MidCoast Council considered extensive feedback from the community to resolve several elements of the draft streetscape concept plan for the Wingham CBD, with the project now to move to detailed design planning.
“We’ve listened very carefully during the community engagement process and continued the conversation beyond the consultation period and we’ve been able to resolve some key issues that concerned some residents,” said Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Engineering Services, Rob Scott.
“We’re now able to develop detailed design plans for the CBD streetscaping, with the benefit of the feedback we’ve received on the draft plans.”
A key change is that the proposed tiered wall interface for Central Park along Isabella and Bent Streets will be removed from the plan, and the existing wall, mosaic and vegetation will be retained.
Planners will now consider a widened, flared heritage-style stepped access to Central Park, as part of the Central Park Masterplan process.
“We’re also adopting a premise that all design elements will be sympathetic with the heritage character and reflect Wingham’s country town charm. As an example, we’ll be investigating an appropriate light fitting and arms style together with lighting design so it doesn’t detract from the heritage aesthetic whilst also being functional.”
The choice of street trees will be further investigated, together with key stakeholders, to ensure a mature species that meets all the specifications required for the site is selected.
“We’re also going to construct some test panels of footpath styles for the consideration of key stakeholders before a final decision is made,” added Mr Scott.
Another important change to the draft plan is that an offset T-intersection will replace the proposed peanut style roundabout at the intersection of Bent and Farquhar Streets.
“The offset T-intersection option is favoured by key stakeholders directly adjacent to the intersection. It is also more in keeping with the heritage aesthetic, and most importantly it is safer for pedestrians at this location.”
In the first consultation, there was a slight preference for the peanut style intersection, however further in-depth consultation indicated that many people had been prioritising traffic flow over these other considerations.
Parking availability in the Wingham’s CBD has been an issue consistently raised during both consultations.
With the upgrade to the McCulloch Lane car park providing off-street parking, some community members suggested that timed parking in the busiest areas would free up car parks for customers and ensure all day stayers, such as CBD workers, would park in off street locations.
The issue with parking will be investigated and reported to Council’s Local Traffic Committee with an option to trial timed parking limits in Isabella Street, between Bent and Primrose Streets.
“We will monitor parking with a view to expand all day parking on Council land adjacent to Worthing Lane or around the fringe of the CBD if the need becomes apparent.”
The proposed coloured road surface treatments of intersections was also not popular with participants, so Council will now investigate alternatives that delineate the intersection yet are more sympathetic to a heritage style.
The Rotary Clock was not included at all in the draft plan, but detailed design planning will ensure it is maintained in a prominent position and enhanced by streetscaping.
“We will consult with key stakeholders on all of these changes, and then provide the detailed design to Council for final approval when complete.”
“We thank the Wingham community for fully engaging in this project to ensure the outcome is one that will enhance Wingham and meet community needs for many years to come.”
You can stay updated on the Wingham CBD masterplan project here: Wingham CBD Masterplan | Have Your Say (nsw.gov.au).