STIRLING council is going ahead with plans for a plaza that’ll result in lost parking bays on the Mount Lawley leg of Beaufort Street.
The council voted at the July 28 meeting to progress a streetscape improvement plan that includes a plaza at the carpark near Westpac.
The final design’s not set in stone but it’s looking like at least seven bays will be lost, on top of the 17 bays that are going to be lost to the public realm from the council’s contentious sale of nearby land at 80a Walcott Street.
The Mount Lawley Business Group implored the council to defer the item so they could have more time to weigh in and straighten out what they call “large and concerning errors in the number of bays” in the council’s own count.
The group also wanted deferral of a new parking management plan that’s intended to manage the loss of bays.
More than a dozen prominent businesses weren’t included in the formal consultation
that led to the parking plan’s writing, despite their bays being necessary to its success.
One of the plan’s strategies is “shared parking arrangements,” asking businesses to open their private bays for public use when they’re not needed, and in return the council rangers handle parking enforcement.
The MLBG says trade is already suffering from lack of parking, and on top of the loss of bays the plaza plan will cut off carpark access from Beaufort Street.
The only other way in is a narrow one-car-wide Astor Lane, and the group says it’s another deterrent to shoppers.
MLBG chair Ian Cornell says it’s “unacceptable to the patrons of our businesses. They will seek a less troublesome environment”.
Only Cr Elizabeth Re voted against progressing both items.
Tuesday’s vote means $275,000 can be spent on installing planter boxes, new street furniture, designing the plaza, designing and installing a “mural art series and heritage trail,” and “uplighting of art deco motifs on light polls”.
About $500,000 will still need to be allocated in next year’s budget to actually build the plaza.