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Issued 28 February 2019Submissions close at 5pm on Friday 29 March 2019
A few years ago, Council carried out extensive public consultation on the renewal of our town centre, the outcome of which was the Urban Design Framework for CBD Renewal developed by Opus. This framework identified a range of projects to be implemented as a means of stimulating the local economy. The Town Square/Shared Street project was the first of these projects which has been implemented.
Even with the Urban Design Framework in place, there remained a need to provide for a cohesive approach to the CBD in the face of a general downturn in the economy and other expected changes in the future. Important factors influencing the CBD include a combination of internet buying, changing buyer approaches, the expected closure of some businesses in the face of these factors and the need to earthquake strengthen properties, with many land lease renewals falling due.
Council were successful in securing funding from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund for a CBD Redevelopment Plan that builds upon the work already done by Opus and provides a framework with a regeneration focus that will see the CBD develop into a vibrant, progressive and interesting place, despite the challenges it is facing.
The draft CBD Redevelopment Plan has been developed by a consortium of Karen Remetis (Town Centre Development Group), James Lundy (Renew Christchurch) and Zoe Avery (4SIGHT Consulting), along with input from Council and the CBD Redevelopment Forum (consisting of Mawhera Incorporation, the Greymouth BPA, Development West Coast and chaired by Alex Cabrera of Tai Poutini Polytechnic).
In a nutshell, the draft CBD Redevelopment Plan identifies Greymouth’s assets and how to utilise them. Council is excited about the plan and what it offers. There has been active cooperation and participation by Māwhera Incorporation, the Greymouth Business Promotion Association and Development West Coast in this process and together with the support of our community, we’re satisfied we can make it work.
There is a strong commitment to make sure that this plan does not end up on a shelf to gather dust and Council invites our community to hold it to account in this. We invite our community to not only participate in finalising the plan but to also participate in its implementation.
The draft plan introduces a combination of actions and initiatives to not only make the CBD into a cohesive unit but to also introduce vibrancy and sustainability. The key aim of the plan is to create a diverse and robust town centre that will be pivotal to the economic success of the West Coast.
There is a focus on the core Greymouth CBD and specific quarters and zones, which will be interlinked and work together as a whole - see below image.
Some of the key actions and initiatives from the draft plan include:
Providing for specific, yet interlinking, development quarters/zones, including:
The implementation of certain actions, including:
The status quo is not an option. The CBD is neither inviting nor vibrant and exciting and the indications are that there will be shop closures when existing land leases expire or building owners must bring their buildings up to seismic compliance standards. The Tranz Alpine is about to become bigger and represents a significant contributor to the local economy and yet Greymouth is not optimising this potential.
Efforts to re-vitalise the CBD to date have been uncoordinated and have largely failed, despite the good intentions and efforts of those undertaking such efforts. It is expected that the CBD of the future will cover a smaller area and will be more compact and service oriented. The draft plan provides a framework for future vibrancy and sustainability but it will require a truly community effort to make this work.
Both Māwhera Incorporation and the Greymouth Business Promotion Association are on board, whilst Development West Coast is an active participant. The draft plan provides for a holistic approach to the issue and for it to be implemented as a community initiative. This level of cohesion has not been as strongly evident in previous initiatives.
The draft CBD Redevelopment Plan is particularly timely and an absolute necessity. It is up to us collectively to make it work!
Implementing the plan will come at a cost. By opting for the plan and what it stands for, does not mean that the cost of the different projects identified in the plan are approved. Council will develop an implementation strategy, focusing on the elements which can be actioned immediately at lower cost which can make an initial difference. Other projects will require a longer timeframe and funding.
Proposed projects will be signalled in the Annual Plan and Long Term Plan from year to year and, as such, will be consulted on. The CBD Redevelopment Plan is so practical that the low hanging fruit projects can result in a momentum shift which can act as further impetus for the implementation of other aspects of the plan.
Council will try its utmost to get funding through the Provincial Growth Fund and will work with Māwhera Incorporation to implement some of the suggestions as commercial investments. Affordability will see a staged implementation over the next 10-15 years. What is important for purposes of this is that a lot can be done at low cost.
Key dates for this project are:
A public information meeting will be held on Monday 4 March commencing at 5.30pm at the Tai Poutini Polytechnic (in the CB1/CB2 Meeting Room, upstairs in the Campbell Building).
The consultants who have been involved in writing the draft plan will be there. They will give a presentation and will be able to answer any questions you may have.
This is an important matter and we want as many people as possible to read the draft plan and have their say. Let us know if you are in support of the draft CBD Redevelopment Plan or if you have a different view.
All submissions made must be in writing. This can be done in any of the following ways:
You are welcome to address Council in person on your submission – if you wish to do this, please clearly indicate this in your submission. Council will hear and consider submissions at an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday 17 April 2019.
Every submission made to the Council will be acknowledged in accordance with the Local Government Act 2002, copied and made available to the public.
Submissions close at 5pm on Friday 29 March 2019.