Brighton streetscape plans and report ready for review

THE process of planning to revitalise the town centre of Brighton is well underway and it is now at a stage where draft plans are being put to the community for input and consultation.

Brighton Council commissioned Tasmanian environmental planning and landscape architecture firm Inspiring Place Pty Ltd to look at ways of improving the general appearance, accessibility, safety and functionality of the Brighton town centre along the Midlands Highway between Elderslie Road in the south and Pontville to the north to coincide with the start of the Brighton bypass.

Brighton’s Mayor Tony Foster said Council believed it was important to ensure that planning was well in place for the changes that the bypass would effect to the municipality.

“As a Council we recognised that we needed to be fully prepared for the changed dynamic and that is why we commissioned Inspiring Place to help our community moving forward and we are now well down that track with draft plans ready for further community input and consultation,” Cr Foster said.

“The plans follow input from a community forum in March this year as well as extensive consultation with businesses and those operating community facilities fronting onto the Midlands Highway. They are now at a stage for further community discussion,” Cr Foster said.

Inspiring Place principal, John Hepper said the purpose of the plan was to consider how the streetscape could be enhanced as a place for the local community to work, visit and enjoy in advance of the by-pass reducing passing traffic.

“Brighton will be a place where people feel proud to live and work; a place that builds business, connects community and that enhances the local environment,” he said.

The main recommendations are for:

•  Narrowing of the highway corridor to create a people friendly setting for daily life.
•  Significant improvements to pedestrian safety through creation of crossing points, a shared-bike and pedestrian path on the north side of the road and pedestrian only path on the south.

•  Footpath widening and re-arrangement of parking at the core of the village to create opportunities for the use of outdoor spaces at the front of shops for seating, street stalls and other community uses.

•  Introduction of street trees, street furniture, artworks, etc. to provide amenity for users.
•  Improvements to infrastructure including piping of stormwater to gain area for walkways and plantings (as is already being done at the southern end of town at the intersection of the highway and Elderslie Road.

“Our role has been to facilitate and encourage community discussion and consultation and develop an agreed vision for the future look and feel of the main street.  Many of the ideas shown on the plan come from the consultations we have had with the community to date.

“When implemented, the plan will build community pride and encourage the involvement of local businesses and residents in the future development of their town and its overall appearance,” Mr Hepper said.

Illustrations of the draft plan have been inserted in this edition of Brighton Community News.

Residents and business owners are welcome to review the plan or its accompanying report which will be on display at the Brighton Council offices, Tivoli Road, Gagebrook.

Comments are welcome in writing to the general manager, Brighton Council, by January 5 2010.