Anson Street Carpark
Community support for Anson Street car park plan
Property developers and investors will be taking a close look at the proposal to build a multi-story car parking on the site of the Anson Street car park, following a decision by Orange City Council.
The 19 July council meeting considered a progress report on the project which outlined more than 30 community responses and a series of community meetings, and then voted to seek ‘Expressions of Interest’ from developers.
Orange mayor Councillor John Davis welcomed the input that’s come from the nearby business community and residents.
“As expected there was a range of reactions when it came to the details of a project as big and as complex as this,” Cr John Davis said. “But it was also clear that, ‘big-picture’, the community clearly believes the car project is a good idea and worth pursuing.”
“We’re hearing there’s concern from businesses about access, and for others there are heritage issues, but it’s important to remember this just a concept plan,” he said. “We can’t be too worried about paint colours, the boundaries and the choice of carpet just yet,” he said.
“The research so far has confirmed that the site has the capability to handle a building of this scale, and the community wants more car parks. I’m pleased that’s the message that we can take to a developer.”
A report summarizing both the project investigation so far and the community response will be made available to potential developers when the council seeks ‘Expressions of Interest’ in the coming months.
“The motion approved at the meeting makes it clear a developer will have to address the issues raised by the council and the community when they come back to the Council with their designs,” Cr Davis said.
It’s expected the council could be considering a more detailed design plan by the end of the year.
These artist impression drawings of the possible development of the Anson Street car park were on public exhibition for community comment for a month up until until 14 June 2012. A series of meetings with members of the business community and current users of the Cultural Centre Bbuilding were also held.
A report summarising the community response was presented to the council's 19 July meeting.
(Click on the drawings to see larger images, then scroll thru to see all four images.)
The artist impression drawings are part of the investigation Council commissioned to determine the site’s capabilities. The objectives of this project were to assess options for the site that would:
• Improve access to the site;
• Improve amenity of the site;
• Improve parking availability, parking access and traffic management to and from the site;
• Consider land use planning requirements and heritage, environmental, social and economic impacts of site development; and
• Improve site use outcomes.
In creating the drawings, the site constraints and capabilities were considered, with the drawings showing some of the design elements that could address the issues raised.
Issues considered include:
• Council’s assessment of the future retail needs of the Orange region in its Business Centre Strategy Review identified that the projected population would support. additional retail space (excluding supermarket and bulky goods demand) of 8,361m2 by 2021.
• The drawings show an additional 8,410m2 retail space.
• A pedestrian access area is proposed from the Anson Street entry and provides pedestrian linkage through the site to Sale and Anson Streets. Vehicular access through this zone will be time-limited for businesses in the vicinity.
• 80 units are shown over 4 floors.
• The inclusion of the units provides financial viability for the development.
TRAFFIC ISSUES – Access and pedestrian, car and truck movements
• A Traffic Report has been undertaken.
• Truck access to an underground loading dock will separate truck movements from pedestrian and other vehicular movements. This aligns with traffic management recommendations that seek to maximise the separation of service vehicles and cars.
• Pedestrian only access from Anson Street provides improved pedestrian access between shopping precinct centres.
• A pedestrian zone through the site links Sale and Anson Streets. Vehicular access to this area is proposed on a time-limited basis for businesses.
• While vehicular entry and exit from Kite Street is shown in the drawings, further consideration of traffic management with left hand turn entry only for cars to upper car parking decks, and left hand turn entry and exit for trucks utilising the loading dock in the basement, will be given further consideration.
• Traffic movements estimated to peak at 1,800 vehicle movements per hour (Thursday and Saturday peak periods) were assessed to be adequately managed with two entry and exit points.
• 300 covered car parking spaces added to the current supply of around 320 spaces.
• A Heritage Impact Statement was part of the process.
• The Statement identifies that the development is largely obscured from Summer Street due to the set back behind existing retail buildings.
• The drawings indicate the loss of two buildings – the Cultural Centre on Sale Street and a residence on Kite Street that Council currently uses for children’s services.
• Council has already determined to relocate the children’s services to another of its properties in March Street.
• The Statement identifies the heritage impact of the Cultural Centre. It also indicates that the building has been compromised by the commercial development in the area, commercial uses of the Cultural Centre itself, and by the car park surface which has negatively impacted the building’s curtilage.
• The Statement also notes the conflict in access issues for pedestrians around the Cultural Centre.
• Discussion with users of the Cultural Centre will identify the current uses and alternate locations should any future development result in the loss of the Cultural Centre.
SITE ACCESS, GEOTECHNICAL AND DRAINAGE ISSUES
• A geotechnical survey was undertaken as part of the research processes.
• Subsurface ground conditions, excavation limitations, groundwater, assessment of subgrade conditions, estimation of bearing capacity and reactivity classifications were included in the survey works.
• 8 boreholes were installed to collect samples.
• Minor augmentation of the drainage system would be required.
See more about the Car Park project on the City Council's News Pages.