The community engagement hub of the Upper Lachlan

Community interest evident for Gunning Community Hub

June 21, 2021

Around 40 Gunning residents attended a Community Meeting on Friday night to discuss a proposal for a combined Community Hub that would bring together the Gunning & Community Health Centre, Gunning Library and Gunning Council offices.

At the meeting the proposal was put to locate the proposed Hub at the current site of the Gunning Library that would be demolished to make room for the two storey facility.

Council General Manager Colleen Worthy addressed the meeting and fielded a range of questions relating to the proposal, including discussions regarding potential alternative sites and configurations.

Mrs Worthy encouraged residents of Gunning and surrounding areas to provide their feedback in the comments section below, or alternatively by speaking with Council’s Communications Officer who will be onsite at the Gunning Office on Monday and Wednesday.

Council will submit a grant application for the proposal on Friday, 25 June.

Last modified: June 21, 2021

17 Responses to " Community interest evident for Gunning Community Hub "

  1. Colin Ogilvie says:

    I’m all for having a community centre… I think it’s imperative. I work with the Lions Club and currently we have units up the street. Our feedback is that Community Health is getting more and more use. As the population grows and more services come here, that will create even more need for Health facilities, and it just makes sense to put that sort of community facility with the library, and include meeting rooms and other community facilities.

    I don’t believe we can do it at the Library centre for three reasons… firstly is the parking. There’s very little there and because it’s next to school there’s none during school pickups and drop-offs. Secondly, that site has a fluid retention problem and I believe that we will be in dire straits if we try to build on it to any height. And thirdly, the Library option restricts growth as it’s landlocked by the Post Office on one side and the school on the other with the water table all around it.

    I lean towards the Pye Cottage option… that provides room for expansion and unites all of the Community assets.

    I would also like to find out:

    – Existing floor space of library
    – Existing floor space of CHC
    – Size of library block
    – Size of Pye Cottage block

    Py Cottage

  2. John Oke says:

    I live just across from the hall in Copeland Street and my concerns relate to the stream running under that area that locals have spoken about for years. There’s a well on our place and others nearby and it has dropped 18 inches in the last year or so, so something is happening in the water table. I have real concern about the footings being sufficient for a two storey building.

    I’m all for the concept of putting all the services together. I favour the Pye Cottage site or the depot site above the RFS. My wife thinks the other depot site would be better. But in general, I’m quite supportive of having Health, Library and Council all together with community meeting space available.

  3. Erin Manning says:

    Unfortunately I missed the meeting, but I do think that a community hub has merits. I don’t think the library site is a good choice however.
    Parking would be my main concern, due to its proximity to the school zone and major lack of available existing parking.
    I think if Pye cottage is an option, that provides space with additional options for parking.
    I do wonder what the plan would be for the sites that are then left empty? Would they be sold off? Or are there further plans for these sites to be developed by council?

  4. N Nieass says:

    I am all for the Health Service getting a grant to expand. It would be an absolute benefit for the community and surrounds if this does happen.

    I do believe that the spot at the existing Gunning Library section that Council wish to explore is very strange??. Given that Council own other land e.g next to Scott Hall in Warrataw Street, Gunning – that is double to size why this is not a better option plus others?? These other options would have ample car parking space, room for future expansion etc.

    At the current suggested location in Yass Street you would be boxed in?, no room to expand, other various issues.. Why even consider this option?? very strange?? or is the main concern to get a new library?

    Also I don’t believe that the Gunning Library/Health Service/Gunning Shire Office should necessarily have to be joined. They all have a different community function and don’t need to be joined together.

    The Gunning Shire Office has currently 3 buildings within its area all of which these buildings can house ample employees and unfortunately the opportunity to house said employees is not utalised by Council – which is very unfortunate!!!.

    So wondering why Council would then like to join the hub and have less space (guessing this will be the case – not plans to confirm this of not).

    All for a new Health Service Building but lets maximise and make the most of the current other Council owned buildings in Gunning as well and don’t let them go to waste!!

  5. Laura Holt says:

    I am in favour of a community hub that brings services together and helps expand our great sense of community support in Gunning. As a growing community I believe growing our services from council and other areas is highly beneficial and will attract more people to the town.
    However I don’t believe the library space would be the best option. The space is small with a lack of parking and it would mean demolishing a beautiful old building. The council owns other sites in town that could be better used. The hall that sits adjacent to the shire building could be used as a site as it also allows close connections to shire services. If a separate hub to to the current shire building is created then what will happen to the current building? A linked space to that is surely a better and more cost effective solution.

  6. Diana Oke says:

    I am definitely in favour of a combined community hub, particularly as a user of the existing Community Health Centre. I don’t think the library site is the right choice because of the limited space, because of water issues, and because of parking. I think the town is going to outgrow that space very soon.

    I favour looking at the current depot alongside the chambers. That would put everything in one central area. I just want to be sure we don’t pick a solution that outgrows itself in a couple of years.

  7. D H says:

    I am in favour of a one stop shop “community hub” being built for Gunning, it is a positive step forwards in creating better services for our town. However I feel that the library block prevents further growth for services or the town in years to come. Gunning is a central point for other towns such as Gundaroo, Dalton, Collector, etc, and Gunning is growing with estates and people wanting to move to our beautiful smaller town, creating a space that is accessible for multiple services is fantastic and brings more business to our community rather then sending people to the bigger towns. Having it at the library block also limits parking, I know it has been addressed that parking works currently at the respective locations, however that is to accommodate for individual services separately, this will change once being merged into one building, and then having people either disabled, elderly or injured (even bad weather) then walk a distance to the building as there will rarely be parking close to the building, worse during school pick up and drop off hours.

    Another block that could be an option is Pye Cottage and building a 2 story building on there. If this is built there I think Community Health should be on the bottom floor, eliminating that extra step for anyone needing their services having to go upstairs for services and as them being upstairs a bigger hospital style elevator will need to be put in, incase a need for a gurny is needed. And having the library/Council office on the top floor.

    Or alternatively using the current council office block and knocking down the 2 surrounding buildings to create an L shaped building. This block will allow the original council building to stand and be used as the main office and putting the library and Community health in the L building. it also allows potential for growth building it 1 story and later on adding an extra floor for future services or needs of the town. This block (and Pye Cottage) also allows for more parking spots having Nelanglo street (both council/pye cottage side and next to the Primary School) and Yass Street.

    Overall I believe this is a fantastic idea, however location is a downside to the plans and allows no potential for Gunning to grow.
    Possible layout ground
    Possible layout overhead

  8. Sam Southwell says:

    While I was unable to attend the meeting I am extremely interested in what is planned for our community & I think the idea of the hub is wonderful for Gunning & surrounds , I can only echo the very valid comments already put forward, I believe the site of the current library is definitely not the correct location .
    Parking in that area is a problem now at busy times just for people accessing the Post Office & banking facilities along with school pickups. The idea of the Yass St/ Nelanglo St site is a far more practical idea from a safety aspect.
    Need the existing Library building be demolished? People are constantly searching for premises to conduct businesses from , it could be leased out & used as an asset to the Village instead of being torn down.

  9. R Pye says:

    I am in favour of having a community hub but do not agree with the proposed Library location. I believe that the location considered is definitely not a good choice at all. Given the current size of Gunning I don’t think the proposed community hub needs to be in the Main Street. Better options would be using part of the showground area/ vacant block on the corner of Waratah & Grovenor Street or revamping the two buildings around the existing Gunning Shire Office. Gunning town is probably one of the most centralised towns within the Council and to other larger areas Yass, Canberra, Goulburn etc and growing we do not want to put a building in a spot which will be extremely limited in size and will not accomodate future growth/expansion. I am also concerned what is going to happen to the current buildings that Council own?. I am not in favour of having a 2 storey building but if this does go ahead I would imagine that the ground level would be used by the Health Service.
    Going forward I think a survey and more information about everything would be good as well as I was not aware of this proposed community hub until very recently.

  10. S Hansen says:

    This sounds like a good idea but to give a proper opinion I would have to see more in depth details regarding this proposal. What would be the size of the building, the size of the 3 individual services, layout etc. What would become of the current facilities? Most old buildings need up keep but being not occupied not a good option either. This may also be a good opportunity for Council to relocate other Council staff members working out of the Crookwell Office back to the Gunning Office new building section (employees not effected by travel/job feasibility). No need to spend money on a demountable or proposed demountable!
    Definitely not in favour of the library site location. This location has no benefit compared to what the other larger Council owned site locations would have.

  11. L Temple says:

    I am in favour of any improvements that would be beneficial to the Gunning township/people and its close surrounding areas. Definitely needed. I am not sure if all the service areas need to be included but if they are as long as they are not getting reduced from the total area of size they currently occupy. I don’t think the library location is ideal at all!! I think the other Council owned sites that are double in size will have more merritt and functionality

  12. M&M says:

    We unfortunately were unable to attend the meeting, however, feel very strongly that the idea of a Community Hub is a wonderful idea for Gunning and the residents who use our services from surrounding villages. We were horrified to read that the current Library building might be demolished to build a new structure for this purpose. We also can’t understand what will happen to Pye Cottage. Will it be moved to another location? The Pye Cottage site is also terribly inappropriate.

    The construction of a “new” two story building would change the streetscape and aesthetic of Yass street dramatically. The beauty of our little town lies in the heritage architecture of our Main Street. How sympathetic would a new two story structure be to the aesthetic of the Main Street of our town?

    Like many who have already posted comments here, we strongly support the idea of a community hub, however, strongly disagree with the demolition of the library for this purpose or the use of Pye Cottage land. There must be alternative sites in town that could successfully and tastefully house a new community hub, whilst ensuring our beautiful country town Main Street aesthetic and heritage buildings are preserved.

    • col ogilvie says:

      M&M
      From my point of view and talking to some Dalton residents is that Pye cottage should be relocated to a stated site in Dalton or moved to a Gunning town historical site (museum).
      As for the vacated buildings the possibility is they be raised for sale in financial support for the completion of a one stop shop.

      • Leslie Bush says:

        I would love to know who those residents are in Dalton, as a) I live here and b) I’m the President of the Historical Society and they haven’t come to us with anything about it.
        And Pye Cottage is classified as a Museum already.

  13. Vee says:

    I entirely believe in the comments on this thread..
    I also believe the site of the current library is definitely not the correct location .
    Parking in that area is a problem now for people accessing the Post Office & banking facilities along with school pickups. There needs to be more consideration as to the aesthetic of the Main Street as the library is a real feature of historical style with the post office.

    The existing Library building should not be demolished.
    People are constantly searching for premises to conduct businesses from , it could easily be sold or leased out & used as an asset to the Village.

  14. Leslie Bush says:

    While I agree there should definitely be a proper one stop space for a Community Health Hub I am personally appalled at the opinions of just removing Pye Cottage from it’s present site like it’s nothing. I have also heard the ridiculous comments about moving it to the showground. It would be vandalised and destroyed in quick time there unless Council is prepared to pay for 24/7 security.

    People talk about keeping the library for it’s history and I agree, but Pye Cottage is far older than than the library, but no respect is given to it’s value in our district. Part of the charm of Gunning from what tourists say, is it’s old world feel and heritage buildings.

    I quote from another’s opinion here ‘I lean towards the Pye Cottage option… that provides room for expansion and unites all of the Community assets’. Hello, Pye Cottage is a community asset. It is the only building of it’s type and age in our district that is being preserved.

    There is also absolute truth in the fact that there is very little parking near the P.O. & library especially during set down and pick up times. But there is ample school parking on Copeland Street if the spaces were made angle instead of parallel and that is where it should in my opinion be the only school parking area.

    If the resolution is made to move Pye Cottage then it needs to stay in the main street for it’s own protection and tourism benefits, maybe the block on the corner of the Meadow Creek entrance to the pool. Yes, it’s privately owned but it could work. Or the other side of Meadow Creek where all those trees were planted, it may be able to be nestled in there. Pye Cottage is also heritage listed on the LGA and would I think need a historical restoration expert before even thinking of moving it and that could become very expensive.

    There are other sites that could be used to house the Community Health Hub – the showground for instance –
    Adjacent to the current Shire Hall on Copeland Street would be a terrific space. There is plenty of room to build a substantial building and there is even enough room for creating a parking space inside the grounds, without impacting any of the other buildings or areas utilised.

    There is also ample room on the inside left of the second driveway to the showground on Warrataw Street to build a substantial building as a Community Hub.

    There is also mention of the idea to build where the Council Chambers are and utilising part of the Gunning Shire Depot, I’m not in favour of tearing down that heritage building either.

    The old Fire control centre if extended into the shire depot yard would have ample room to build a second storey onto for a Community Health Hub, or tear it down and rebuild there. It’s a relatively new building and has no heritage value. It is used very sporadically and the 2 staff in there could be moved back into the Shire office.

    You could even move the RFS up to the now defunct Gunning Golf Club or the old roads depot block up the Crookwell end of Yass Road (also privately owned) (giving the RFS ample space to grow as well), then move the GDHS research centre (portable) into the area next to Pye Cottage and utilise the RFS & GDHS research centre site to build a community health hub there, possibly utilising part of the Shire yards located next door to the RFS.

    There are plenty of other options for a site without throwing away our heritage.

  15. Vanessa Boyd says:

    Library site – ridiculous, where would anybody park for a start? Use the existing council chambers/Fire Control Centre, plenty of space there, way more parking options. A bit of common sense would go a long way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *