The Upper Hunter township of Scone will benefit from a new town square thanks to a $2 million grant from the NSW Government as part of its commitment to beautify and revitalise regional public spaces.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro today announced in Scone that the Upper Hunter Shire Council was set to receive the money for the town square as a reward for Council for meeting their targets by speeding up Development Applications.
“This is a great day for the Scone community. We are investing millions of dollars in the township to create a new, beautiful public space where the community can meet, relax and enjoy,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Where there is currently a road, there will be a new St Aubins town square – a focal point for the community to gather.
“Town squares are historically the heart of any regional town and I’m glad we are able to provide this funding for one of the most beautiful towns in the Upper Hunter.”
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces said the funding was part of the NSW Government’s $250 million Public Spaces Legacy Program which aimed to give councils a financial incentive to improve their development application processing times.
“We are working with the council to help them meet their agreed targets, which is to reduce their processing time from an average of 48 days to 38 days,” Mr Stokes said.
“As a reward for achieving these targets, the $2 million will be theirs to invest in this wonderful public space project that the council has nominated.
“This program was born out of the COVID-19 pandemic. We needed to use the planning system as a lever to aid economic recovery, and we saw that people were spending more time outdoors during the pandemic.”
The construction of St Aubins Town Square to beautify Scone and provide a focal point for community gathering will involve one block of St Aubins Street being rezoned and blocked to form a Town Square.