Businesses back street proposal
Businesses at the top of Trafalgar St are game to try a pedestrian-only zone this summer.
Howard ‘‘Harry’’ Morris, who owns Harry’s, said ‘‘not much has changed’’ since the businesses had last met about the proposal, as now it was up to the public.
A trial has been on the cards for some time but the Nelson City Council recently said it would officially facilitate a traffic-free trial, pending feedback from residents and businesses.
Morris said they were open to giving it a go, and now it was up to the public.
He said they needed to know ‘‘sooner rather than later’’ as to whether it would go ahead though as outdoor furniture would need to be purchased by some businesses.
He said the council hadn’t yet indicated any specific plans as to what the layout would look like but he expected that would become clearer after public consultation had finished.
They were also awaiting clarity on what the liquor licensing would be given the new space, but said the council had indicated a discounted rate would apply for the trial.
The public has until 4pm today to provide feedback to the council on the trial, which would see Trafalgar Street between Selwyn Place and Hardy Street closed to traffic from December 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018.
Morris said feedback he’d been made aware of had been mostly positive, and his instinct was it would ‘‘go ahead’’ this summer.
As to how popular the trial proved to be when put into action, however, would be largely dependent on weather.
‘‘If it’s sunny it could be good, but if it’s like last year...’’ Morris said.
But he said the hospitality industry had fared well this winter compared with previous years, and hopes were high headed into summer.
‘‘If the weather holds out it will be at least as good as last year, if not better,’’ he said.
The council will deliberate on the feedback and come to a decision by the end of September.
Money to fund the street closure would be accessed through the city’s CBD Enhancement Fund. * Signage: about $1200. * Bollards or fencing: about $5000-$30,000. * Planter boxes: about $2000 per potted tree, excluding maintenance. * Liquor licence extension subsidy for businesses: about $4500-$7000. * Suitable tables and chairs would be provided by business owners at their own cost.
Howard ‘‘Harry’’ Morris says business owners in Upper Trafalgar Street are open to closing the street in summer.