Residents groups have heralded the decision to reject a controversial bid to redevelop the Curtin shops as a win for planning in Canberra.
On Wednesday, the ACT's chief planner Dorte Ekelund said the application was knocked back due to the "size, character and scale" of the development.
"The proposed development height of six storeys is not consistent with the existing lower rise character of the Curtin shops," Ms Ekelund said in a statement.
"It would also increase overshadowing onto the central courtyard which receives good solar access and is a popular meeting place and focal point for the local community.
"As we have seen through the public notification process, there has also been a significant level of community feedback which aligns with our independent assessment of the proposal against the requirements of the Territory Plan. That is, the development scale is excessive on this site."
The decision came after accusations of hardball tactics by the developers in trying to get the community to support the project.
While the fate of the shops is not yet clear, Curtin Residents Association president Robin Stanton said he felt like the "system had listened".
"It's a very good first step because what's been on the table so far doesn't meet territory planning requirements and that's very reassuring as a Canberra citizen," Mr Stanton said.
"We're pleased on two fronts. The work we've put in from the community perspective aligned with the independent assessment.
"The system has listened to us. They're able to say their assessment and the community's assessment aligns. That makes us feel like that the system works. It's a rewarding outcome because the system has listened."
Greens politician Caroline Le Couteur, who tabled a petition in the Legislative Assembly signed by almost 2000 opponents of the project on Tuesday, said the decision was "evidence that a committed community working together, can ensure their voices are heard".
"It has been clear for some time that what was submitted in the Curtin shops development application was highly inconsistent with the draft Master Plan and the Territory Plan," Ms Le Couteur said.
"Today the ACT Greens strongly encourage Curtin developers to go back to the drawing board, and ensure that any future planning proposals for the Curtin shops reflect the needs and support of the local community, rather than shutting the shops down."
Ms Ekelund said the planning authority supported redevelopment at the shops so long as it was "done in keeping with its character and amenity".
"We will work with the developer to see if an alternative proposal can be prepared. We will also continue to work with the local community and traders on finalising the Curtin masterplan which will guide growth and development of the centre," Ms Ekelund said.
The developers can either make changes to their proposal or appeal the decision in the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Ms Le Couteur said the experience had been both a "plus and minus from a planning perspective".
"It hasn't worked from the point of view that 2000 people had to sign a petition against this proposal and a large number of people went through a considerable amount of anxiety to achieve this outcome," Ms Le Couteur said.
The spokeswoman for the owners of the Curtin shops, Tania Parkes, said the Haridemos family will make no further comment on the proposal.
"What is on the public record remains current," she said.