A consortium of urban consultants was commissioned by Grey District Council in September to undertake a structure plan for the Greymouth CBD. This work builds on previous planning work undertaken for the area, particularly the Greymouth Māwhera CBD Renewal Urban Design Framework. The study was funded through the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, a three billion dollar fund set up to invest in regional economic development.
The consortium is made up of:
- Karen Remetis, Town Centre Development Group
- James Lunday, Renew Christchurch
- Zoe Avery, 4Sight Consulting
Council’s brief to the consortium included direction on where to centre future development in the CBD, how to connect different commercial zones, dealing with vacant sites following demolition of buildings, provision of shelter/covered walkways and more.
The first draft of the structure plan was presented to Council and representatives of Māwhera Incorporation and the business community on Monday 10 December 2018. Key ideas identified in the draft structure plan include:
- Low cost initiatives for improving visitor retention in the CBD
- Initiatives to enhance the look and feel of the CBD, including colour, connectivity, shelter and aesthetic improvements, ie planting
- Opportunities to strengthen the role of the Business Promotions Association
- Development of an artisan sector showcasing local products and cottage industries
- Gateway initiatives to enhance the entrances to the CBD
- Initiatives to improve gap sites
- Green spaces and walking connections
- Enhancing the floodwall
The draft Structure Plan also considers aspects such as tourism, heritage buildings and residential development.
Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said “The town CBD renewal is well underway with new initiatives by stakeholders forwarded for review and implementation over the next year. Our economy is diversifying so the change must be reflected in downtown Greymouth.”
This work is an important step in the future renewal of our CBD. Representatives of Council, Māwhera and the business community will now work together to provide local feedback to the consultants to further enhance the draft structure plan. A revised draft plan will be presented back to Council in early 2019.