Residents' tea party brings back Pendarves St

JOHN ANTHONY
Last updated 07:46 17/12/2012
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ANDY JACKSON
Molly Cameron, 6, Emily Cameron, 4, Corban Hills, 3, Brayden Hills, 6, at the Pendarves St tea Party.

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Residents held a roadside tea party on Saturday to celebrate the completion of their newly revamped streetscape in Pendarves St, New Plymouth.

For months Pendarves St was under construction to turn it into an area that encourages more people to walk, cycle and play there.

The upgrade, funded by the Let's Go project, included the installation of seats, plants, a double-sized footpath on one side and raised level crossings with funky designs.

On Saturday residents took deckchairs on to the street to enjoy some afternoon tea, light refreshments and live music.

Pendarves St resident Julie Gunn said ideas for the upgrade began to form in January last year when neighbours got together and drew up a few design plans.

"The main reason we wanted it done was to improve the safety of the street for the children," Mrs Gunn said.

Since the upgrade residents had noticed an immediate improvement in safety, she said.

"It certainly worked at slowing the traffic down.

"We're seeing a lot of people walking and running down here."

The school had already used the street for a gala day, "jump jam" exercise classes and scooter and bike relays, she said. The upgrade was done using ideas contributed from the whole community.

While bad weather slowed the project somewhat it was well worth the wait, she said. "It wasn't too disruptive, really."

Mrs Gunn said she would like to see the street continue to be used for community events such as craft stalls, movie screenings and even entertainment during Womad.

Before the revamp motorists were cutting through Pendarves St to save time, she said.

New Plymouth Mayor Harry Duynhoven, who attended the tea party, said the street had set an example of how communities could work together to improve their neighbourhood.

"We've now got other people in other streets asking for it."

The end results in Pendarves St and Davies Lane were both pleasing, he said.

"In both cases people seem absolutely delighted," Mr Duynhoven said.

"This is a lovely quiet street now."

Because all residents had a say in the design plan there was a sense of ownership, he said.

Pendarves St was one of three New Plymouth streets selected by Let's Go for an upgrade.

Let's Go is funded by a $3 million model community grant the New Plymouth District Council received from the government in 2010. Davies Lane and Brougham St had also undergone recent makeovers.

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Let's Go project member Nathaniel Benefield said the Pendarves St development cost about $270,000.

The revamp helped change the street from a vehicle-focused space to a social space, he said.

"I just like the way it invites people out into the space," Mr Benefield said.

The next street to get a makeover was likely to be Bell St.

- Taranaki Daily News

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