Car park cho­sen as pre­ferred site for Water­front la­goon

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD KOSER

PORT’S Water­front la­goon pool is likely to be built be­tween the Tin Shed and the Sugar Wharf.

The water­front man­age­ment com­mit­tee es­tab­lished by Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil last week en­dorsed the pre­ferred

lo­ca­tion sug­gested by con­sul­tants Strate­gic Leisure Group.

The site was one of four al­ter­na­tives con­sid­ered by SLG, with two oth­ers fur­ther east on the Dick­son In­let side of town and one on Four Mile Beach near the Port Dou­glas Surf Life­sav­ing Club.

All four lo­ca­tions were as­sessed against a range of cri­te­ria, in­clud­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact, is­sues around con­struc­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­provals, pub­lic ac­cess and sup­port, and the over­all costs of build­ing a la­goon pool at each site.

The pre­ferred site, cur­rently a car park, scored the high­est of the four sites across all in­di­ca­tors. The pre­ferred op­tion will now go to coun­cil for ap­proval be­fore be­ing pre­sented to the pub­lic.

Coun­cil will also pre­pare de­tailed plans and start hunt­ing for the cash to build the la­goon pool.

The la­goon pool has be­come the sym­bol of Port’s water­front re­ju­ve­na­tion, with busi­ness and tourism lead­ers pin­ning their hopes on the prospects for a rapid build­ing pro­gram.

Sev­eral of the leases in the area ex­pire in March 2012, open­ing the way for rede­vel­op­ment.

Coun­cil has also pre­pared a draft for the rede­vel­op­ment of the en­tire precinct be­tween the Tin Shed and Rex Smeal Park, dubbed “Water­front Park”, in­clud­ing traf­fic stud­ies and land­scap­ing plans.

The re­lo­ca­tion of the pub­lic boat ramp to Spin­naker Ave by the Port Dou­glas Yacht Club will also be pushed for­ward.

“It’s a jig­saw puz­zle,” coun­cil man­ager for Dou­glas Liz Col­lyer said.

“We had to take into ac­count how the la­goon in­ter­acts with all the other el­e­ments of the Water­front mas­ter­plan, the pro­posed Mow­bray St re­align­ment, traf­fic flows, park­ing, land­scap­ing.”

“We’re look­ing at in­creas­ing park­ing at the yacht club from 18 to 50 trailer-park­ing spaces.”

Ms Col­lyer said there would be sev­eral op­tions for the pub­lic to get in­volved with the next phase of con­sul­ta­tion, be­gin­ning later this month.

“There will be on­line sur­veys, and coun­cil will also be rent­ing a shopfront in Macrossan St to present all the el­e­ments of the plan and to seek feed­back.”

The con­cept de­signs will be pre­sented to coun­cil next Wed­nes­day, 23 March.

Next week the Gazette will bring you the lat­est maps and plans for the wider Water­front, in­clud­ing the Four Mile Beach es­planade, the re­align­ment of Mow­bray St, the “water­front park” and the re­lo­ca­tion of the Dick­son In­let boat ramp to the yacht club.

Photo by SAM SMALLBONE

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