Out­look pos­i­tive de­spite shut­down

More works planned af­ter Easter hol­i­day

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - News - ALICE CLAR­IDGE

DE­SPITE ma­jor dis­rup­tion to New Nor­folk’s shop­ping dis­trict caused by the de­mo­li­tion of the Lee build­ing, the at­mos­phere at a public meet­ing held last week to dis­cuss the af­fects, was largely pos­i­tive.

The Lee build­ing, which housed the Ban­jos, Choo Chews and Sin­tonic shops, had to be razed af­ter it was dam­aged by fire last month.

The de­mo­li­tion work has caused sig­nif­i­cant dis­rup­tion, with High and Bur­nett streets closed for days, re­strict­ing ac­cess to busi­nesses in the main street.

De­spite the neg­a­tive flow on af­fects of the fire the meet­ing, held at the coun­cil and at­tended by 60 peo­ple, had a pos­i­tive at­mos­phere with busi­ness own­ers and com­mu­nity mem­bers fo­cus­ing on the fu­ture and how to move for­ward.

Re­trav­i­sion’s Mal Geard be­gan the dis­cus­sion in the packed room, by con­grat­u­lat­ing the hard work of the fire fight­ers, po­lice and SES vol­un­teers who fought to get the fire un­der con­trol in the early hours of the morn­ing.

Mr Geard also ap­plauded the ef­forts of the Cheeky Lit­tle Place cafe and the Top of the Town Bak­ery op­er­a­tors, who pro­vided free hot cof­fees to those who had worked so tire­lessly to get the blaze un­der con­trol and pre­vented it from spread­ing to other build­ings.

High St will now have to be closed again to al­low for the de­mo­li­tion of the slab at the site, which has also been iden­ti­fied as be­ing con­tam­i­nated with as­bestos.

The de­mo­li­tion was meant to have be­gun on Mon­day, and close High St for two to three days but works have been de­layed.

‘‘We have put a re­quest into Work­place Stan­dards that the de­mo­li­tion not be­gin un­til af­ter Easter,’’ Mayor Martin Evans said yes­ter­day.

‘‘The lead up to Easter is one of the busiest times for re­tail­ers and we don’t want to see High St blocked at this time, if at all pos­si­ble.

‘‘Ul­ti­mately Work­place Stan­dards will make that decision though.’’

Coun­cil gen­eral man­ager Stephen Mackey said a 10m ex­clu­sion zone was re­quired dur­ing any de­mo­li­tion process to en­sure the public’s safety.

Mr Mackey said the coun­cil was well aware of the im­pact on busi­nesses in the cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict and would en­sure streets were opened up as soon as pos­si­ble.

The meet­ing was called by New Nor­folk Busi­ness Al- liance pres­i­dent, Ray Wil­liams, who said he was pleased by the out­come.

‘‘I was pleas­antly sur­prised by the lack of up­set, es­pe­cially from those who are suf­fer­ing,’’ Mr Wil­liams said.

‘‘There was an up­lift­ing spirit with a fo­cus on how to move on, not fo­cus on the doom and gloom,’’ Mr Wil­liams said.

‘‘It was en­cour­ag­ing to see so many peo­ple from across the com­mu­nity there, in­clud­ing busi­ness own­ers, em­ploy­ees and other con­cerned res­i­dents.’’

Mr Wil­liams said the coun­cil ad­dressed many is­sues the al­liance had con­cerns about, and hoped they would con­tinue to com­mu­ni­cate with busi­ness op­er­a­tors in the CBD.

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