Concessional community use land

The ACT Government supports strong communities by releasing land for specific concessional uses to the not for profit sector.

Concessional land is available when the government calls for expressions of interest for a specific block of land (site). If assessed as eligible, community organisations may then be invited to submit a tender for the site.

This two-stage tender process is detailed in the Planning and Development (Community Concessional Leases Amendment Act 2019.

These amendments are reflected in the Planning and Development Act 2007 (the Act) and Planning and Development Regulation 2008 (the Regulation).

The assessment criteria for the expression of interest (stage one) and tender (stage two) are also set by this legislation.

Overview of process

1. Identification of site and potential use(s)

Government identifies concessional community land for release by assessing the availability of sites that permit community uses. This includes, but is not limited to, land zoned as CF: Community Facilities. For more information about community uses, please refer to the Territory Plan 2008.

Each site release is linked with predetermined potential use(s). These uses are determined by the government to meet a recognised gap in community facilities and are set out in a notifiable instrument. More information about notifiable instruments is provided under step 2 (Release of site(s)).

A range of sources are used to assess gaps in community facilities and determine potential land use(s) for a site. These include:

  • community and recreational facilities assessments and other relevant planning studies
  • current and projected population data
  • community feedback (both individuals and organisations)
  • Government priorities, objectives and strategies
  • ACT Wellbeing Indicators
  • feedback and advice from all directorates through various governance bodies

2. Release of site(s)

To release concessional land the government must first make a statement to set the priorities for community use land in a district. The statement must also identify the potential community concessional use(s) for the district. This district-level statement is a notifiable instrument (see section 253D of the Act). Please refer to the District statement(s) section below for more information about which district-level statements are currently in force.

A district-level statement must be notified before an instrument for a specific site is made. The site-specific instrument will set out the required and additional use(s) (see section 253E of the Act). The site-specific instrument also authorises the planning and land authority to grant a community concessional lease, once the legislated steps of the tender process have been met.

The required use must be the primary use on the site. Other uses can also be permitted if they are identified as a potential use(s). For example, the required use (or primary use) may be a community activity centre, and an additional use (or secondary use) might be a place of worship.

A community organisation can propose additional uses on the site as part of the tender process, if the use is identified as a potential use in the notifiable instrument.

a. Request for Expressions of Interest (stage one)

Expressions of interest from community organisations must address the mandated threshold criteria set out in the legislation (see section 145 of the Regulation).

Each expression of interest will be assessed by a Whole of Government Evaluation Panel (the Panel). The Panel will recommend no more than three (3) eligible applicants be invited to tender.

b. Request for Tender (stage two)

Community organisations who are invited to tender (following completion of the expression of interest process), are required to respond to the threshold criteria and additional criteria (see section 146(2) of the Regulation).

The Panel will assess the tender applications and may recommend a preferred tenderer for the delegate to consider.

The delegate for the two-stage tender process is the Chief Planning Executive of the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate.

3. Delegate decision

The delegate may conditionally approve the grant of a community concessional lease to the successful tenderer. This approval may be subject to:

  • development application approval, and / or
  • building and compliance checks of the proposed facilities, and / or
  • compliance with a Project Delivery Agreement or Deed*.

* Depending on site requirements, government may execute an agreement, such as a Project Delivery Agreement or Deed with the successful tenderer. This may not be applicable for all community concessional use land.

Government is not obliged to continue the process if a preferred tenderer is not found, or if a decision is made to withdraw the site from release.

4. Successful Tenderer submits Development Application

The successful tenderer must submit a development application for approval.

The development application must be consistent with the approved tender application.

5. Contract for sale settled

Only when the development application submitted by the preferred tenderer is approved can the contract for sale be finalised.

A holding lease may be issued to the successful tenderer depending on the specifics of the conditional approval of the delegate.

Any associated agreements are included in the contract of sale.

6. On-site works

The successful tenderer commences building and construction on site following the completion of step 5.

7. Building and compliance check

Government undertakes building and compliance checks for construction on site.

If an agreement has been executed with the lessee, additional compliance checks are undertaken in relation to the terms of the agreement.

8. Grant consequential lease

If the successful tenderer meets all requirements, a community concessional lease will be granted.

9. Ongoing reporting and monitoring

Community concessional lessees are required to give the planning and land authority reports about the use of the land. This is a mandatory lease provision.

For the duration of the lease, a community concessional lessee must, for each financial year, complete the community use report (on the required form) to provide information to government about how the land has been used in accordance with the minimum use parameters set out in the lease. These parameters are consistent with the community concessional lease and align with those proposed by the lessee in their tender proposal.

Process flowchart

Step 1
Identification of site and potential use(s).
Step 2
Release of site(s).
Step 2a
Request for Expressions of Interest (stage one).
Step 2b
Request for Tender (stage two).
Step 3
Delegate decision.
Step 4
Successful tenderer submits Development Application.
Step 5
Contract for sale settled.
Step 6
On-site works.
Step 7
Building and compliance check.
Step 8
Grant consequential lease.
Step 9
Ongoing reporting and monitoring.

District statement(s)

Molonglo Valley

The notifiable instrument which sets the Government’s priorities in relation to future community land within the district of Molonglo Valley commenced on 30 June 2020.

Land release(s)

Block 6 Section 51 Wright

The notifiable instrument that authorises the grant of a community concessional lease by tender for Block 6 Section 51 Wright commenced on 30 June 2020.

Community organisations were invited, by public notice, to submit expressions of interest for the grant of the lease on 1 October 2020.

View and download the proposed lease (specimen Crown Lease) for this site (411.1 KB).

Expressions of interest must be submitted via Tenders ACT.

Related links

More information

For questions about the release process for concessional community use land, please contact the Urban Renewal team through Access Canberra – phone 13 22 81.