Parking cuts worry

RICHARD DAVISON
Last updated 15:22 23/08/2013
Southland Times photo
RICHARD DAVISON/Fairfax NZ
Balclutha businesswoman, Richardson Jewellers owner-operator Janice Munro.

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Not everyone is convinced.

That's the reaction from some over the $2.6 million Balclutha Streetscape Upgrade for which public submissions closed yesterday at 5pm.

Businesswoman, Richardson Jewellers owner-operator Janice Munro, said the project could become ''a waste of money''.

In particular, there were concerns among the business community about reduced future parking provision on Clyde and John streets resulting from the project, she said.

''Apparently, we're looking at removing the very thing that sets us apart - ample parking right outside businesses with generous footpaths,'' she said.

''Visitors stop here to use the toilets and grab a snack, and locals just want a handy park to do their messages. 

''I see none of these things in the proposed plans.

''Reducing parking provision could ''kill'' Balclutha, she said.

''If these parks were to go, more people would just keep driving to Dunedin or Gore.''

Although supportive of existing food outlets' right to offer outside dining areas, there was little need for additional pedestrian space, Mrs Munro said.

''Why do we want to chat in the chilly breeze with a hint of raindrops? Customers want to talk about the weather, not sit in it.''

In response to Mrs Munro's concerns, the council said a final design was yet to emerge.

Clutha District Council chief executive Charles Hakkart said: ''It is important to note that no decisions have yet been made on the design of the Balclutha Streetscape Upgrade.''

''[Landscape architects] Baxter Design Group have put together some initial concept design ideas and the council is currently inviting all members of the public to let it know through formal submissions what the upgrade design should look like and include.''

Although Mrs Munro would be making a submission on the project, she had little confidence it would be heeded.

However, Mr Hakkart said all submissions would be considered. 

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- Clutha Leader

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