The site sits in the middle of one of Sydney’s fastest growing urban areas. Landcom developed a concept plan, which was approved in 2011, to guide development over the 423 hectare area. The concept plan shows the Barracks as a heritage site. We are committed to identifying how to best reuse the buildings and showcase the heritage significance of the site.
In late 2017 we undertook a needs analysis and spoke with the local councils, the local school, community groups with a connection to the site’s military history, and developers building new housing in the area to understand the needs of the current and future community. This shaped ideas for the Barracks to be restored as an exciting neighbourhood hub with a mix of community facilities and complementary small-scale commercial uses to attract people to the site and generate funds for its ongoing maintenance.
In early 2018 we took a proposal for a café and contemporary exhibition space in one of the buildings to the community and sought their feedback. We also invited ideas for how to best reuse other buildings. Through the consultation, stakeholders agreed that it was critically important to retain the military history of the Barracks and open up the site to be more accessible for the local community. There is support for the site to become a destination for residents, with a mix of facilities that respect and celebrate the site’s history and support the needs of the area’s growing population.
However, there was mixed support for the café proposal. We realised we needed to do further technical studies to determine the feasibility of a café and to understand Liverpool Council’s needs for the site over the long term. We also identified an opportunity to do more work with military groups to shape plans for how to tell the stories of the site in compelling and engaging ways.
We are now proceeding to undertake further studies and consultation to shape our plans for this unique local site, and to take a more holistic approach in terms of the role it can play in supporting place making outcomes.