Guyra main street upgrade plans stalled, making way for more community consultation

Guyra shop owners have no idea about the main street upgrade.

A FRESH FEEL:  Apple Tree Garden owner Kellie Lockyer hopes the upgrade will encourage vibrancy.

A FRESH FEEL: Apple Tree Garden owner Kellie Lockyer hopes the upgrade will encourage vibrancy.

“We don’t even know what they’re doing,” Spar's Cherie Mulligan said.

She’s lived and worked in Guyra for around 15 years.

Spar’s Jade Starr was also unaware of the plans but said a focus should be put on parking and the footpath.

“I think there’s a lack of parking down this end of the street and that effects business,” she said.

“That footpath is horrible, you see kids and older ladies go down on it and it just cuts you to shreds.”

Beth Archibald has been at the Emporium for more than a decade and said over the years the main street has been sucked into a “downward spiral” – and she also hadn’t heard the news.

Meanwhile, breaks have been put on the $2.7 million project.

Works were set to commence in October, but won’t begin until early 2018 due to a clash with the town’s NBN roll-out.

NEW PAVEMENTS: Spar's Cherie Mulligan and Jade Starr said more parking and better footpaths were needed.

NEW PAVEMENTS: Spar's Cherie Mulligan and Jade Starr said more parking and better footpaths were needed.

Armidale Regional Council said it was an opportunity to ramp up their efforts to engage the wider community.

“There will be much more community consultation in the coming months which will be aimed at getting significantly greater input from more people,” an ARC spokesperson said.

Consultation would include a static display in a shopfront on Bradley Street, giving everyone the chance to look at the plans and present their opinions on what they would like to see, the spokesperson said.

Council candidate Simon Murray agreed more community consultation was needed.

“The community hasn’t had a real input in this,” he said.

“If they only get a few people to contribute – it’s wrong because that’s not the community.”

ARC Director of Engineering Ralf Stoeckeler said the delay would also allow further consultation.

Mr Stoeckeler wrote in his report, presented at the last Council meeting, that the advice of a colour consultant would be sought to design a colour scheme for shop owners.

“[They] will be encouraged to repaint their facades by Council providing the paint at no cost,” he said.

He said further community engagement would be sought to finalise the plans.

The ARC spokesperson could not confirm if Council would go door knocking along all shops in the CBD.

UPGRADE: Bradley Street upgrades are now expected to commence in early 2018 due to a clash with the NBN roll-out.

UPGRADE: Bradley Street upgrades are now expected to commence in early 2018 due to a clash with the NBN roll-out.

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