Read our frequently asked questions about 'The New Heart of Ryde' project below. Do you have another question? Email us at email@example.com
The Ryde Civic Centre site is where the previous Council Chambers and Civic Hall are located at 1 Devlin Street, Ryde bordered by Devlin Street, Parkes Street and Blaxland Road.
For an overview of the history of the site, visit our History page.
‘The New Heart of Ryde’ will be a low impact development that will address the growing demand within Ryde for a new and significant accessible space that will service a diverse range of community needs.
It will feature two buildings, a flexibly-designed, multi-purpose cultural and community space, and a space with offices, childcare facilities, commercial and retail facilities, a plaza and open space, on-site basement parking, public meeting rooms and Council chambers.
In research that helped inform our Community Strategic Plan, the community identified a need to plan for and enhance cultural and community facilities to meet increased demand and ensure equitable access for all sections of our community.
This acknowledgement has since been reinforced by the feedback Council recently received from its Social Plan and Creativity Strategy community consultation process. Therefore, a multi-purpose cultural and community space has been included as part of the plan, resulting in a four-fold increase in community space on the site.
Under the current concept plans, Building 1 will be approximately eight storeys (39 metres high) and Building 2 will be approximately three storeys (16 metres high). For comparison, the existing Ryde Civic Centre is approximately 31 metres in height and the Civic Hall is approximately 7.5 metres in height.
Under the current concept plans:
- Building 1 will be approximately 8,500-9,000m2 in size (an approximate increase from 2,500m2)
- Building 2 will be approximately 4,000-4,500m2 in size (a four-fold increase from 800m2 in size)
No. Council has previously received significant feedback from the community that they did not support residential apartments being included as part of a new civic and community hub. Council has therefore committed to not include any residential apartments in ‘The New Heart of Ryde’.
The proposed redevelopment will be funded by a mix of Council reserves and a loan serviced by developer contributions. The project will be financially sustainable and will not require an increase to Council rates, nor will it require any cuts to be made to essential services.
Developer contributions are a form of development tax available to Council’s under Section 7.11 (formerly S94) and Section 7.12 (formerly S94A) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The purpose of development contributions is to enable Council to levy funds from development to provide new and/or upgraded infrastructure to meet demand caused by population growth through development.
If the Developer Contributions system did not exist the existing population would essentially be subsidising development, as all new facilities and upgrades to cater for population growth would need to be provided from general revenue. As such Development Contributions form a vital source of funding infrastructure for Council to keep up with the demands created by population growth through development.
Infrastructure that can be funded from Developer Contributions includes open space, recreation and community facilities; roads/public domain and pathways including accessibility upgrades and car parking.
No, this project will not require an increase to Council rates, nor will it require any cuts to be made to essential services.
No, Council will retain complete ownership of the site.
The Ryde Civic Centre is currently vacant, is unsuitable for occupation, and was deemed unsafe by SafeWork NSW in 2015.
The Civic Hall is near the end of its lifespan. The entire site will soon be unusable and vacant, with the community at a loss of a large community space.
The cost of refurbishing and upgrading the Civic Centre and Civic Hall to today’s standards is estimated to exceed $60 million.
Even after this expense, the existing buildings would still provide insufficient space and are not fit for purpose for our growing community.
Heritage assessments have been undertaken on the Ryde Civic Centre, with each assessment finding the building does not meet the criteria to be heritage listed. This includes an independent heritage review of the Ryde local government area in 2019.
The NSW Heritage Council has also determined that the Civic Centre has insufficient merit for inclusion on the State Heritage Register.
The benefits for redeveloping the site now are:
- Cost savings in the long term
- A new community facility providing four times the existing community space on the site
- A one stop shop for Council’s services
- An additional income stream through childcare, commercial and retail spaces to help offset the loan.
The site will be able to be accessed by the community in multiple ways including pedestrian and vehicular access. Considerable further work is being undertaken during the design phase to ensure that there is safe and simple access to the site for the community.
At this stage, a substantial number of on-site basement carspaces have been included in the masterplan concept.
Council will be commissioning a detailed traffic and parking study to help inform the optimal number of carspaces required and whether any surrounding road upgrades are necessary.
The tender to design and construct the new development has been awarded to Taylor Construction Group. The tender was awarded following a comprehensive expression of Interest and tender process that commenced in October 2019.
Works are expected to commence in mid-2020.
Last updated on 18 May 2020