Molonglo Valley planning

Located approximately 7.5-15km west of the Canberra City Centre, the Molonglo Valley was originally identified for future urban development in the 2004 Canberra Spatial Plan.

At capacity, the Molonglo Valley area is planned to accommodate approximately 55,000 new residents over the next 30 years.

The Molonglo Valley, particularly the stage 2 development area is characterised by undulating, and in some places, very challenging natural topography for urban land development.

The Molonglo Valley and associated Molonglo River Park Corridor however, present excellent opportunities to demonstrate best practice in ecological conservation, bushfire management, local recreation, and unique and distinguishable landscape and landmark design features for the urban area.

The environmental attributes of the Molonglo River Park Corridor are recognised and protected under of the Commonwealth Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Land development in Molonglo Valley is currently being planned in three stages:

  • Stage 1: Suburbs of Coombs and Wright (serviced land currently being sold and developed)
  • Stage 2: Suburbs of Denman Prospect and Molonglo (currently being planned)
  • Stage 3: North of the Molonglo River (currently being planned)

Project Area

Molonglo Valley Staging Plan (904.1 KB)

Molonglo Valley Territory Plan Map (1.6 MB) 

Current project: Molonglo Stage 2 Commercial Centre and Environs

During 2012 the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate (ESDD) commissioned consultants to prepare urban design and development principles for the Molonglo Stage 2 Commercial Centre and Environs. The Molonglo Commercial Centre and Environs will comprise the principal commercial and civic centre for the Molonglo Valley district.

The Commercial Centre Core alone is planned to accommodate approximately 1000 new dwellings in a relatively compact mixed use urban environment.

Following consultation with representatives from the community and a nominated Community and Industry Reference Group (CIRG), along with input from interested ACT Directorates, the principles of the 2012 urban design consultant report are being incorporated into a statutory Concept Plan for the Commercial Centre and surrounding high-medium density residential environment.

A Territory Plan amendment process will see a new Concept Plan introduced into the Territory Plan. As part of this process, a public information session is proposed to be held. There will be opportunities for public comment on the Concept Plan as part of the Territory Plan process.

Molonglo Valley Stage 2 Commercial Centre and Environs

The current work by ESDD is focussing on the detailed planning and design of the commercialcentre and surrounding residential area, which aims to accommodate 7,000-9,000 people of the total 18,000 anticipated for stage 2. The aim is to create a vibrant, mixed-use urban village that provides a high quality public realm and a positive model for urban housing forms that meet the ACT Government’s objectives for a more compact, sustainable city and for the provision of affordable housing.

Planning for the commercial centre and environs is being supported by a community engagement program. Future activities and notification will be posted on the ESDD website and in local newspapers.

Related Projects

One of the first tasks for the planning of Molonglo Valley stage 2 was the preparation of background investigation studies in 2010. These were prepared by specialist consultants and identified the key issues that have informed the preparation of the planning and design framework.

The background investigations that were undertaken by specialist consultants to inform the planning of Molonglo Valley stage 2 include:

  • Detailed heritage assessment – BIOSIS Research
  • Community Infrastructure Needs Assessment – Elton Consulting
  • Commercial Land requirements - CBRE
  • Traffic and Transport – AECOM
  • Geotechnical investigations – AECOM
  • Stormwater Management – AECOM
  • Contamination Investigations – AECOM
  • Civil Infrastructure Assessment – AECOM
  • Acoustic Assessment – AECOM

Several projects are being undertaken and have been completed to support the future development of the Molonglo Valley.

Community consultation

Community engagement is a critical element in planning for the Molonglo Valley. Community consultation for the project first started as part of the preparation of the Canberra Spatial Plan in 2004. Subsequent consultation occurred during the preparation of the Molonglo Valley Structure Planning Study (2006) and the Territory Plan Variation 281 – Molonglo and North Weston Structure Plan (2008).

In August 2010, ESDD established a Molonglo Community and Industry Reference Group (CIRG), comprising of representatives from professional institutions, environmental conservation groups and community and interest groups. Since its establishment in 2010 the CIRG has been involved in a series of consultation workshops surrounding the Molonglo Valley stage 2 development. The most recent CIRG meeting was held on 26 October 2012 and involved discussion regarding the content of the latest Commercial Centre and Environs urban design consultancy report.

The extent of community consultation for Molonglo has been tailored to the specific requirements of the project. Details of community consultation for Molonglo are available to view via the links below:

How to get involved

ESDD will commence a Territory Plan process to create a statutory Concept Plan for the Molonglo Commercial Centre and Environs.

As part of this process, a public information session is proposed to be held. ESDD will notify the public regarding the arrangements for the public information session in due course.

The public will also be given the opportunity to provide written comment on the Concept Plan as part of this Territory Plan process.

For additional information or clarification on the Molonglo Valley planning project please direct all enquiries in writing to:

Planning and design framework

To accommodate the anticipated 18,000 residents within the Molonglo Valley stage 2 area, ESDD has prepared a planning and design framework. The framework encapsulates the policies and principles set out in the Molonglo Valley and North Weston Structure Plan and other ACT Government policies to guide the development of Molonglo Valley stage 2.

Molonglo Valley stage 2 Planning and Design Framework(3.5 MB)

The planning and design framework sets out the vision and principles to guide development and also provide an indicative layout of:

  • future land uses, such as housing, shops, schools and community facilities;
  • infrastructure, such as electricity services, water and sewerage reticulation; and
  • roads and open space networks.

The framework was developed in consultation with a variety of ACT Government directorates, the community and an industry reference group (CIRG). Community forums were held in March and June 2011.

Molongolo Valley stage 1 and Land Release

Molonglo Valley stage 1 is currently being developed. This includes the suburbs of Coombs and Wright.

For more information about the release of land in stage 1 or purchasing land in stage 1, visit or contact the Land Development Agency.

ACT Government land release program

For information about the timing of land release in the Molonglo Valley and north Weston, contact the Land Development Agency or refer to the ACT Government's indicative residential land supply program, available from the Chief Minister's Department.

Fact sheet

Molonglo Valley development fact sheet (4.0 MB)

Coombs Subdivision Development Application - 2012

The Coombs Estate Development Plan Development Application (DA No. 201120676) proposed by the Land Development Agency was conditionally approved by the planning and land authority on 1 December 2011. The decision to approve the estate was appealed to the Australian Capital Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) by the Conservation Council (ACT Region). Parties to the hearing agreed to file a consent order with ACAT on 2 March 2012, following successful mediation in February 2012.

Part of the agreement is that future development applications for the area in north-east Coombs (see attached map) would not be lodged until such time as a Plan of Management that includes the river corridor adjacent to the suburb of Coombs was in place.

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