Streetscape plan progresses

LANDSCAPE architect Stephen Palmer presented Southern Downs Regional councillors with draft final plans for the Allora streetscape yesterday, but it will be months before the final plans are settled and it's unknown when funding will be available.

Engineering services director Peter See said once plans were finalised his officers would still have to ensure it met all the standards.

"A report will be prepared for the next round of meetings with the view of adopting it for final consultation," he said.

"It will then be put to the public for the final round of consultations."

Deputy Mayor Ross Bartley said it was important the public were aware they were just looking at concept plans.

"It is a just a concept design," he said. "In order for it to happen, significant funds will be needed."

Cr Glyn Rees said he would like to see construction start as soon as financially possible.

"The streetscape will enhance the visual aspect of Allora's already eloquent historic existing streetscape, and add consistency to council infrastructure with the town centre," he said.

"And then there will also be the drainage improvements that are so necessary."

Mr Palmer said the design would allow for components to be constructed piece by piece rather than the whole thing at once.

Mr Palmer, who previously worked on the Leslie Park master plan and the Stanthorpe CBD precinct master plan, has been working on the designs for the past 18 months.

"We went through the community consultation from the workshops, all the positive and negative feedback as well as other community comments," Mr Palmer said.

From this two concept plans were established.

Cr Rees said he was in favour of concept one as it allowed for more parking spaces.

"I attended the meetings when convened for community input and to discus designs and I was impressed with this morning's presentation, and personally I am happy with the outcomes," he said.

"Opinions differ within the Allora community; many would like to see town centre improvements which would result from a Streetscape and not just from a visual aspect. It would be hoped the Streetscape would address drainage issues within the business centre area."

There were discussions that Allora's sewerage issues should be fixed before the streetscape was updated.

"Personally I would agree that sewerage should be considered a priority, however it is a subject that splits the community," he said.

"Having said that, a sewerage system would allow Allora to develop further within the town footprint, and would address possible future community health issues regarding water supply and waste water treatment.

"However, the Allora Streetscape Project has been treading water for many years now. Community consultation and design work has all but been completed and there is an expectation from many in the community that the project should be completed."

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