A new territory plan and district strategies will chart the path to adding up to nearly 150,000 homes across Canberra in the largest shake up to the planning system since self-government.
The territory's overhauled planning system is expected to come into effect from November 27, after a series of design guides were published on Monday, setting out development standards.
Zoning boundaries, which govern what types of housing and development can be built, will remain the same, but unit-titled dual occupancies will be permitted on larger RZ1 blocks and two-storey blocks of flats will be allowed in RZ2 areas.
Planning Minister Mick Gentleman said the district strategies would underpin planning for future growth, while the territory plan and design guides set the outcomes developments needed to achieve.
"As one of the fastest growing jurisdictions in Australia, more people will be living in the ACT each year. The changes to the planning system set us up well to accommodate this growth while enhancing and protecting the aspects we value most, such as access to services, infrastructure, and natural spaces that contribute to connected communities," Mr Gentleman said.
The district strategies set out the potential number of dwellings expected to be built in each of Canberra's nine districts, with space for between 117,800 and 148,500 dwellings thought to be available.
"The ACT has only a limited amount of available land left for new suburbs. Future growth will mean gradually transforming current suburbs to use the city's finite land more efficiently and effectively," the strategy documents said.
The majority of the growth in dwellings will take place in Belconnen, with about 30,000 dwellings expected to be built in the north-western district, equivalent to between 21 and 24 per cent of growth.
Gungahlin will experience a demand for 17,900 more dwellings by 2050, but the district will not meet the need. Planning documents said the demand can be met across the ACT.
The inner north and city will have capacity to add up to 25,500 dwellings, while the inner south could add up to 13,500 dwellings.
Half of the growth in Belconnen is expected to come from medium-density housing, with 36 per cent high density and 14 per cent as separate houses.
The number of detached houses is expected to fall 36 per cent in Tuggeranong, 33 per cent in Weston Creek, 15 per cent in Woden, 5 per cent in the inner north and city, and 10 per cent in the inner south.
The majority of housing growth in the inner south is expected to come from high-density dwellings (91 per cent), which will account for 67 per cent of growth in the inner north.
"The identified opportunities for new housing (117,800 to 148,500) will comfortably meet the overall projected future need of about 100,000 additional dwellings to 2050," the government's district strategy said.
"Further detailed planning will occur in each district to determine how the need will be met having regard to the benefits and costs of different distributions of growth and delivering sustainable development outcomes. This detailed panning will consider the need for changes to zoning and other planning controls in some areas to facilitate suitable development types."
Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Mr Gentleman announced the changes in the backyard of Julie Hamilton, who built a second dwelling on her Torrens RZ1 block.
"Whenever people hear about this, they think I'm living in a tiny house and then they come and see it and say, oh gosh, it's so big. It's so spacious," Ms Hamilton said.
The new RZ1 dual occupancy rules, which allow unit titling and separate ownership of the dwellings, could be applied retrospectively to existing dual occupancies if the new rules on size and green space are met through a development application process.
No modelling shows specifically how many dual occupancies the government expects to be built as a result of the changes.
Government planning officials believe the new system will encourage developers to look beyond their block and development projects as part of work to respond to design guides.
Draft district strategies were published for public consultation in November last year, with the finalised versions confirming the racecourse at Thoroughbred Park would be retained.
The final strategies set out category 1, 2 and 3 change areas. Category 1 areas are expected to change over the next five years, category 2 areas would change over the next decade and category 3 areas would change over 15 years.
Changes to the territory plan under the old planning system, which were made in September last year and mandated minimum tree canopy coverage, have also been brought into the new system.
Planning documents set out "five big drivers" of district planning, including maintaining a blue-green network, economic access and opportunity, strategic movement, inclusive centres and communities and sustainable neighbourhoods.
"These drivers and the district planning consider not just where development may happen, but the social, environmental, economic, transport and amenity factors that are essential to creating liveable places," the documents said.
MORE A.C.T. POLITICS NEWS:
"New development will be supported by appropriate community facilities, transport and other infrastructure, and employment opportunities. Avoiding and mitigating further impacts on our natural environment, cultural heritage and open spaces must be considered."
Territory-wide planning targets include increasing the percentage of jobs outside the inner-city areas, reducing car dependency, increasing "missing middle and affordable housing options" within walking distance of town, group and local centres, and decreasing the average time it takes to travel to work.
The pre-development application consultation process will be dropped, and instead replaced with two public notification periods and a pre-decision advice process to allow proponents to amend their applications before a decision is made. The pre-decision advice process would trigger a separate public notification.
The ACT Planning Authority expects development application assessment, a six-stage process, to take between 30 and 60 working days.
The Legislative Assembly will consider a motion to adopt the new territory plan when it sits this week, when the plan is expected to be referred to the planning committee for consideration.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: