Project status: In Progress

We are looking at:

Background

A good planning system is one that is easy to interact with and understand. Our vision is for a system that is accessible and easy to navigate and encourages participation in planning.

Throughout 2019 and into 2020 we have been reviewing the ACT planning system and have also benchmarked elements of it against other national and international planning systems.

The work to date has involved consultation with the community and technical work to explore changes that could create an improved planning system for the ACT. Outcomes of the review are outlined in a series of policy direction papers structured around five focus areas that have set the path for work to progress to reform the planning system.

1.ACT Planning System Review and Reform Overview

2. System Structure

3. Strategic Planning

4. Development Controls

5. Development Assessment

6. System Operation

For more information on the policy direction papers, or to download a copy, visit the project information website.

District Planning

One of the ways for us to address what we've already heard about the ACT planning system, and deliver improvements, is to incorporate a new level of strategic planning in our system - District Planning – that will improve the line of sight from the Planning Strategy to the Territory Plan.

District Planning is a new strategic element in the planning system that will provide more planning guidance at a district area level and allow for the distinctive character of each district to be reflected in the planning system.

We are currently considering how district planning can be incorporated within the planning system, and we want to better understand what Canberrans value about districts and that is important to capture in that level of planning.

Throughout our recent workshops on district planning, we heard that some of the terminology and descriptions we were using was not as clear as it could be. In particular, we heard queries around whether ‘district plans’ would be the result of district planning, and if so, what would they look like and how would they fit into the existing planning system.

The district planning work will be used to develop ‘district strategies’ (not district plans) that will provide strategic planning directions at a district scale for the reformed planning system. As an example, this planning is likely to be more similar to that of the Planning Strategy (eg, strategic map and directions) in terms of articulating valued and important attributes at a district scale as well as proposed directions for potential improvements and changes.

District planning will be undertaken for each of the eight urban districts in the ACT as follows:

Map of districts in Canberra

Here's a snapshot of each of our Districts, including what we heard through our Places and Spaces engagement in 2020.


Find out more about District Planning

What do you need to know about district planning to have your say? Explore the tabs below to find out.

District Planning is a new strategic element in the planning system that will provide more planning guidance at a district area level and allow for the distinctive character of each district to be reflected in the planning system.

To find out more, watch the District Planning Presentation below.

The master planning program initiated under the 2012 Planning Strategy is complete across Canberra.

Existing planning information from the ACT Planning Strategy, Territory Plan and previous master plans will be reference as needed in district planning.

Our improved planning system will be less rules-based and more focussed on delivering good outcomes for Canberrans.

Key policies in district planning may be given statutory effect where appropriate. This would require those elements to be considered during DA assessments.

We want Canberra’s future planning to reflect what’s important to the community. District planning will provide direction for growth and change across each district of the ACT.

The Planning System Review and Reform Project included a review of national and international planning systems as well as feedback from the ACT community. We found there was an opportunity to add a district planning layer between the ACT Planning Strategy and the Territory Plan.

District Planning will be a new part of the planning system that will provide more planning guidance at a district area level and allow for the character of each district to be reflected in the planning system.


We will use your views to:

We are currently considering how the work on district planning can be incorporated within the reformed planning system. The feedback you provide will shape the desired future outcomes of your district as part of district strategies.