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8.5 Hills, Ridges and Buffer Spaces Print Write e-mail

8.5.1 Background

The hill areas do not attract the same intensity of use as the lakes and rivers of NCOSS but they play a greater role in satisfying the landscape function of NCOSS. It is therefore critical that the hill areas be preserved from urban development and their essential landscape/environmental character retained and reinforced to provide the unified background and landscape setting for the National Capital.

It is not intended that the hills and ridges serve only as public open space. They are intended for multiple-use appropriate to the location and character of each hill area. They will be used as vantage points from which people can view the city and to provide a quiet refuge from urban living. They will also serve as wildlife and access corridors linking urban areas with other parts of the Territory's open space system. Their continued use for recreation, tourism and appropriate urban services must be in a manner consistent with maintenance of their environmental qualities.

Hills, ridges and buffer spaces around Gungahlin and in other locations will be more precisely defined through the detailed planning of urban development. Before detailed plans are approved by the Territory planning authority certification shall be obtained from the National Capital Planning Authority that the proposals are not inconsistent with the National Capital Plan.

8.5.2 Principle for Hills, Ridges and Buffer Spaces

Hills, ridges and buffer spaces are to remain substantially undeveloped in order to protect the symbolic role and Australian landscape character of the hills and ridges as the scenic backdrop to the Parliamentary Zone, Civic and other National Capital precincts, to maintain the visual definition and physical containment of the surrounding towns and to ensure that their landscape, environmental and recreation values become an integral part of the National Capital.

8.5.3 Policies for Hills, Ridges and Buffer Spaces

a. The inner hills will be protected as key symbolic and landscape elements in the National Capital Plan expressing the defined land, water and municipal axes and providing the dominant backdrop feature to the city.

b. The hills and ridges shall be planned and managed as a multiple-use recreation and environmental system with different parts having their own special character and use.

c. The hilltops will continue to be used as key vantage points for viewing and understanding the National Capital. Development will be sited so as to minimise its visual impact on the Central National Area and any environmental impact on the hill tops.

d. Pine plantations permitted under 8.5.3(h) shall be managed in a manner which reinforces the landscape character and which allows their use as multiple use areas. Native vegetation in plantations should be retained, particularly along plantation edges, public roads and rivers and creeks, to preserve wildlife corridors and habitats.

e. The environment and Australian landscape character of the hills and ridges will be protected and enhanced to provide a unified landscape setting for the National Capital.

f. The rural landscape in the areas adjacent to the ACT border between Hall and the Murrumbidgee River and along the Barton Highway will be retained as an intrinsic part of the National Capital character and with additional landscape treatment provide physical containment to this part of Belconnen and a buffer between Belconnen and Gungahlin.

g. Black Mountain, Mt Taylor, Tuggeranong Hill and Isaacs Ridge will continue to provide locations for current telecommunications facilities. (Refer to Policies for Telecommunications Facilities at 12.4).

h. The range of uses permitted in the Hills, Ridges and Buffer Spaces part of the National Capital Open Space System will be the following:

  • Agriculture
  • Extractive Industry (Mugga Quarry only)
  • Forestry (Green Hills, Tuggeranong, Ingledene, Stromlo and Fairbairn pine plantations and woodlots only)
  • General Farming
  • Landscape Buffer
  • Nature Conservation Area
  • Open Space
  • Outdoor Education Establishment
  • Outdoor Recreation Facility (not including stadiums, showgrounds, racecourses, motor racing and like activities)
  • Park
  • Pathway Corridor
  • Public Utility
  • Road
  • Scientific Research Establishment
  • Tourist Centre (Gold Creek and Gilmore only)
  • Overnight Camping (Stromlo Forest Park only); and
  • Tourist Facility (Stromlo Forest Park only)

and may include Dwelling if necessary for the operation of any of these uses.

The nature of uses permitted in the Hills, Ridges and Buffer Spaces part of the National Capital Open Space System is defined in Appendix A.

8.5.4 Special Requirements for Hills, Ridges and Buffer Spaces

Special requirements apply to the development of the 'Harcourt Hill' resort and to the Gold Creek Tourist Area. These special requirements are set out in Appendix V.

8.5.5 Designated Area 'The Inner Hills'

The area identified at Figures 23–26 is specified as a Designated Area under the provisions of Section 10(1) of the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988 and will be known as the Inner Hills.

The Inner Hills Designated Area includes Black Mountain, Mount Ainslie, Mount Majura, Mount Pleasant, Russell Hill, Red Hill, Mount Mugga, O'Connor Ridge, Bruce Ridge, Mount Painter, The Pinnacle, Lyneham Ridge, Oakey Hill, Mount Taylor, Isaacs Ridge, Mount Stromlo, Mount Arawang, Neighbour Hill, Wanniassa Hill, and Narrabundah Hill.

The Inner Hills provide the scenic backdrop and natural setting for Canberra's urban areas, and within Canberra Central they are integral to Griffin's composition. Accordingly their planning, design and development as open space areas are central to the maintenance and enhancement of the character of the National Capital. Designation is the most appropriate way of securing this.

The Design and Siting Conditions at Appendix H apply as Detailed Conditions of Planning, Design and Development within the Inner Hills Designated Area. A further condition is that any proposal to subdivide land within the Inner Hills Designated Area will require the approval of the Authority.

Figure 23: The Inner Hills

Figure 23: The Inner Hills

This map shows the borders of the inner hills which encapsulate the Central National Area.

Click here to download The Inner Hills map

Figure 24: The Inner Hills

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This map shows the borders of the inner hills which encapsulate the Central National Area.

Click here to download the Inner Hills map

Figure 25: The Inner Hills

Figure 25: The Inner Hills

This map shows the borders of the inner hills which encapsulate the Central National Area.

Click here to download the Inner Hills map

Figure 25: The Inner Hills

Figure 25: The Inner Hills

This map shows the borders of the inner hills which encapsulate the Central National Area.

Click here to download the Inner Hills map

Figure 26: The Inner Hills

Figure 26: The Inner Hills

This map shows the borders of the inner hills which encapsulate the Central National Area.

Click here to download the Inner Hills map

Click here to go to 8.6 River Corridors

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 16:26