The second stage of consultation was held between 26 March and 26 April 2019 which sought feedback on the draft concept plan. We asked the community what their main priorities are and how much they value the various ‘upgrade’ components of the project.
The community demonstrated support for the overall project with 68% either agreeing or strongly agreeing to the overall design. The main reasons for their support included improved amenity, additional greenery, better pedestrian access and extra seating opportunities.
Components that attracted the most objections include the seating on Military Road and Main Street (east), and the creation of a low-speed environment, with 24% of respondents objecting to these proposals.
Some respondents raised concerns about a lack of parking, lack of facilities for bicycle riders, attracting even more visitors which might disrupt residents, anti-social behaviour, traffic displacement onto other streets, the noise of cars driving on pavers and the ‘shared street car park access’ and loading dock.
As a result of the community feedback, modifications to the concept plan included:
- possible option to relocate the car park access from Main Street to Military Road
- removing the ‘shared surface car park access’ from the pedestrian plaza;
- removal of paving on the roadway of Main Street;
- removal of the seating on the residential (eastern) side of Main Street;
- provision of shelter over the bicycle rails and a repair station;
- improved seating, including handrails in Main Street (west);
- rubbish bins in Main Street (west);
- inclusion of a review of the north-western corner of Main Street (where it intersects Seaview Road) to determine whether the step in the verge can be removed;
- inclusion of an area for delivery trucks to pull over if they are waiting to enter the loading dock, without holding up traffic (Foodland’s large product range, many from local producers, requires multiple deliveries per day);
- removal of the bands of lawn on the verge in Military Road;
- inclusion of a formal shared path on the eastern verge of Military Road and the northern verge of Main Street with priority over side roads;
- improved pedestrian crossing access at North Street and South Street;
- fencing around the decks proposed to be leased for outdoor dining (licenced areas); and
- that locations for water sensitive urban design (WSUD) treatments be removed from
the concept plans, with the aim that appropriate locations for WSUD be investigated
during the detailed design phase.
The conversion of Main Street to a pedestrian plaza received one of the highest levels of overall support, with more than 50% strongly agreeing. However, this component also received one of the highest number of ‘strongly disagree’ responses (13%). The main reasons sited were loss of parking and the project being viewed as ‘a waste of money’, with some requesting more investment into shade at Henley Square instead of extending Henley Square further into Main Street.
Some community responses suggested that the power lines should be undergrounded, and as such, the project was submitted for consideration to the Power Line Environment Committee (PLEC) and was received favourably. A meeting on-site was held, and the project was considered at a subsequent meeting of the PLEC whereby preliminary agreement to provide funding was made for Council consideration.