Toowoomba Council unveils updated Civic Precinct Masterplan

The Chronicle 11 Feb 2015

A PEOPLE’S precinct with community facilities, easy pedestrian access and additional underground car parking in the civic heart features in council’s updated Toowoomba Civic Precinct Masterplan.
The plan was endorsed by Toowoomba Regional Council’s Planning and Development Committee yesterday.Planning and Development Committee chair Cr Bill Cahill said the new masterplan was a guiding design for the future development of the city’s Civic Square bound by Herries, Ruthven, Little and Victoria streets.

Cr Cahill said the revised site plans drew on work from the City Centre Master Plan and other studies done for the civic precinct.

“This is a prospectus for potential investors who will be invited to contribute to the staged development of vital public infrastructure,” Cr Cahill said.

“While it is a longer term plan, we need to have a guiding document to help future councils realise the overall design for this area.

“The civic precinct is a prime site for future development.

“There are great prospects for future public infrastructure that will have broad benefits for the community.”
Cr Cahill said plans would enable future councils to advance building designs, especially landscaping and other features that will ensure the area functions as a people’s place.He said the plan allowed for flexibility in building designs and how they would be spread around the site.

“The new Toowoomba City Library, which is under construction, is an anchor building for the site,” he said.

“The latest masterplan emphasises previous goals for this area to be Toowoomba’s civic heart.

“Some buildings will be refurbished while other opportunities exist for redevelopment.

“Building projects will be staged according to funding availability with a new Council building, on the corner of Little and Victoria Sts, the likely next stage in the overall project.

“There is no firm timeline for future building works at the moment.”Other projects included in the master plan are a new office building (for commercial and possibly state government offices), the western expansion of City Hall, a new business centre and a western expansion of Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery.

Next Tuesday’s Ordinary Meeting of council will review the committee recommendation.

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