Joint Regional Planning panel to decide Goulburn's performing arts facility

The McDermott Centre will accommodate the performing arts venue, if approved.
The McDermott Centre will accommodate the performing arts venue, if approved.

The Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel will likely decide on Wednesday whether Goulburn’s proposed performing arts venue can proceed.

The panel, chaired by Alison McCabe, will convene at a public meeting in the Council Chambers at 2pm. Its members also include Renata Brooks and Louise Camenzuli. Regular panel members Cr Denzil Sturgiss and the council’s growth, strategy and cultural director Louise Wakefield have declared conflicts of interest in the matter.

Four people are registered to speak at the session, according to the JRPP secretariat.

The panel deferred the matter in July for more information on car parking, heritage, disabled access and justification to vary building height from the permissable 15 metres to 21.7m to accommodate the fly-tower.

The $12.3 million project is slated for the historic McDermott Centre, or former Town Hall, in Auburn Street.

Since July's deferral, the council has engaged a consultant to undertake an independent review of the building’s urban design, heritage, parking provision and building height. Floor plans and elevations have been changed and a heritage interpretative strategy furnished.

An independent heritage adviser has also prepared an additional report. 

In extra information supplied on car parking,  the council says it is impossible to provide more on-site spaces without a “total redesign” on the project. Instead it relies on a car parking and access management plan and draft operational management plan prepared for the panel. This cites 604 spaces within the block bounded by Montague, Bourke, Verner and Sloane Streets, all within five minutes’ walk of the planned performance venue.

“The most appropriate resolution of the parking issue is considered to be a combination of parking supply, demand and management,” an assessment report states.

The report recommends conditional approval.

Mayor Bob Kirk said previously he was “quietly confident” of a positive outcome on Wednesday. He will not be attending the meeting due to this week’s Local Government NSW annual conference in Sydney.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the panel will decide a quarry proposal by Argyle (NSW) Pty Ltd to extract 30,000 cubic metres of basalt annually, 5km east of Goulburn off Tiyces Lane.

The JRPP refused the application in August, 2015 due to “lack of information,” road and safety concerns. A council assessment report has again recommended refusal.