$18.75 million reasons for Hawesbury residents to have their say

Windsor Mall. Picture: Geoff Jones
Windsor Mall. Picture: Geoff Jones

It's crucial residents have their say on the future facelifts of Richmond, Windsor and South Windsor's town centres, according to Councillor Danielle Wheeler.

Cr Wheeler spoke during discussion at Tuesday night's open council meeting about the Western Parkland City Liveability Program, which will see council expend $18.75 million revitalising the three centres.

The council was successful in gaining $15 million project funding from the state and federal governments in January 2019.

As part of the deal, the council will contribute $3.75 million.

The funds were made available with the stipulation that they would be spent by April 22.

Council engaged Urbis to engage the community and identify projects to include in a masterplan.

The aim of each project is to revitalise "public spaces to support and create economic development and social interaction" in the respective areas.

A variety of workshops were held, more than 150 businesses were consulted and feedback was sought via social and other media.

Urbis found several issues common to each area, including a general need for streetscaping (tree planting, street furniture, lighting, signage etc), revised car parking provisions, and greater acknowledgment of heritage and identity.

Of course a number of specific needs were also highlighted for each of the regions.

Key projects identified for each of the areas are as follows:

Windsor:

  • Revitalisation of George Street as a "green boulevard"
  • Library and gallery forecourt upgrades for events
  • Connections of Hawkesbury River
  • George Street Mall upgrades
  • Thompson Square upgrades

South Windsor:

  • Continuation of the George Street "green boulevard"
  • George Street Parklets installation
  • Bereewan Park at South Windsor Presbyterian Cemetery

Richmond:

  • Windsor Street activation, including revitalisation as a "green boulevard"
  • Regent Theatre forecourt
  • Richmond Station arrival plaza

A full list of the projects is listed in council's draft masterplan, which will go on display for 28 days before council goes ahead with any works.

Councillor Danielle Wheeler said she wanted to see the community take ownership of the project.

She said that with participation at this crucial stage of the project, council could be sure the funds were being spent in a way which best served the community.

"This is a once in a generation project," she said. "We are now at a stage where we need to prioritise.

"What we really need now is the community to take ownership and tell us what they really want to see done so we can put it in a masterplan."

Cr Wheeler said it wasn't about creating another Rouse Hill or Penrith, but rather "doing better what we do".

Council's Director of City Planning Linda Perrine said it was a "huge opportunity" for the council.

She said there had been a great deal of community input leading to the various projects highlighted for actioning.

Ms Perrine said that all works shared a common aim of encouraging folk to walk the streets of the three town centres and spend some time there.