Station Street upgrade plans go on public exhibition

Designs for the Station Street upgrade will be available to the public next week.

Councillors voted to put the plans on public exhibition at the August 9 meeting.

They also committed to a public meeting as part of the community engagement strategy.

This was something Alan Olsen from Highlands Matters called for earlier in the meeting when he addressed council.

He described the proposed upgrade as the most contentious and divisive development in Bowral this year.

“Councillors and community representatives now understand the importance of open public meetings in the process of community consultation,” he said.

Councillors Ken Halstead and Ian Scandrett were vocal in supporting the idea of a public meeting in the interests of transparency.

“I think it’s important we’re very open and transparent and take the public along in the journey,” Cr Scandrett said.

Cr Duncan Gair suggested the meeting be held towards the end of the public exhibition period to allow the community time to study the plans.

This suggestion was supported by Cr Gordon Markwart, who implored community members to do their homework before the event.

“The meeting will succeed if it’s an informed public meeting.”

Some of the main concerns that have been raised through previous consultation include parking, tree removal, the streetscape and traffic and construction impacts.

While some councillors still maintained concerns about the affect of the upgrade on the environment, all agreed it was something that needed to go ahead.

“We’ve got a proposal at the moment and it’s very sound as I see it,”Cr Halstead said.

What the upgrade could mean for Bong Bong Street, Bowral, was also discussed at the meeting.

Once the upgrade is completed and acknowledged to be at RMS standard, Cr Gair said it would provide council with an opportunity to “reclaim” Bong Bong Street.

“Then the main street will go back to the community.”

The plans for the upgrade will be on exhibition from August 16 until September 18.

During that period, the plans will be available at several sites across the shire, including on Station Street and online at www.yoursaywingecarribee.com.au/SSU