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National Capital Plan - Amendment No. 12 - Russell

Authoritative Version
  • - F2008B00023
  • No longer in force
Plans/Management of Sites & Species as made
This instrument amends the National Capital Plan (December 1990) to incorporate a number of changes as follows. Replaced Figure 12 with a revised figure, inserted a new Land Use Policy statement on the reverse side of Figure 12, amended the Appendices Index (Page 1) Appendix T Master Plans - Detailed conditions of Planning Design and Development to include 'T.3 Russell Master Plan', and introduced Appendix T.3 Russell Master Plan.
Administered by: Infrastructure and Transport
General Comments: The National Capital Plan - Amendment No. 12 - Russell was approved by the Minister of State for Sport, Territories and Regional Development on 17 June 1996.
Exempt from sunsetting by the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 s 54(2) item 4
Registered 14 Feb 2008
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR17-Jun-1996
Tabled Senate17-Jun-1996
Gazetted 17 Jun 1996
Date of repeal 19 Mar 2014
Repealed by Infrastructure and Regional Development (Spent and Redundant Instruments) Repeal Regulation 2014




Section 19


I, WARWICK SMITH, the Minister of State for Sport, Territories and Local Government, pursuant to section 19 of the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988 APPROVE Amendment 12 of the National Capital Plan set out in the attached Schedule.

Dated this 17th day of June 1996


Minister of State for

Sport, Territories and Local Government


Australian Capital Territory

(Planning and Land Management) Act 1988


of the

National Capital Plan

Amendment No. 12


National Capital Planning Authority

June 1996


The National Capital Plan (‘the Plan’) came into effect on 21 December 1990 following approval by the then Minister for the Arts, Tourism and Territories.

A function of the National Capital Planning Authority (‘the Authority’), is to keep the Plan under constant review and to propose amendments to it when necessary. The statutory provisions for amending the Plan are set out at sections 14 to 22 of the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988 (‘the Act’).

Section 15 of the Act provides as follows:

(1) After preparing the draft Plan (Amendment), the Authority shall:

(a)           submit a copy to the Territory planning authority;

(b)           by notice published in the Commonwealth Gazette and in the principal daily newspaper published and circulated in the Territory:

(i)           state that the draft Plan (Amendment) has been prepared, and that copies will be available for public inspection at the places and times, and during the period, specified in the notice; and

(ii)          invite interested persons to make written representations about the draft Plan (Amendment) within a reasonable period specified in the notice and specify the address to which the representations may be forwarded; and

(c)            make the draft Plan (Amendment) available for inspection accordingly.

(2) The Authority shall:

(a)           consult with the Territory planning authority about the draft Plan (Amendment) and have regard to any views expressed by it; and

(b)           have regard to any representations made by the public; and if it thinks fit, may alter the draft Plan (Amendment).

Section 18 of the Act then provides for the Authority to submit the draft Plan (Amendment) to the Minister for approval, together with a written report on its consultations under Section 15.


Amendment of the National Capital Plan Amendment No. 12

1.             Replace Figure 12 of the National Capital Plan with a revised Figure 12 as attached hereto (Attachment 1).

2.             Insert a new Land Use Policy statement on the reverse side of Figure 12 as attached hereto (Attachment 2).

3.             Amend the Appendices Index (page 1) Appendix T Master Plans - Detailed Conditions of Planning, Design and Development to include “T.3 Russell Master Plan”.

4.             Introduce Appendix T.3 - Russell Master Plan as attached hereto (Attachment 3).


Figure 12                                                              ATTACHMENT 1


ATTACHMENT 2       Land Use Policy Statement to be incorporated on reverse side of Figure 12.

Land Use Policy

The primary land use intended for National Capital Use areas in Russell is National Capital Use as defined in Appendix A. Other land uses permitted are:

•               Car Park

and, on the ground floor of National Capital Uses and structured carparks the following ancillary uses are permitted, subject to individual premises not exceeding 250 m2 GFA:

•              retail

•              cafe, bar, restaurant

•              child care centre

•              bank

•              co-operative society

•              personal services establishment

•              consulting rooms

•              club/indoor recreation facility

•              cultural facility

•              social/community facility

•              church use

•              health centre

•              place of assembly.

Existing Defence Installation uses may continue and minor additions or extensions to existing development may be permitted within the overall context of the Detailed Conditions of Planning, Design and Development included in Appendix T. 3 - Russell Master Plan.

Commonwealth offices, other than for occupation by the Department of Defence, will not be approved until a review of the Employment Location Policies of the National Capital Plan has been completed.


ATTACHMENT 3       Appendix T.3 Russell Master Plan

Appendix T.3 Russell Master Plan

Detailed Conditions of Planning Design and Development

1.            Introduction

The proposals to redevelop parts of the Russell Office complex have provided an opportunity to reconsider the future planning of Russell in the context of its national significance.

The national significance derives from the key position Russell occupies in the Capital at the remaining, incomplete apex of Walter Burley Griffin’s National Triangle. The proposed redevelopment of Russell affords a significant opportunity in Canberra’s history to give legibility to the National Triangle by completing Griffin’s design.

Russell occupies a prominent position within the Central National Area being on slightly elevated land close to Lake Burley Griffin. Walter Burley Griffin proposed that the concave, amphitheatre form of Russell should be linked to the convex shape of City Hill by a Municipal Axis along Constitution Avenue.

In response to the national significance of Russell the urban structure, built form, environment, landscape character and land use for Russell should:

•              symbolise the importance of the apex,

•              allow Russell to become an extension of the city,

•              enhance the potential of this area as a ‘gateway’ to the Capital,

•              and create opportunities for the siting of notable buildings, monuments and for city squares which support various ceremonial events.

The Russell Master Plan is capable of being implemented in stages. The Land Use Policy acknowledges that certain existing buildings will continue to be used for many years.

2.            Russell Master Plan Proposals

The significant proposals introduced in the Russell Master Plan fulfil the following objectives:

              Complete the National Triangle

The extension of Kings Avenue and Constitution Avenue will complete the last remaining unconstructed element of the National Triangle.

              Create a new entry to the National Triangle

The new connection from Morshead Drive and upgraded Northcott Drive will create a new entry to the National Triangle and a new frontage to Russell.


              Connect Russell to Civic and Parliamentary Zone

Completing the National Triangle will connect Russell by arterial roads to Civic, the Parliamentary Zone and to approach routes.

              Create a legible local road network

The internal road network will provide legibility to the urban fabric, with the built form emphasising the major avenue alignments. The local roads increase connection and accessibility to building sites.

              Provide sites for Commonwealth Offices

Whilst meeting the future office accommodation requirements of the Department of Defence sites will also be created for the future location of other Commonwealth offices needing a prestigious location. Commonwealth offices, other than for occupation by the Department of Defence, will not be approved until a review of the Employment Location Policies of the National Capital Plan has been completed.

              Provide for a greater variety of land use

Opportunities will be provided for retail and commercial activities servicing the local workforce to locate in Russell.

              Progressively reduce surface carparking

The plan provides for future car parking needs to be provided in basements and separate parking structures, progressively removing existing surface car parking.

              Create opportunities for Ceremonies and Symbolism

The sequence of major avenues and city squares will provide opportunities for the expression of local and national symbolism through dedicated objects, monuments, buildings, avenues, city squares and events.

              Create an integrated system of parks

Kings Park, Grevillea Park, Mt Pleasant and Russell Hill will be integrated into a coherent parkland making a major contribution to the identity of Russell. Open spaces within the built form will make connections to the surrounding landscape by a series of small parks, and enable pedestrian and cycle connections to be strengthened from the Inner Hills to Lake Burley Griffin.


3.             Principles

The above proposals are founded on the following planning and design principles:-


•              Russell will contribute to the richness of the urban fabric by encouraging variety in the character of the parks, streets and built forms, within the context of a cohesive framework.

•              The development of Russell will evolve incrementally and be capable of incorporating worthy changes by development of a robust urban structure.

Land Use

•              Whilst the predominant land use will be Commonwealth offices needing a prestigious location, permitted ancillary land uses will contribute to the general principle of achieving variety and serving the needs of those employed in the area.

Transport and Parking

•              The extension of Kings Avenue and Constitution Avenue will complete the last remaining unconstructed element of the National Triangle.

•              The local road system will increase connection and accessibility to buildings by providing connections to the arterial road system.

•              The local road network will provide a safe network for cyclists and pedestrians by creating calmer local traffic conditions.

•              Surface parking will be progressively reduced by the introduction of parking structures and basement parking. On-street parking will be restricted to short-stay visitor parking.

•              Cycleways and pedestrian paths, where separate from the road systems,- will provide for safe and convenient movement generally within open space and connect with major peripheral paths.

•              The provision of public transport through Russell will contain flexibility for different transport system options.

Built Form

•              The built form will give clear definition to the urban structure by its orientation, arrangement and massing.

•              Buildings of national symbolic status will be located in relation to urban places and avenues so as to contribute and define the symbolic importance of the National Triangle.

•              Building envelopes will emphasise the natural terrain and the apex by regulating the building height.

•              Each building envelope will individually contribute to the overall emphasis of the built form rising to the apex.

Open Space

•              The natural setting of Mt Pleasant and Russell Hill will be enhanced by the integration of open spaces with the built form to create a continuous visual setting.

•              The open spaces will form focal points in the development by providing settings and spaces designed for communal activity and ceremonial events.

•              The streets, parks and public squares will form an integrated and connected system of open space.

•              The streetscapes and street planting will contribute to the legibility of the urban structure. Enhancement of the natural setting with the use of native trees will define the edges of the development. In the parks exotic trees will be used predominantly along the local road network.


4.             Development Conditions

Development at Russell is to conform to the following conditions:

Land Use

Development shall accord with the land use shown on Figure 12 and the accompanying statement of Land Use Policy.

Traffic and Parking


1.             The new road network shall generally accord with Diagram 1: Russell Concept Diagram.

Pedestrians and Cyclists

2.             Pedestrian movement along streets shall generally be enhanced by the provision of colonnades.

3.             The local road network shall provide for the safe passage of pedestrians and cyclists and allow for connection to cycleways and other pedestrian paths.

4.             Cycleways and pedestrian paths, other than those provided within the local road network, shall be provided within open space and connect with major path systems around Lake Burley Griffin, Duntroon and Campbell.

5.             Cycleways and pedestrian paths, where they cross the arterial road system, shall be via grade separated or signalised intersections.

Car Parking

6.             Parking for office buildings shall be provided, (in basements wherever possible, or alternatively in a separate car parking structure), at the rate of 1 space per 100 square metres of gross floor area. The Authority may increase this requirement in specific cases, after taking into account the relationship between on-site parking, off-site parking opportunities and the capacity of public transport in the area.

7.             Additional off-site parking shall not be provided on areas identified in Figure 12 as Open Space.

Built Form

Site Development Guidelines

1.             Prior to applications for Works Approval being submitted, proponents of development shall consult with the Authority and obtain the Authority’s Site Development Guidelines.

The Guidelines will include requirements in relation to:

•               frontages and address points;

•               relationship to adjacent site levels;

•               pedestrian and vehicular entry to buildings;

•               character and extent of open space;

•               maintenance of vistas and view corridors;

•               building envelopes;

•               building alignments, heights and setbacks.


Building Height

2.             Buildings will generally be restricted to 4 storeys.

Exceptions to the 4 storey restriction are the two buildings at the apex of the Triangle and the two portal buildings where Kings Avenue meets Blarney Square. Buildings in these locations may be higher so as to reinforce the apex and Blarney Square, subject to the contextual relationship with existing buildings and memorials.

Where it can be demonstrated that proposed development contributes positively to the achievement of the Built Form Principles taller buildings may be permitted.

No buildings, roof structures and/or communication equipment taller than RL 617 will be permitted.

No roof structures and/or communications equipment are to be located beyond the eastern edge of building G for RN1 and the western edge of building F for RN2.

Building Design

3.             Buildings shall contribute to the definition of streets and spaces which encourage pedestrian use.

4.             Buildings shall include sunscreen treatment and a response to the climate, adding depth and modelling to the building faces and maximising energy efficiency. Such screening can incorporate the covered arcade as a free-standing element detached from the building face if required.

Materials and Finishes

5.             High quality buildings and materials are required for developments inside and adjacent to the National Triangle.

6.             The landmark buildings adjacent to the apex shall have a quality of design and finish appropriate to the significance of their location.

7.             The external appearance of buildings shall generally be within the cream to white colour range. Materials shall be of an appropriate long life and durable finish.

Upper portions of buildings shall have recessed windows articulating the facade with a rhythm of individual openings.

Curtain-wall glazing, continuous strip glazing and mirror glass will not be permitted.

8.             The lower portion of buildings, from ground level to first floor, shall be articulated with material and detailing relating to human scale and to points of entry.

All ground floor elevations will have colonnades. Facades behind the colonnades are not to be blank and continuous surfaces.

9.             Lift over-runs and roof-mounted structures will only be permitted if contained within an enclosure appropriate to the roof form. Roofs shall be either shallow pitched of copper or having a similar appearance, or shall be a roof terrace. Flat metal deck roofing is generally not acceptable.


Open Space

Overall Character

1.             Development shall contribute positively to the system of streets, parks and squares to provide an integrated open space network.

2.             Landscape development of individual sites shall complement the landscape character established in adjacent public areas.

3.             Landscape development of all public areas shall be the subject of a comprehensive Landscape Plan approved by the Authority.

Plant Materials

4.             Planting for individual building developments is to reflect the civic quality and scale of the precinct. Ground cover or shrub planting between the building and the street will not be permitted.


5.             Brick paving and other smaller pavers are to be restricted to building entries and/or courts. Generally, streets and parks should be paved with larger natural stone or high quality concrete units.

6.             The quality of the paving in Blarney Square and at the Apex shall be of the highest quality, reflecting the symbolic importance of these spaces.

Diagram 1:            RUSSELL CONCEPT DIAGRAM