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Nowra CBD Urban Design Development Controls Report approved by Council

Staff at Studio GL have been delighted to be back working with staff from Shoalhaven City Council, stakeholders and the local community on the Nowra CBD. Diana Griffiths and Brigitte Buchholz worked closely with Council, the community and the CBD Liaison Committee to develop a cohesive vision for the town centre in 2010-2011 and between 2014-2015 the entire Studio GL team returned to work on creating new development controls for the centre that would reflect the vision identified in the Nowra CBD Urban Design Master Plan.

Studio GL facilitated a series of workshops with Council staff, stakeholders and the local community to create the development controls that have been designed to ensure new buildings would improve the visual appearance and amenity of the CBD.

In April 2016, after public exhibition of the draft Development Controls Report, Shoalhaven City Council resolved to adopt the report. Feedback from Council’s strategic planner at the time noted “Thank you so much for all your hard work on the report. I am really happy with how it turned out and we have had nothing but positive feedback (which is a rare occurrence). So thank you, and please pass on my thanks to the team”.

Draft Town Centre Masterplans receive great feedback

Studio GL has been pleased at the general support shown by the community for the proposed Scone Town Centre Masterplan, Merriwa Town Centre Masterplan, Aberdeen Town Centre Masterplan and Murrurundi Town Centre Masterplan during the public exhibition phase of the draft documents which concluded in May 2016. During the public exhibition over 80% of respondents strongly supported or supported the draft master plans.

The final Masterplans will be presented to the Upper Hunter Shire Council for final approval towards the end of June 2016.

PIA Best Planning Ideas – Small Projects Award for The Five Dock Urban Design Study

In 2014 the Studio GL team were elated that the City of Canada Bay had won a PIA Award in the category of Best Planning Ideas – Small Projects for The Five Dock Urban Design Study . This award recognises the tools of the trade – the key outputs of the planning world – planning documents, reports, schemes, policies or projects that advance current planning practice. The project had been undertaken by Studio GL working in conjunction with Arup and HillPDA. Here is what the award citation had to say about the study:

“This excellent study for a local centre demonstrated a strong commitment to making it happen, with clear and concrete recommendations, supported by background evidence that included thorough community participation. The suite of recommendations creates a holistic revitalisation plan that improves connectivity, the public domain, as well as activity.

Unlike many studies, the improvements recommended here are significant, tangible, and achievable – increasing the core area from 300 to 750 metres, increasing crossings by 40%, 120 new street trees, quadrupling the amount of public open space, and adding 300 dwellings in the centre. This was combined with good economics and an evidence based approach.

The maps and graphics in the report are clear and communicate ideas and recommendations effectively. The report is split into two parts, recommendations and background evidence. In this way the recommendations are contained in a short concise format and the evidence can be referenced separately as required.

All recommendations can be implemented in a simple and practical way. The strategies and methodology employed here can be replicated in other neighbourhoods or small town centres across Australia. The study is an excellent example of how good planning can support design excellence in the public domain, potentially transforming a significant area into a highly welcoming space.”