective sites.
In response, the authority said the draft variation had incorporated the building height limits proposed in the 2016 masterplan. Any further increases would have to be considered through a separate territory plan variation, it stated.
Respondents to consultation also raised concern about a 16-storey height limit on the corner of Benjamin Way and Belconnen Way, arguing buildings of that height would appear out of place because of their distance from the heart of the town centre.
Belconnen Community Council chairman Glen Hyde said the new rules largely struck the right balance between encouraging the growth and maintaining the amenity of the precinct.
Mr Hyde acknowledged that the construction of new towers would likely block some residents' views, but said that was an inevitable consequence of major urban renewal.
"We worked very closely with the government throughout this process, and what this now gives us is the opportunity to expand and bring more people to the area," he said.