Changes made to Town master plan
Concept plans for Taumarunui’s town centre were given a final tweak before going out to another round of public consultation.
The Taumarunui-ohura Ward Committee held a special workshop to consider the revised plans.
The plans were originally produced by Bespoke Landscape Architects but, following consultation, now incorporates community feedback and ideas.
Chairperson Karen Ngatai said the Committee discussed more detailed designs before going out for the next round of community consultation.
‘‘Overall we were happy with the existing proposals for planting, a water feature and the lookout tower which we would like to be more multi use rather than just providing access for a kids slide.
‘‘There were other elements that we would like amended such as using railway iron for fencing rather than the proposed warped timber and design changes to encourage pedestrian flow.’’
One key recommendation was to demolish the existing toilet block and replace it with a new toilet on the old library site.
‘‘This will put the new toilets closer to the pedestrian crossing and allow the old toilets to remain in use while construction of their replacement underway, ‘‘ she said.
The proposed new design would see the loss of a number of existing carparks and the committee were keen to ensuring adequate parking for cars and buses.
‘‘To resolve this we are looking at opening up access to the parking behind Hakiaha St and other things is such as working with Enterprising Taumarunui Inc to encourage local business staff not to take up the Hakiaha St parks during the workday.’’
One of the projects suggested from consultation on the version one concept plans was that shop verandas should be refurbished and considered as part of the revitalisation project.
With timeframe requirements for the Earthquake Prone Building Act expected later this year the Committee decided that any decisions concerning the shop verandas need to be deferred until then.
‘‘Depending on what any particular building owner needs to do, and in what timeframe, will influence the decisions they make about their building’s future.’’
In the interim council will be starting a conversation with building owners about whether they might do this work themselves or whether it would be better for council to take on the project and recover the cost via rates over time.
‘‘There are a number of significant things that council and the community still need to consider.’’ Karen Ngatai