Exciting revitalisation plan for Rocky railway site revealed
THE FIRST stage towards the redevelopment of the Rockhampton railyards is gaining momentum as Aurizon's application to change the zoning of site reaches public notification period.
Aurizon applied to Rockhampton Regional Council in July last year to change the planning scheme of the site, which would in turn allow for further redevelopment as it is currently bound by zoning regulations.
The site at 338-380 Bolsover St, Depot Hill, has been requested to fall under the low, medium and high impact industry zones.
The application notes a possible redevelopment would be a food and drink outlet.
The site has been abandoned since June 30, 2018, when 181 staff finished their last day of work when operations wound up. Another 126 workers were affected at Gladstone, Stanwell and Bluff depots.
A pre-lodgement meeting was held with council officers in February 2019.
Minutes included council's in-principle support on the application for the redevelopment of the Rockhampton Railyards for industrial and community purposes.
Council encouraged landscaping around the premises to act as a buffer for surrounding uses.
The minutes stated Aurizon and council would work together with the community to develop a strategy around the reuse of the historical buildings.
A following development application would need to include a noise report with operational hours restricted to daylight hours due to the proximity of residential homes.
Council also state dust complaints were received in the area and this would need to be addressed.
Submitted with the planning scheme amendment application was a master plan by Place Design Group.
The master plan aims to 'reshape the future of the site and provide a positive legacy for the site, the city and the community'.
The freight terminal in the southern half of the site leased to Linfox was not included.
The master plan details the history of the workshops at the railyards.
The original workshops at were established in the late 1870s at the railway reserve area at Denison, South, Campbell and Stanley streets.
One of the first buildings constructed at the new Rockhampton Railway Workshops was a partial roundhouse, completed in 1877 and originally compised of seven stalls.
By the turn of the 20th century, the size of the rolling stock fleet operating in Central Queensland had outgrown the capacity of the partial roundhouse and workshops and expansion was carried out in 1912.
This was when the Rockhampton Roundhouse was built, the large circular industrial structure where repairs and maintenance of locomotives were carried out.
A railway went around the perimeter of the roundhouse to enable small engines to supply water for filling of boilers, and steam for cleaning of engines.
The Rockhampton Roundhouse is the only full circle roundhouse constructed in Queensland, and one of only two examples still remaining in Australia.
The master plan notes the cluster of heritage listed buildings has the potential to form its own precinct.
A Conservation Management Plan has been prepared for the site which details the history, fabric and significance of each structure set out in the heritage citation and provides a recommendation for each structure's retention, reuse or removal.
The master plan splits the site into three precincts.
The Roundhouse precinct has potential for a range of finer grain uses that complement the railyards providing office accommodation, food and beverage opportunities such as a cafe, restaurant or brewery.
This precinct also envisages the creation of community and event spaces that capitalise on the uniqueness of the structures. The Roundhouse building offers a unique and flexible event space located nowhere else in Australia.
The second precinct, the railyards, are the industrial area of the site and could be used as an employment precinct that supports the regional economy and community needs.
A range of industry uses include high, medium and low impact industries, the service industry, indoor sport and recreation, warehouse, transport and showroom uses.
The third precinct is the industry services and provides for larger footprint showroom and warehousing uses such as trade and plumbing supplies, hardware and hire.
The railway site has heritage overlays and is on the Environmental Management Register and is subject notifiable activity or hazardous contaminant.
It is not on the contaminated land register.
The southern portion of the site is subject to inundation in major flood events.
It is noted development of the site is not dependent on the proposed South Rockhampton Flood Levee.
The levee is about 8.8km long, generally consisting of earth fill embankment, with portions being crib wall, vertical flood walls and temporary flood barrier systems. The levee would protect an area (including the subject site) from the 1 per cent AEP Fitzroy River flood event.
Flood velocities are low at 0 to 0.5m/s and depths are up to 1.5m at the southern end of the goods yard and up to 2.5m deep in the bottom corner of the site adjoining Wood Street.
The public submission period is open until July 21 for the application to the change the sites zoning.