Plans to transform the Ashburton CBD by rejuvenating the streetscape are making headway, with work progressing on the detailed design.
The Ashburton District Council has been working through design plans to finalise what the town centre (bordered by East, Havelock, Moore and Cass Streets) will look like, following the development of concept plans, community consultation and ongoing engagement with businesses.
Group Manager Environmental Services, Jane Donaldson says the extensive work completed so far is intended to future-proof the CBD for years to come.
"We began work on this project in 2017 with the intention of reinforcing the CBD's importance, reclaiming retail spend and attracting businesses back into the commercial centre of town. We understood that to achieve this, the space needed to be vibrant and viable, and this remains the goal for the project."
The Council adopted draft concept plans for the CBD streetscape
in April 2018 and sought community feedback on those plans the following month
. The revised concept plans were then adopted at the August 2018 Council meeting.
Aecom/Jasmax artist impression of Burnett Park; actual end result may vary
These plans included introducing a 30km/hour speed limit in the area; gateway treatments at the four key entry locations; pursuing the development of laneway connections and landscaping.
"This is a major project that affects infrastructure, activities and features that might not immediately come to mind," Ms Donaldson continued. "For example, we've engaged arborists to assess the condition and lifespan of the trees in the area, conducted a parking survey and carried out a traffic safety audit.
"Although the exciting aspect of the revitalisation might be what's happening on the surface, there's actually a lot to do underground to ensure the infrastructure will meet the CBD's needs years down the track."
The Council has now begun working on a draft construction timetable and will be discussing this with CBD businesses and property owners.
Design plans are now available on the Council website. These feature artists' impressions of what each street could look like. Plans include cycle paths, shared spaces, new plantings including rain gardens, new street furniture and lighting.
While the design plan currently reflects Council's decision on 27 June 2019 to move the water feature located at East and Tancred Streets to the domain, this may change given public interest on the matter and further consideration by Council at their upcoming 15 August meeting.
To keep up-to-date with the latest news and developments with the Ashburton CBD Streetscape Revitalisation Project, check out the Council's new digital signage located at the former i-SITE building on East Street, sign up to our free mailing list at ashburtondc.govt.nz/stayinformed
, or visit ashburtondc.govt.nz