23 September 2019

CBD plan to transform Queanbeyan’s heart, feedback open now

| Alex Rea
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Concept Design for the Monaro St ‘start up precinct’. Image: QPRC CBD Spatial Master Plan.

Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) is seeking the community’s views on the refreshed 2019 Queanbeyan CBD Spatial Master Plan, which is out for comment until July 8.

The Plan, produced by design firm Hames Sharley, considers the challenges that the Queanbeyan CBD currently faces and proposes solutions over a 10-year period of transformation, with a “vision for a contemporary city with a country heart.”

Canberra’s country cousin across the border has seen major infrastructure developments in recent years, underpinned by strong development in Bungendore, Googong and the $1 billion South Jerrabomberra estate. With the Ellerton Drive Extension, new Police Station and Courthouse, and the rebuild of Council’s headquarters underway, Queanbeyan is changing fast.

QPRC Mayor Tim Overall said “We have seen a lot of positive change in Queanbeyan since our last masterplan was developed in 2009 including the Crawford Street transformation, Monaro Street improvements and the Riverfront- QEII Park upgrade. However, there are certainly parts of the CBD that are somewhat tired and unappealing.”

“With all the social, technological and economic changes in the last 10 years, the time is ripe for a refresh.”

The Master Plan considers potential Council and private developments, pedestrian and cyclist connections, streetscape improvements, traffic flow, activation of Queanbeyan’s laneways, constructing public domain spaces, links between the CBD, river and park space, and consolidating parking into decked car parks.

The first three stages of the redevelopment of the CBD are included in Council’s Delivery Program 2018-21. Stage 1 work has begun, with the extension of the river walk continuing via a new pedestrian and cyclist bridge over the river coming soon, smart city infrastructure being installed and the refurbishment of the Riverside Caravan Park commencing shortly.

Queanbeyan CBD Spatial Master Plan 2019.

Stage 2 includes the redevelopment of the Council Head Office and Smart Hub and construction of public domain spaces.

Stage 3 is the development of a decked car park at the Morisset Street car park site along with the beautification and improvement of laneway connections.

Stages 4-6 include the refurbishment of Monaro Street, mixed-use redevelopments, smart public spaces, widening and refurbishment of footpaths, and decked car park at the Crawford Street car park.

Artist Impressions of the Plan show concept designs for ‘Laneway Activation’ connecting retail and food and beverage frontages, new lighting, seating and bike parking options, street trees, planters, and public art.

Laneway Activation-Poets Lane fronting on to Monaro St Artist’s Impression. Image: QPRC CBD Spatial Master Plan.

Morisset Street will be transformed into a tree-lined ‘River Boulevard’ for pedestrians and cyclists.

“The street will become a living system capturing and treating stormwater while passively watering the street tree plantings. The verges will be activated by water elements, lawns, planting and seating,” the Plan says.

A Riverbank Activation Concept suggests a floating deck on Queanbeyan River.

The Plan conceives “activation of Queanbeyan River edge – opening up retail/commercial and food/beverage frontages along Collett Street, potential new floating deck on Queanbeyan River for pop-up events and community activities, new lighting, seating, bike parking and cycling access options connecting into the river park trails, new tower development capitalising on river views and new wayfinding/signage.”

Concept plan for a floating on the Queanbeyan River. Image QPRC CBD Spatial Master Plan.

The updated plan builds on previous work including the Car Parking Strategy, the Retail Growth Strategy, the Digital Economy and Smart Community Strategy and the CBD Transformation Strategy.

Council says the Plan has also been heavily informed by community consultation undertaken between 2017 and 2019.

The full plan is available on Council’s website comment is open until July 8.

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This is a great idea. Queanbeyan is a beautiful town but needs a lot of TLC. These new plans for the city will build our community up even more.

QPRC’s problem is they continue to ask Sydney architects to solve Canberra region problems. A glut of second rate buildings that have no contextual awareness or sympathy for the urban form coupled with masterplans filled with buzz words and motherhood statements will be the legacy of Queanbeyan until they engage a Canberra architect/urban designer who actually cares about the place after the contract ends.

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