Public to have say on CBD upgrade

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 10/06/2014

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It's the future of our city and it's a chance for you to have your say.

From today, the revised plan for the Esk St upgrade will be unveiled, with the chance for young and old to have their say on the look of the inner city.

It has been 10 months since the unveiling of the master plan and, after months of controversy, election campaigns and debate, the detailed plans for stage one of the council's central business district upgrade, which involves Esk St, have been put on display for public scrutiny.

The Invercargill City Council has set up a shop in the Cambridge Place Arcade to display the designs and will man it for the rest of the week to gauge feedback on the designs.

City council roading manager Russell Pearson said the plans were the next step after the master plans and, while the finer details were yet to be worked out, it gave the public a good idea of what to expect.

"This is the best opportunity for everyone to come in and have a look at the concepts and give some feedback."

Pearson said he loved the concepts.

The plans focused on a "pocket park" area where the two arcades opened on to Esk St, adding seating and shelter.

"I like that there's lots of shelter and we will be able to sit down. There will be a desire for people to stay in Esk St."

Upgrade boss and city councillor Graham Sycamore echoed his sentiment and said he thought there would be a lot of positivity towards it.

"I don't think there's anything not to like about it."

The refined plans had been the culmination of council feedback and retailers' ideas and now the public could share their thoughts.

"I think the extra seating and the shelter and the plantings are all going to make a huge difference to the amenity value of the whole area and we are retaining most of what is there, which is pretty nice already," he said.

The council hoped to begin the Esk St upgrade by the end of the year, with tenders being let for the work in August.

"It's a tight time frame."

After the public consultation in the arcade, Invercargill residents will have a further week to have their views heard before designer Craig Pocock factors in the feedback and returns the altered plans to the council next month.

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- The Southland Times

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