Following extensive public consultation Council adopted the Bellingen Main Street Masterplan in October 2015. Grant funding toward the preparation of designs and construction of stages 1 & 2 has been obtained from NSW Roads & Maritime Services (RMS). Stage 1 is in the vicinity of the intersection at Church and Hyde Streets and Stage 2 is in the vicinity of the junction at Oak and Hyde Streets.
On Thursday evening, 30 March 2017 Council endorsed the engineering and landscape designs for the upgrade of Bellingen Main Street. The current improvement works have been jointly funded by Council and the NSW Roads & Maritime Services (RMS).
The removal of camphor laurel trees has been the subject of much community debate over some years however the damage to Council infrastructure and private property, as well as the lack of disability access to the current Church and Hyde Streets was enough for Councillors to unanimously endorse the plans.
Council’s Mayor, Cr Dominic King was pleased with Council’s decision, stating “These works focus on upgrading the public space to deliver improved pedestrian safety and enhancing access and mobility through the provision of new footpath paving, removing uneven pavement, providing ramps and crossings with tactile markers and easy to negotiate spaces.”
“In addition the new plan will create quality meeting and gathering spaces for people, delivering improved public amenity with additional seating, establishing high quality landscaped spaces within the main street including new gardens and tree planting”, added the Mayor.
At the junction of Oak Street and Hyde Street the design creates a landscaped island around the cenotaph which will enhance the space for Anzac ceremonies as well as providing a community space, upgrading footpath and improving pedestrian access, reducing the width of road pedestrian have to cross at both Oak Street and Hyde Street. The street trees within the Oak Street road pavement area will be protected by the establishment of islands containing low garden beds.
At the intersection of Church Street and Hyde Street the design incorporates road narrowing with low garden beds, a relocation of the zebra crossing with improved pedestrian access around the intersection and the establishment of a new disabled parking space for the accessible taxi. Enhanced public footpath/dinning space in Church Street will provide a more level paved and landscaped space without the need for an open gutter or uneven road surfaces.
The first two stages of the Town Centre Beautification will deliver much needed amenities, aesthetics and infrastructure improvement.
A Working Party to select suitable replacement trees for the Camphor Laurels in Church Street are due to meet shortly.
Further information including detailed drawings, historic documents as well as a virtual tour can be found on Council’s Engagement Hub ‘Create’ at http://create.bellingen.nsw.gov.au.