Concerns about the heritage impact of two new buildings to be constructed as part of the $74 million Queanbeyan Civic and Cultural Precinct (QCCP) will be addressed through conditions in a development application (DA) that was approved by the Southern Regional Planning Panel on Wednesday, 2 December.
The DA approval is seen as a significant milestone in the overarching plan to change the face of the Queanbeyan CBD, while retaining its heritage aspects.
The planning panel deemed the height of one of the seven-storey buildings was consistent with planning and environmental regulations, and that the building will not result in any unreasonable impact on surrounding, adjoining, adjacent and nearby properties.
The proposal includes the sale of sites on the corner of Rutledge Street and Crawford Street, while retaining the heritage-listed sites of Dutton’s Cottage and the old fire station on Crawford Street, adjacent to the proposed Queanbeyan Civic and Cultural Precinct.
The proposal has three stages, including serviced apartments, a repurposed reception, a restaurant/cafe, and the development of residential townhouses.
No written submissions relating to the project were made during the public exhibition period.
The new precinct will house all of Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council’s Queanbeyan staff, who are currently located in separate buildings.
Council is also the major land holder in the CBD and says land is not being used to its full potential.
Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council CEO Peter Tegart has previously said the CBD Transformation Strategy has the potential to attract an additional 160 workers into the CBD, while additional residences will also stimulate activity, including a more vibrant nighttime economy.
Queanbeyan-Palerang Mayor Tim Overall said the DA approval is a significant milestone and one he is very pleased to see occur.
“The QCCP has been subject to extensive planning and community engagement and will have a lasting impact on the Queanbeyan CBD.”
The precinct will be constructed on the site of the former council administration building at 257 Crawford Street, and into the Lowe Street car park.
The development will have a strong focus on community and cultural purposes, with more than 40 per cent of the precinct comprising community spaces, gallery linkages to The Q and Bicentennial Hall, new basement parking and public domain.
The QCCP includes a head office for council staff, the library, conference meeting rooms, and lettable space for NSW Government agencies, commercial offices and a smart hub.
Car parking will be provided via a basement car park for more than 100 spaces, 65 of which will be accessible to the public. Carparking will remain free of charge.
Council called tenders for the final design and construction of the QCCP in early November 2020 and expects to award the tender in early 2021. Providing a tenderer is appointed, construction will start in the months following and is expected to be complete by the end of 2022.
The cost is expected to be around $74 million and will be funded via a combination of long-term, low-interest loans, asset sales, development contributions and grants.
There will be no increase in rates to fund the project.