Shire pushes for parking bay revamp

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Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser

Mt Barker could soon receive a parking revamp in its main street as discussed at the most recent Shire of Plantagenet meeting.

Shire chief executive Rob Stewart has started negotiations with retail property owners of land on the west side of the main street, which will continue should the council agree to recommendations presented.

The matter of parking in the retail precinct was raised by councillors at the December 2016 meeting, where a report was requested by next month.

Manager development services Peter Duncan said the arrangement would create an area at the rear of the businesses to be developed as a formal paved and drained carpark.

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“If the negotiations are successful and the landowners agree, the council will look at taking a lease over the affected areas and then preparing a plan showing a parking area with marked-out parking spaces, stormwater drainage, and where necessary and appropriate, some tree planting to provide shade,” he said.

“There is the occasional perception that there is a lack of parking in the centre of town, particularly during busy retail times such as the lead-up to Christmas and Easter.

“The main areas where parking is at a premium on busy occasions are the Co Op and main street area and in the vicinity of the bakery.”

There are presently more than 550 parking spaces in the main retail area of Mt Barker.

If the proposal is successful, there will be many more formal parking spaces within easy access of the businesses.

Major changes to have happened in recent years include the new Mount Barker Co Op building, the council’s administration building and the redevelopment of the main street in 2005. Depending on the success of Mr Stewart’s negotiations, a design plan could be implemented next year.

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