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THE State Government has lodged plans for the $85 million Tonsley train line extension, paving the way for a projected “urban village” development at Flinders University.
If approved, the project – to extend the line 650m from the current Tonsley terminus to Bedford Park – would begin early next year.
Supporters say it would be a catalyst for further investment and lure more foreign students.
The State Commission Assessment Panel yesterday released designs for public consultation.
Flinders University’s director of property, facilities and development, David Banks, said the project would put the Bedford Park campus and Tonsley innovation precinct “at the heart of South Australia’s economic growth”.
“It will be the catalyst for further investment to create an innovation and urban precinct both around the new station and at Tonsley, that will help drive South Australia’s transformation into a knowledge economy,” Mr Banks said.
Artist's impressions of the new Flinders Link train extension to Bedford Park.“An integrated station connecting Flinders University, the medical precinct, Tonsley innovation precinct and surrounding communities is critical in attracting all the elements that will make this zone a success.”
Mr Banks said it would boost private development investment, as well as attracting international students and world class researchers.
The university has been working on plans for an “urban village” at Bedford Park, with homes for about 1500 students.
It could include apartment buildings, a hotel, shops and cafes.
The rail project would be the catalyst for the project, which Flinders has previously estimated could cost $2 billion.
“The State Government’s release of the Flinders Link project development plan for public consultation brings this a step closer to reality.
“It’s the key to developing student accommodation that will allow Flinders to double its international student intake within five years,” Mr Banks said.
Artist's impressions of the new Flinders Link train extension to Bedford Park.“It is also … a conduit for investment and urban development that will attract investment and create jobs here in Southern Adelaide.”
The Flinders Link project includes 520m of elevated single track over Sturt Rd, Laffer’s Triangle and Main South Rd and a shared cycling and walking path adjacent the rail line.
A report to the State Commission Assessment Panel said the project aimed to improve connections between the Flinders and Tonsley innovation precincts, reduce travel time from Flinders University to the city and increase patronage on the underused rail corridor.
Transport Minister Stephan Knoll said the train line extension represented “an exciting opportunity to … drive more investment into our southern suburbs”.
“This project would also help support any plans Flinders University may have to expand into the future.”
Marion Mayor Kris Hanna said it made sense for the area around the train line’s new terminus, to be developed.
This article first appeared on www.adelaidenow.com.au
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