Curtin residents have denounced the government's approval of a five-storey building near the suburb's central square, vowing to overturn the decision at the Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The Curtin Residents Association, in its application for a review of the decision, said the "village-style atmosphere" and character of the area would be diminished by the building.
The building's original proposal, which called for six storeys and 50 apartments, was knocked back in 2017. The current proposal calls for 36 apartments.
"We don't yet have the information about how a building of five storeys will overshadow the square at important times," residents association president Chris Johnson said.
"It's too close to the edge of the 25-metre-wide courtyard at five storeys, and it's too big of a building."
The association's application said the south-western position of the 20.7 metre structure would cast too much shade over Curtin Square, preventing children from playing in the sun after school hours.
It also said the lack of provisions for a safe pedestrian environment would pose a significant risk, as the site's proposed heavy-vehicle circulation route is close to car parking and pedestrian areas.
"The conditions that were put on the proposal that's being accepted were quite vague. Parking is a crucial part of the development ... but they haven't mentioned design solutions for these issues," it said.
Parking was mentioned as an issue in the building's development application but the Transport Canberra and City Services directorate said it supported the proposal as long as a risk assessment was carried out.
The complex, the construction of which would see the 55-year-old Curtin shops demolished, has long been the subject of a major stoush between the community and the site's owner, the Haridemos family.
Its original development application proposed three basement car park levels, as opposed to two in the approved plan, and a 26-metre height.
The proposal was rejected by planning authorities in February 2017, but a second development application was submitted some 18 months later - well outside the requirement of 20 days.
An extension was granted to the Haridemos family, and the application was eventually approved in December 2018 despite huge controversy and the development of a master plan for Curtin shops.
The master plan was seen as a compromise between the site's owners and the community, with building heights being restricted to one storey around the square and up to five elsewhere.
The residents association said the building's development application should have only been approved once the master plan was legislated.
"The [Notice of Decision on Reconsideration] says the new master plan doesn't apply yet. But [the planning authority] applies some of the criteria, and then it fails to apply others, including about visual impact and character," Mr Johnson said.
"It's trying to have it both ways."
ACT Chief Planner Ben Ponton said the approved development proposal is consistent with the Curtin master plan, which protects access to sunlight in the town square.
"Waiting for the release of the Draft Variation would not have changed the outcome for the development application because it meets the master plans intent," he said.
"Furthermore, the planning and land authority was bound by statutory timeframes to make a decision on the revised development application and could not have waited for the Territory Plan variation to come into force."
The Curtin shops were fenced off and retailers turfed from the building by the Haridemos family in January last year after the initial development application was rejected.
Attempts were made to contact the Haridemos family via their spokesperson, Tania Parkes, but they did not respond.
"We would like to see this development resolved quickly so the traders in the square get back to normal business and maybe enhance it as soon as possible," Mr Johnson said.
"Having it fenced off has caused a lot of disruption."
Curtin residents and retailers were given an opportunity to make submissions to the reconsideration prior to a decision being made on December 7 last year.
The Curtin Residents Association is attending its first hearing at the Civil and Administrative Tribunal on February 11.