Draft plan looks to riverside development

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 13:33 07/04/2014

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The Marlborough District Council's plans to rejuvenate the Blenheim town centre, including possibly moving the library to the riverside, have been signalled in the draft annual plan.

The draft annual plan was approved to go out for public consultation at its meeting on Thursday.

In the first chapter, highlighting major projects scheduled for the financial year starting in June, the council talks about "doing up downtown".

The plan document asks "Is it time to turn the town to face the river and freshen up the face that Blenheim presents to the world?

"Town centres should be buzzy places - lots of life, energy, people and activity. It is council's role to ensure the design of our towns helps to make that happen. Making sure public amenities are best placed to help make the towns tick."

In Picton, the waterfront was "looking fabulous", the document said, "thanks to the work we have done with Port Marlborough".

Next was to finish the High St upgrade and make decisions about a new library for Picton.

In Blenheim, a new library was also planned, the plan document said. The town had the chance to make this part of a wider revamp of a quiet part of town.

"For years, people have been saying Blenheim is a river town and we should be making more of this asset. Now, we are floating the idea of bringing the library down to the Wynen-High St block and creating a public precinct there that connects the town to the river.

"It would help fulfil the council's urban design strategy, bring one of the town's most important buildings down toward the river and create some open public spaces for people to gather and relax. It would also create an attractive vista for travellers approaching our town from the state highway."

The council listed seven projects in this chapter, and only the town rejuvenation and the proposal not to upgrade rural town water supplies were not costed.

The project was still conceptual and yet to be costed, a council spokeswoman said.

Click through to the draft annual plan

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- The Marlborough Express

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