Goulburn will be getting a new Performing Arts Centre following a decision to grant conditional approval by the Joint Regional Planning Panel this afternoon.
The Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) met in front of a large crowd on December 6 at Goulburn Mulwaree council chambers and declared the approval this afternoon in an open determination.
The proposal involves the adaptive re-use of the McDermott Centre for a new 400-seat Performing Arts Centre (PAC). This will transform the former town hall into a performance space that will accommodate theatre, musical and dance productions.
The plans were deferred back in July, with the JRPP sending the council to do some more homework on its proposal before re-submitting it to them for further assessment.
Specifically, the council had to address issues of car parking and disability access in and around the CBD, heritage impacts, potential for any impact on nearby buildings, and the height of the buildings.
Following the deferral, the council employed a number of independent specialist consultants to address the concerns of the planning panel.
Goulburn Mulwaree general manager Warwick Bennett said the council was satisfied with the conditions imposed by the JRPP.
“This is a fantastic victory for the Goulburn community,” Mr Bennett said.
“The project sets out an exciting adaptive re-use of the McDermott Centre, transforming it into a spectacular 400-seat performance space that will accommodate theatre, musical and dance productions.
“This facility has 99 per cent support by the Goulburn community and it is great that it is happening. It will be good for the growth of this city and the region. I am delighted with the result.”
He said the next steps would be to study the conditions and adhere to them as well as organising tenders for construction.
“We will adhere to the conditions, and things that can be put into place quickly we will do over the next few months,” he said.
“This will be out out for tender to start construction in the first half of 2018.”
Goulburn mayor Bob Kirk was also pleased with the result, which he said would allow the council to move forward and provide Goulburn with a high-class performing arts space.
“This is great news for the region, as Goulburn Mulwaree will finally get the Performing Arts Centre that we, as a regional city, need and deserve,” Cr Kirk said.
“We will also be able to adaptively re-use the McDermott Centre, a wonderful heritage building in our CBD. Council views this project as one that can set an example to lead the revitalisation of many heritage buildings in our city.”
Mr Bennett said the decision came on the back of other positive news for the council today, as they had been notified that the State Government had progressed the Performing Arts Centre grant application into shortlisting for the Regional Cultural Fund.
“This application is for $4.5 million towards the Performing Arts Centre and has been strongly supported by our local member Pru Goward, who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes,” Mr Bennett said.
“In June 2017, the council moved to proceed with preparation of tender documentation so that this can commence following approval. This will now commence, with a report to come back to council with a recommended tender in the early months of 2018.”
More to come.