Molonglo Valley planning

Stage 1 housingMolonglo Valley is the newest greenfield’s development front in the ACT, which, at capacity, is planned to accommodate approximately 55,000 new residents over the coming decades.

The Molonglo Valley is characterised by undulating, and in some places, very challenging natural topography for urban land development. The Valley and associated Molonglo River Corridor, however, present excellent opportunities to demonstrate best practice in ecological conservation, bushfire management, provision of local recreation facilities, and the incorporation of unique and distinctive landscape design features in the urban area.

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

Land development in Molonglo Valley is planned in three stages:

  • Stage 1 – suburbs of Coombs and Wright, and the region of North Weston
  • Stage 2 – suburbs of Denman Prospect and Molonlgo
  • Stage 3 – suburbs north of the Molonglo River.

Project Area

Molonglo Valley Staging Plan (904.1 KB)

Molonglo Valley Territory Plan Map (1.6 MB)


A range of detailed investigations, policies and statutory documents have been completed to establish a framework for future development in the Molonglo Valley. These include:

Current status

Molonglo Valley Stage 3 Planning and Design Framework

On 20 December 2011, the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment approved the ACT Government’s Molonglo Valley Plan for the Protection of Matters of National Environmental Significance (NES Plan) under the requirements of the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

One of the NES Plan commitments required that a planning and design framework be prepared to guide detailed planning and future development within Molonglo Stage 3, which comprises the suburb of Whitlam and two unnamed suburbs.

On 27 February 2019, the Molonglo Valley Stage 3 Planning and Design Framework was finalised. The framework is a high level strategic plan to guide future detailed planning and development within Stage 3 and includes:

  • relevant NES Plan actions and commitments
  • refines the Territory Plan’s Molonglo and North Weston Structure Plan
  • requirements to be incorporated into future detail design and subdivision planning
  • planning principles to inform future detail design and subdivision planning
  • indicative design plans to be prepared for certain areas prior to progressing fully to detail design and subdivision planning
  • a plan that graphically represents certain provisions of the framework.

The framework includes references to the Kama Interface Management Strategy (2016).

The framework supersedes the March 2017 Molonglo Valley Stage 3 Interim Limited Area Planning and Design Framework, which permitted the construction of certain capital works items to support future land release in Molonglo Stage 3.

Suburb of Molonglo – Commercial Centre

The suburb of Molonglo is proposed to be the principle commercial hub for the district of the Molonglo Valley.  The suburb will accommodate commercial, retail, residential and community facilities and will commence development in the coming years.

Planning and design is currently underway for the suburb and the immediate surrounding residential area of Denman Prospect (to the west of John Gorton Drive).  It is proposed that the suburb will accommodate between 7,000 and 9,000 people in a variety of housing options.  The vision is to create an innovative, sustainable, liveable, people friendly, active, connected, vibrant, urban village hub and destination.

Planning and design framework – stage 2

To accommodate the anticipated 18,000 residents within the Molonglo Valley stage 2 area, the ACT Government has prepared a detailed 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)

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 in 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 in 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.

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.

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