Regent Square battle over

MORE than three years of debate waged over George Town's Regent Square yesterday came to an end as a $6.4 million child and family centre and Learning and Information Network Centre hub gained its final approval.

A Tasmanian public works committee yesterday recommended the LINC-CFC hub continue as planned - the last hurdle for the project's go-ahead.

The development was this year approved in a six-month-long Tasmanian Planning Commission hearing after failing to meet requirements from a Resource Management and Appeal Tribunal in 2012.

Children's Minister Michelle O'Byrne hailed the ruling and announced that tenders for the project, expected to generate 90 construction jobs, would be called for next month.

Friends of Regent Square spokesman Peter Cox said he was upset but not surprised by the ruling.

"I think the reason why we've been so strong in this is to convince the government that it should never, ever try to do something like this again," Mr Cox said.

"The government was just so determined with the plan, it had made its commitments before consulting the real people of George Town and realised it had made a mistake when it was already too late, they had spent too much money."

He said he still held concerns about possible future developments on the heritage-listed square.

Ms O'Byrne said the hub would be able to support young families, create new jobs and make the town "a more attractive place to live" once it was built.

"Nothing is more important than giving our children the best possible start in life and child and family centres are supporting families around Tasmania to do just that," she said.

George Town Mayor Roger Broomhall said the development would act as social enhancement for the community and act as an asset for the municipality.

"(The hub) will bring much- needed services for many of our residents and their children now, and for many years to come," Cr Broomhall said.

"I believe that the Tasmanian Planning Commission, through an extended hearing process, has done due diligence in assessing the proposed amendment and development application approved by council in its role as a planning authority."

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