Malaysia's Mulpha Group have prepared a proposal to amend existing planning controls to facilitate higher building capacity for the development of a town centre at 4 Century Century Circuit, Baulkham Hills.
The proposal seeks to amend the Hills Shire Local Environmental Plan 2012 to rezone the land for the redevelopment of Norwest Marketown.
General manager of Mulpha Norwest, Tim Spencer, defined the Norwest City proposal as a “15 minute city”, aimed at providing accessibility and convenience to between 15,000 and 20,000 residents within a 1.5km radius.
“The new Norwest City is a vision of a future community that not only contributes, but leads the evolution of culture and plays a role in fostering the thought leaders of tomorrow,” Spencer said.
The town centre will include the development of nine buildings ranging from four to 40 storeys in height. In June, the Hills Shire Council referred Mulpha's proposed development to the Department of Planning and Environment for gateway determination.
A rescission motion has since been lodged by the NSW planning minister and the proposal will be brought back to council.
Mulpha Norwest’s proposal for the new town centre development includes:
The Norwest City proposal aims to provide high quality amenity, open and civic public spaces and a permeable pedestrian-focussed urban structure, presented in a relaxed and campus-like setting that extends the surrounding streetscapes.
This proposal comes on the back of Mulpha Norwest's changing approach to development – placing a greater emphasis on collaboration.
"We acknowledge the future is too bright for us to harness it by ourselves.
“Our core product of the built form should now be considered as the base infrastructure only, because the real product is the coordination and integration of the thousands of innovative ideas and additions that are possible now and in the future …[like] 'Apps' to an iPhone.” Spencer said.
Mulpha Norwest’s proposal hopes to sell the city as a positive contribution to the evolving strategic context and future housing and employment needs in Norwest and the region.
"[W]here change is accelerating exponentially, future proofing is all about ensuring this 'real' infrastructure is flexible to enable its continued relevance and workability. Flexibility in the digital world is somewhat easier then in the bricks and mortar world, but the philosophy is the same.
"Our digital placemaking tools must be able to be reinvented and seamlessly re-implemented and our buildings must be designed not only for adaptable re-use but also retro-fitting of new, as well as upgrades to technology.” Spencer said.
According to Spencer, the Norwest City proposal is about moving beyond the knowledge-based economy and into the entrepreneurial future.
"And remembering to do this from a human perspective because it isn’t about technology, it's about ensuring future living is everything it can be." Spencer said.
Norwest City is centred around providing a select group of amenities:
Food Street is an all-hours open air dining precinct, enhanced by its close proximity to the pool and community facilities, retail connections and garden terraces.
The Glasshouse is a place marker and physical connector located at the heart of Norwest City that links the lower level retail vertically to the upper level public spaces. It is a sculptural feature space to define it as a meeting place, for display and as a fulcrum for the Norwest community.
The 'Librarium '
The Librarium is a community building with a difference. The increase in apartments and family residents to Norwest will increase the demand for local library and education outreach facilities that will be located here. The Hub will also provide resources for small business, supporting innovation and in doing so will provide for a broad portion for the local community.
The Norwest Metro Station are due to open in 2019. If approved, the Norwest City Marketown redevelopment is estimated for completion in 2022.