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Green Square planning rules on the table

The redevelopment of Green Square has reached an important milestone, with council releasing its updated planning guidelines for the $1.7 billion project reports Alex McDonald in City News of 27th September 2008..

The release of council's review of building heights and land use at Green Square is part of a wider review of the planning controls for the whole city. This process will include the creation of new local environmental and development control plans.

The split residential, commercial and retail centre at Green Square aims to revive the area between the CBD and the airport. It will accommodate about 5500 residents and around 7000 people are expected to work there.

Planners are currently assessing a warehouse on Wyndham Street which developers want converted into a fresh food market and restaurant. A 23-storey, mixed commercial and residential tower at South Dowling Street is also being assessed, along with six residential buildings at Joynton Avenue and a three-storey retail outlet on Botany Road.

Ten mixed-use precincts at the ACI site in Waterloo – which is bounded by Crescent, Lachlan, South Dowling and Bourke Streets – have already been approved. This area will include 214 units, more than 4000sqm of retail space, 11 shops, a supermarket and a childcare centre.

The review of the Green Square planning guidelines is outlined in the Green Square Urban Renewal Area Background Paper. The paper identifies the various studies and projects being undertaken that will have implications for development in Green Square, and is on public exhibition at Town Hall House along with the proposed planning controls for Green Square until October 17.

Billed as the country's biggest and most dynamic urban renewal, the project stalled two years ago because of a lack of proper environmental planning.

Based at the intersection of Botany Road, and O'Riordan and Bourke streets, the renewed town centre was first flagged in the early 1990s under the Keating government.

Earlier this year, Lord Mayor Clover Moore applauded the initial design concepts, developed with input from the local community and co-ordinated by Landcom, the city's partner in the Green Square development.

"At a series of community workshops in October 2007, the community was clear on what it wanted from the public spaces in the Green Square Town Centre," Lord Mayor Moore said, "that they be a sustainable and green oasis, offering a versatile, sustainable urban landscape."

A major feature of the designs is the revitalisation of Sheas Stream, a green corridor connecting four major spaces in the town centre.

Sheas Stream will also serve an important environmental purpose, cleaning stormwater before it flows back into Alexandra Canal.

This "ecological engine" will reuse stormwater from below the plazas. Once cleaned, the Sheas Stream will be used for irrigation, street washing, toilets and cooling systems in various community buildings.

Some of the stream water will be treated to a higher standard, making it suitable for the water features in the Neighbourhood Plaza, in which children will be encouraged to play.