A Genuine Opportunity to Shape the Future
Highfields is a thriving and growing urban hub with population projections suggesting that an additional 7000 people will call Highfields home by 2031.
The Central Highfields area offers a wide range of goods and services that will need to evolve further in the future to cater for anticipated growth and changing needs within the community.
Toowoomba Regional Council wants to ensure that this evolution is well planned, and that the significant social, cultural and community infrastructure that will be required can be delivered. The Master Plan for Central Highfields will provide a blueprint that ensures future developments – community, commercial and residential – align with expectations. Once complete, it will set a foundation for Central Highfields to become a vibrant place that reflects community aspirations and values. The map below shows the 45-hectare area involved. Please click on image below for a larger view.
Council has worked in partnership with the Highfields community in developing the Central Highfields Master Plan with feedback received throughout the three stages of community engagement between October 2017 and June 2018 contributing to the development of the final Master Plan.
Stage One Community Engagement Feedback
The first of three stages of extensive community engagement was held during October/November last year with over 200 people providing their thoughts on the values and vision that will shape the development of the master plan. A report documenting feedback ((Stage 1 Community Engagement Report)) has been produced and is available in the documents library.
Stage Two Community Engagement Feedback
Feedback received during stage one was used to develop seven community values, 20 development principles and three master plan options that were made available for community comment in March 2018.
You can find information on the community values, development principles and the master plan options in the documents library under 'Stage Two Consultation' ((CHMP Stage 2 Consultation).). Please note that this document has been designed for printing at A3.
Over 200 people again provided their feedback. A report documenting that feedback ((Stage 2 Community Engagement Report)) has been produced and is available in the documents library.
Stage Three Community Engagement
Feedback received during stage two community engagement has been used to develop a draft final master plan that was available for comment until Sunday 3 June, 2018.
Six workshops were held during the week commencing May 28 to allow community members to participate in the final refinement of the draft master plan. The workshops provided:
- details on the feedback received during the second stage of consultation;
- an explanation of the draft final master plan; and
- an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback about possible refinements.
Community members also had the opportunity to contact the project team or email feedback up until 3 June 2018.
A report documenting feedback (Stage 3 Community Engagement Report) has been produced and is available in the documents library.
Council thanks community members for taking part in the consultation process and for their valuable feedback.
Adoption of the Master Plan
The final master plan, incorporating community feedback, was adopted by Council at the Ordinary Council Meeting on 17 July 2018. Two changes were made to the draft master plan as a consequence of feedback received during stage 3 community engagement. Those changes were:
- the incorporation of pedestrian/cycle paths running 'north/south' through the proposed open space and 'east/west' between Clarke Road and Highfields Road; and
- a realignment of the proposed Main Street to the 'south' so that the fire station does not directly back onto it.
The next stage of planning for the Central Highfields area is under way and the community will again have an opportunity to have its say.
Community consultation will revolve around two key milestones: to complete the Central Highfields Structure plan and to complete the Central Highfields Urban design framework.
The Central Highfields Structure Plan builds on the high-level aspirations of the Masterplan and identifies a commercially attractive subdivision pattern. To download a copy of the Structure Plan please click this link (PDF 4.67Mb).
There is a clear hierarchy of streets to ensure safe and efficient movement of vehicles within a pedestrian-friendly environment. The street network is orientated to maximise views to open space and the high native tree canopy.
About one-third of the site is parkland to retain existing vegetation and provide a continuous connection from Charles & Mottee Rogers Reserve to the waterways in the north and east.
A range of potential business and community uses are accommodated through a combination of commercial and mixed-use zonings. The existing Fire Station (owned by the State Government) is identified as a future site for community facilities.
Residential zoning to the east of the site allows for a transition of scale towards existing residences to minimise impacts. Zoning allows for a range of housing types including terrace or townhouses, retirement homes and multiple dwellings.
The Main Street forms a central spine connecting an expanded retail offering with a mix of small business premises.
The Urban Plaza provides a shared street environment that can be used for community events such as markets or festivals. Larger events can extend into the adjacent parkland to the north providing a diversity of opportunities for public gatherings.
A health precinct with easy access to Highfields Road will provide a range of health services and create local employment opportunities.
Students from Highfields State Secondary College have been assisting Council with ideas for future development.
Council is currently developing an Urban Design Guideline to provide direction on future phases which will be made public in coming months.
Urban design framework
The urban design framework will build on the development principles in the master plan, establishing guidelines for:
- building heights
- landscaping treatments
- public interface
- other desired built form outcomes, and
- placemaking opportunities (specific elements of the design that contribute to giving Central Highfields a ‘Highfields’ character).
Council is currently gathering detailed information about the site including a detailed vegetation survey and infrastructure investigation. The vegetation survey will identify the species, approximate age and health of existing vegetation on Council’s property at Central Highfields. This information will inform future weed control and tree management as well as influencing the future design for the area.
Do you have a question?
Click here for answers to frequently asked questions.
Should you have any further queries about his project, please contact Council at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 131 872.