Consistent messages from the community on the draft master plan included:
- general support for the proposals
- the need to improve pedestrian and cycle connections
- the need to enhance and maintain public spaces
- concerns about declining employment opportunities
- a desire for sports and recreational facilities to be kept and improved.
The following recommendations from this plan help address those messages.
More residences and development
Town centre living has many benefits for individuals, the centre economy and the Territory, including:
- meeting demand from people of different ages and types of families—from young singles seeking apartment living close to activities to retirees downsizing from their family home—for an apartment or town house near shops, cafes, entertainment, services and rapid public transport
- meeting the ACT Government’s priority for urban renewal to balance development of new suburbs
- increased demand for more retail and commercial businesses and services, more restaurants and cafes, more sport and recreation facilities
- a more vibrant night-time economy from people eating out and seeking entertainment
- improved safety because more people are around during the day and night.
Mixed-uses encourage people to use the centre day and night, improving pedestrian safety and supporting the centre’s economy and liveability.
The master plan recommends how to make it easier and more pleasant to visit and use the town centre, for example:
- parking will be consolidated, with opportunities for parking structures
- higher density and high rise development will be in the retail core and office and accommodation precincts, stepping down at the edges of the centre
- ‘marker buildings’ within the centre help visitors find their way to and around the centre
- improving the layout of the blocks, buildings, streets and open spaces will allow people to move around and find their way more easily and safely
- new rules for building design will aim to improve the streetscape and make the centre more pleasant
- new developments will be environmentally sustainable
- more open spaces that are easy and safe to reach will encourage people to be active and social and organisations to hold more community events
- a safe pedestrian and cycle network into the centre and along main routes will provide easy access and encourage an active lifestyle.
A change to the Phillip Precinct Code in the Territory Plan was undertaken.
Upgrades to parks, pedestrian and cycle paths will require ACT Government funding, which will be dependent on further investigations, future budget bids and private sector contributions.
Several Territory-owned sites are already nominated for land release and will happen over time.
Opportunities to develop and redevelop existing sites for offices, residences and other uses will need to be taken up by private industry.