DENMAN is set to undergo a multi-million dollar facelift.
Muswellbrook Shire Council released a draft Concept Master Plan for the town centre to locals on Wednesday night.
And, surprisingly, it received a largely positive response.
Mayor Martin Rush presented the plan, prepared by Webber Architects, to members of the Denman Chamber of Commerce and Denman and District Development Association (DADDA), as well as business owners, who were encouraged to give their feedback.
Council anticipates the plan will be the subject of consultation for up to three months and, if supported, the first stages of work could be funded in council’s May budget in 2016.
“We are under no illusion that this plan won’t be controversial – after all, it proposes to convert Ogilvie Street from Paxton to Palace [Streets] into a one way street,” Cr Rush said.
“Unlike the last time a similar solution was put forward, however, this proposal also includes a service lane travelling in the opposite direction behind the shops on the southern side of Ogilvie Street to offset that impact.
“It more than doubles parking, it widens footpaths and makes al fresco dining possible, it makes the centre considerably more pedestrian friendly, it brings off-street cycle-ways into the heart of the town centre and it brings caravans and tourist coaches into the town centre without impacting upon amenity.
“Critically, it also deals with drainage issues which have long been an issue for Denman’s town centre.”
Key features of the design include creating a civic space in Ogilvie Street adjoining Denman Memorial Hall; protecting the heritage character of Denman’s town centre; civil and landscape works to encourage a pedestrian-friendly shared zone, removes the eastern bound traffic lane in Ogilvie Street from Paxton to Palace Street (one-way only) and introducing angle parking on the northern side of Ogilvie Street; more than doubling the parking in the Denman town centre; providing considerable landscaping at the Golden Highway and Palace Street intersection; constructing an eastern bound service road behind the southern side of Ogilvie Street from Paxton Street to Palace Street; and introducing traffic calming and several pedestrian crossings.
The plan also includes ensuring that Denman meets all the requirements of being accredited as an ‘RV friendly’ town and creates day-only caravan and coach parking along part of Paxton Street adjoining a secondary civic space near Memorial Park.
Denman Aged Care board of directors chairman David Roe said the most important thing from an aged care perspective was the plan was pedestrian-friendly.
In his opinion, the plan was “absolutely wonderful”.
“For our aged care people, having a one-way street is much safer,” he said.
“It halves the danger of them walking in the street.
“The new entry [from the Golden Highway] must be very easy to get in Denman, and obvious to see how to get out.”
The draft plan will be placed on public exhibition until January 29, 2016, at Council’s Administration Centre, council libraries and on council’s website.