Stage 2 will deliver a new Government Services Centre, basement parking, and public domain works around the building.
Council will be considering the outcomes of the public exhibition of the Government Services Centre Planning Proposal at its September meeting. The Proposal seeks to amend the Wollondilly Local Environmental Plan 2011 by increasing the building height control for the site from 9m to 16m, to enable a suitable building envelope required for the development of a new Government Services Centre.
A new future proofed Government Services Centre, and options for income-producing co-working spaces in the interim (or if Council’s method of service delivery changes).
The existing Council Administration Building occupies a key location on the site. While master plan options did consider retaining it, the final and adopted master plan includes a new Government Services Centre because of significant issues with the current building, and the benefits of a having new service centre.
The existing building:
Modern building designs have been shown to generate higher productivity from staff (and higher service levels for the community), and provide greater efficiencies in operational costs.
Public domain works will be carried out around the building.
The value of Stage 2 is estimated at $27.245m.
The new Government Services Centre is part of the broader Wollondilly Cultural Precinct which will include a village green, new library, Performing Arts Centre, Children’s Services Building and refurbished Town Hall.
The new Government Services Centre will address capacity, accessibility and maintenance issues with the current building. Staff numbers will only increase as the area grows, and maintenance costs for the old, worn out building are increasing exponentially.
The new centre will support improvements in administrative efficiency and productivity, while also providing space for service delivery by other levels of Government.
The Planning Proposal seeks to amend the Wollondilly Local Environmental Plan 2011 (WLEP 2011) which is the principal legislation that controls development and planning decisions across most of the Wollondilly Local Government Area. This amendment seeks to increase the building height control for the site from 9m to 16m to enable a suitable building envelope required for the development of the new Government Services Centre.
This is just a small step towards the Government Services Centre becoming a reality.
The Planning Proposal proposes only to increase the possible maximum building envelope for the planned Government Services Centre, enabling flexibility for future building design. The design, including form and size of the planned building, will be the subject of deliberations and decisions for Council in the coming years. There will still be need for considered urban and architectural design appropriate for any future development application.
There will be further opportunities for community engagement during the exhibition of the development control plan amendment, which will be prepared and reported to the elected Council in the near future. In addition, any specific development applications will also be subject to specific consultation in line with Council Community Participation Plan.
The exhibition of the Planning Proposal exhibition followed an extensive community engagement program for planning in Picton.
During 2020 and 2021, extensive consultation was carried out for the Picton Place Plan which included exhibition, presentations, surveys, drop-in sessions, kiosks, videos, leaflet drops and letters.
The strong voice of the community was considered, leading to the creation of the Picton Place Plan which sets Council’s blueprint and vision for Picton as the cultural, community, heritage and government centre for Wollondilly Shire.
The Place Plan supports the need for the new Government Services Centre on this site as part of the broader Cultural Precinct which will include a village green, new library, Performing Arts Centre, Children’s Services Building and refurbished Town Hall.
Council will be considering the outcomes of the public exhibition of the Government Services Centre Planning Proposal at its 21 September meeting.
Council is confident that the concerns raised through the submission process can be appropriately addressed. The assessment of feedback received concludes that the preparation of a site specific Development Control Plan (DCP) for the wider Wollondilly Shire Cultural Precinct, together with the requirements of the future Development Application for the proposal, can resolve and mitigate all outstanding issues raised.
There will be further opportunities for community engagement during the exhibition of the DCP amendment, which will be prepared and reported to the elected Council in the near future. In addition, any specific development applications will also be subject to specific consultation in line with Council Community Participation Plan.
Community concerns around heritage, look and feel will be addressed with the preparation of a site specific DCP for the wider Wollondilly Cultural Precinct, together with the requirements of the future Development Application for the proposal.
Heritage NSW reviewed the proposal and did not identify any impacts on any items listed on the State Heritage Register under the Heritage Act 1977.
Supporting this Planning Proposal does not establish a precedent for other sites across the Shire.
The Proposal only applies to the site and does not seek to amend the planning controls for any other sites within Picton or Wollondilly Shire. The building height for the wider town centre is 9m under the WLEP 2011, which is the applicable height limit against which future applications for other sites within the town centre will be assessed.
The form and size of the planned building will be the subject of future deliberations and decisions for Council in the coming years, and there will be more community consultation during the design process.
The design concept enables the future Government Services Centre to provide an appropriate transition to neighbouring buildings and to respond to the character of the area.
In particular, the concept design seeks to respond to the topography of the site and the scale of surrounding development by transitioning height across the site from two to four storeys. The eastern elevation of the building is to comprise a two storeys façade, similar to the existing scale of development along Colden Street.
The two storey building height presented to Colden Street would be achieved through the incorporation of a large building setback to Colden Street, together with a design that responds to the sloping nature of the site by transitioning the ground floor level to underground basement car parking. This design approach will avoid privacy impacts to properties on the eastern side of Colden Street.
The Gateway determination requires the final planning proposal and the local environmental plan amendment to be finalised by 25 February 2022. The proposal is currently on track to meet this deadline.