Parramatta Council's Charles Street Square Strategy for ferry wharf on public exhibition

All aboard: The Charles Street Square Strategy recommends working with Transport for NSW to increase the frequency of weekend ferry services. Picture: Gene Ramirez
All aboard: The Charles Street Square Strategy recommends working with Transport for NSW to increase the frequency of weekend ferry services. Picture: Gene Ramirez

Grand plans to rejuvenate Parramatta’s ferry wharf precinct are taking shape.

Parramatta Council’s draft Charles Street Square Strategy is on public exhibition with plans to transform the wharf into a revitalised Parramatta Quay precinct.

“The Charles Street Square Strategy addresses the need for a new terminal for the Parramatta River ferry service that improves visitor arrival and public amenity and celebrates the historic and contemporary importance of the city’s river gateway,” the draft strategy states.

“This site however, has complicated property boundary and usage issues, and these need to be resolved before the vision of the site can fully be realised.”

The vision is to create a space where people can create connections, move freely between different modes and for the square to become a destination in its own right.

“Charles Street Square will be a meeting place - a starting point for a historic walking tour, a place to grab a coffee with a friend, somewhere river side to sit and eat lunch, and an active part of the foreshore in event mode. It will be a space where journeys begin, end and intersect,” the strategy states.

Design firm Hassell developed three design approaches - Charles Street Steps, an extension of Phillip Street and a terraced bank.

The Charles Street Steps approach was chosen as the preferred concept master plan as it complements the street grid, is suitable for events, opens up river views and creates a distinct space.

It’s described as a “single landscaped stair that opens up the view corridor and transition between the city and the river”.

It will involve the amalgamation of 34-36 Charles and 90-94 Phillip streets to create a distinct edge to Charles Street Square and removal of vehicle access to develop a clear transition between the city and the river. “Delivering this significant public space, which is a major gateway to transport services, the Parramatta CBD, and the river foreshore, is a complex task that requires coordination,” the strategy states.

The proposal is one of eight draft plans on public exhibition, aimed to improve how people move around the CBD and enhance the city’s social fabric.

“The recommendations contained in these draft plans will help us create a resilient, more connected, and greener city that is focused on meeting the changing needs of our growing community,” council administrator Amanda Chadwick said.

“The plans represent an opportunity to change the way our city works in some very important ways.”

Drop-in sessions will be held at Parramatta Town Hall, 10am-2pm this Friday and Saturday and April 29. Submissions close May 8.

Details: cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au/on-exhibition.

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