Council activates its Masterplan to Revitalise Town Centre
Hawkesbury City Council’s Master Plan and Public Domain Plan ‘Revitalising Our Town Centres of Richmond, South Windsor and Windsor’, the Liveability Project, has received the green light from Council, and now it’s all systems go to ensure the town centres become appealing destinations.
Council has specific aims for the Town Centres of Richmond, South Windsor and Windsor:
- Richmond – to be an Activated Cultural Destination
- South Windsor – to be an Updated Contemporary Town Centre
- Windsor – to focus on River Heritage, Civic Boulevards and Vibrant People Places.
The Liveability Project has two key components. Firstly, it identifies town centre master plan strategies to provide an overarching framework to guide change and revitalisation. The second component is a public domain concept plan for a focus area within each centre. The public domain plan includes a vision, design features, guidelines and a maintenance plan.
Led by the Town Centres Master Plan Working Group, Council created the Liveability Project to revitalise the town centres of Richmond, South Windsor and Windsor through public domain upgrades, place-making and activation initiatives, stakeholder partnerships and commercial opportunities. This project is supported by the Western Parkland City Liveability Program and funded by all three levels of government via the Western Sydney City Deal.
Council’s vision is that the Hawkesbury can be a vibrant and collaborative community living in harmony with our history and environment, whilst valuing diversity, striving for innovation, a strong economy and retaining the Hawkesbury lifestyle and identity. The project aims to:
- Reinforce strengths of existing village identity, heritage and setting of key town centres
- Foster partnerships between the community, stakeholders and decision makers
- Slower, safer streets for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists
- Better access and wayfinding to key destinations and parking
- Attractive town centres with high quality footpaths, furniture and landscaping
- Benefit to local businesses with more pedestrian activity, placemaking and improved image to attract more residents, visitors and businesses
- Greener Town Centres with improved park space with more amenity, more trees and shade, cooler streets and reduced carbon emissions
- Healthy, inclusive community with more active transport, enhanced social environments, reduced obesity and improved mental health
- Work with business operators and owners to improve facades and shop fronts.
The Town Centres Master Plan Working Group, including Chairperson Councillor Danielle Wheeler, Councillor Emma-Jane Garrow, business owners and community representatives, worked together over 2017-2020 to ensure that the town centres of Windsor, Richmond and South Windsor become vibrant hubs through the project.
‘I especially want to thank everyone in our Working Group for their incredible dedication to this important project,” Chairperson Councillor Wheeler said.
“To see this all become a reality is going to mean so much to our community members, including the local businesses on the ground and our wider business community, and of course to everyone who worked as volunteer members of the Working Group. Thank you to everyone involved, and we look forward to a great celebration when it is completed.”
Following the public exhibition of the Draft Masterplan and Public Domain Plan for Richmond, South Windsor and Windsor, Council noted the outcome of the public exhibition of the Draft Masterplan and Public Domain Plan and resolved to adopt the Masterplan and Public Domain Plan for Richmond, South Windsor and Windsor, with the following conditions:
- No commitment to open the south end of Windsor Mall
- No endorsement of a bridge to Windsor beach due to feasibility concerns
- Retain the water wheel and gas lights
- Note that the delicate balance between heritage, flooding, increased density and building style is not adequately addressed
- Recommend that any new, three or four storey residential development include set-backs with the front storey lower, and prevention of shading and overlooking of lower density adjacent blocks.
Council has adopted the plans and approved the list of projects for detailed design:
George Street – Green tree boulevarde, street furniture, integrate public art, cleaning of the town centre.
Mall (South, between Fitzgerald and Kable Streets) Pedestrians Only – trees to be planted to align with the rest of George Street, create clear sightlines, high quality furniture and lighting, reintroduce car parking – potential one way traffic, create an adaptable space to allow the continuation of markets and events.
Mall (North, between Kable and Baker Street) Pedestrians Only – extend tree planting to align with the rest of George Street, high quality pavement, street furniture and lighting.
Thompson Square - Outdoor dining upgrades, cleaning, tidying, sightlines improved, nicer space.
George Street Streetscape – Green tree boulevarde, street trees linking South Windsor from McLeod Park to the train station, new seating with parklets – to allow places to occupy and sit.
Bereewan Park Upgrades – Staged plan for works with initial upgrade to include tree planting and formalisation of path network, investigation into community garden.
Windsor Street – Green tree boulevarde, new seating (parklets to provide opportunities for outdoor dining) and lighting.
Richmond Park – oval activation – New seating, pedestrian connectivity to town.
The Liveability Project involved extensive community consultation via social media, Council’s website and Council community engagement site Your Hawkesbury Your say, face to face consultation at the town centres, media promotion, advertising and two community surveys during the lifecycle of the project.
The survey asked community members for their thoughts and comments on each town centre. A total of 397 responses were received for this survey. For all priorities and details on the survey, see www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/lptc
Windsor Town Centre
The survey revealed that what community members like about Windsor is the community feel, the heritage buildings, the wide open spaces, the variety of shops and shop keepers caring about their shops and the mall space. Community feedback included a desire to not open the road all the way, to keep an area for families and children, greater police presence, buskers for entertainment.
As part of the survey, community members had the chance to prioritise key projects for Windsor and give community feedback of their priorities, which included:
- Priority 1 – George Street Streetscape – formal tree boulevarde
- Priority 2 – Mall (South end, between Fitzgerald and Kable Streets) *Shared pedestrian zone (reopened to cars), trees planted and aligned with George Street, clear sightlines, quality furniture, lighting, reintroduce car parking. *Council acknowledged all priorities, however it was decided that the South end of Windsor Mall would not be reopened to cars.
- Priority 3- Mall (North end, between Kable and Baker Street) Pedestrians only, extend tree planting to align with George Street, high quality pavement, street furniture and lighting.
Richmond Town Centre
Survey respondents stated that they liked Richmond Park as it centres the town as a destination, the variety of shops, the care of shop keepers and building owners, cafes and food options, heritage buildings, and the country feel. Community feedback included that one end of Windsor Street is busy and the other end quiet, the idea to light the place up at Christmas and that Council needs to support more initiatives.
For Richmond, community members prioritised key projects for Richmond:
- Priority 1 – Windsor Street Streetscape – Green Tree Boulevarde, new seating, street furniture, lighting, bollards and lighting for events, parklets for outdoor dining
- Priority 2 – Richmond Park Oval Activation – Pedestrian connectivity of crossing and pathways, new seating, improve arrival appearance, event space, public wifi
- Priority 3 – Regent Theatre Forecourt, framed by street trees and seating.
South Windsor Town Centre
For South Windsor, community members prioritised the options and gave community feedback including that they liked the community feel, the opportunity for growth, good range of shops for food and beverage. Priorities:
- Priority 1 – George Street Streetscape – Green Boulevarde with street trees linking South Windsor from McLeod Park to the Train Station, new seating
- Priority 2 – Berweean Park Upgrades (corner George Street and Bell Street) – more greenery and canopy, formal path network, activate park with play equipment or courts
- Priority 3 – George Street Parklets with places to sit.
Western Parkland City Liveability Program
Council has created this project to revitalise the town centres of Richmond, South Windsor and Windsor through public domain upgrades, place-making and activation initiatives, stakeholder partnerships and commercial opportunities. This project is supported by the Western Parkland City Liveability Program and funded by all three levels of government via the Western Sydney City Deal. The Western Parkland City Liveability Program is a key commitment of the Western Sydney City Deal. The City Deals Liveability Program was established to enable each Council to implement a project to provide infrastructure improvements that will improve the built and natural environments and enable economic and social prosperity. The total value of the Liveability Program is $18.75 million per Council comprising $15 million from the Commonwealth and State Government and a further matching $3.75 million from Council.
Council acknowledges the work of the Members of the Town Centre Master Plan Working Group in completing their role in the development of the Masterplan and Public Domain Plan.
For further information about the Master Plan and Public Domain Plan, Liveability Project, Revitalising Our Town Centres of Richmond, South Windsor and Windsor, visit www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/lptc or contact Council’s Manager, City Design and Economic Development on (02) 4560 4444.