Council seeks blueprint to clean up troublespot

Last updated 13:00 10/05/2012

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Architects have been employed to come up with a design to help make Bridge St a nicer and safer place.

The Nelson City Council has set aside $250,000 in its annual plan to pay for the long overdue upgrade.

Further funds have been allocated to pay for a major upgrade of the Buxton Square public toilets.

The toilets and the rundown state of Bridge St with its poor lighting, concentration of bars and tired buildings, along with the alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour in the area has been a topic of debate for some time.

Council reserves and community facilities adviser Andrew Petheram said Nelson landscape architect firm Canopy and Arthouse Architecture had a joint contract to work on a design for the area from Trafalgar St to Collingwood St.

Mr Petheram said the firms would consult with a working group of bar and building owners in the area. A Bridge St resident was also in the group.

He said property owners were keen to work with the council to improve bar frontages and through environmental design come up with a better environment that would also enable police to see what was happening and encourage better behaviour in the street.

Mr Petheram said the $250,000 set aside for the upgrade would go out for community feedback in the annual plan. The figure was up from the $100,000 the council had earlier budgeted for.

The project is part of the larger Heart of Nelson project.

Little Rock owner and Hospitality Association of New Zealand Nelson branch president Ron Taylor welcomed news of the upgrade. "In my opinion it's been 18 years and they haven't spent one cent on it. My opinion is it needs to be tidied up."

Mr Taylor said if the environment was tidy it would lead to improved behaviour.

He said the end of Bridge St should be like the top part of Trafalgar St.

The police are cracking down on alcohol fuelled anti-social behaviour in central Nelson, and Mr Taylor said their stance was "excellent".

He said feedback was that customers believed it was about time that something was done and the police's stance was drawing them back to the central city.

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- The Nelson Mail

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