Bright plans for shopping area illuminated

19:43, May 29 2014
invercargill park
IMAGINE THIS: A proposed mini-park on the corner of Grace St and Elles Rd.

It may not be a bustling city centre but south Invercargill may well be the bright light of the south.

Swing-seats, mini-parks and colourful LED lights are the future for the area, gaining support from dozens of people at a public meeting, attended by about 70 people, during the unveiling of the plans this week.

Designer Craig Pocock spoke about his ideas for the future of the shopping area after initial concepts were presented to the community last year.

Some went to the meeting fired up and angry about the previous proposal but Pocock's revisited designs gained praise and support from most in the room.

The latest plans will now go out for consultation.

"I am very impressed, because I have been one of the biggest moaners," one woman said.

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The idea of reducing the number of car parks and moving the bus stop, which had rankled with many last year, were no longer being considered, but the family friendly theme and lighting up the area were the priorities, Pocock said.

"I was told not to move the bus stop or risk my life."

The bus route in south Invercargill was one of the biggest issues on the streets, as well as complaints about the entry into the video store from Elles Rd and Martin St, but Pocock said that was out of his control.

A pocket park with innovative seating and a small stage has been moved to the corner of Elles Rd and Grace St and a shelter will be erected above it, he said.

LED lighting would also light up the shelter, changing colour as pedestrians move through, he suggested.

However, his defining feature for the area was 12-metre posts that would be lit up for nine metres to would create a type of gateway at night.

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt said the ideas were exciting for the area.

"The people seem to be really enthusiastic."

About $80,000 a year would be given by the council, with the rest funded by a loan, but the total cost of the project was not yet known, he said.

"I am starting to worry about what the cost might be."

The Southland Times