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Property developer Tony Clear addressed the council at its public forum yesterday, and said he felt in meetings with council staff, they were not consulted on central city changes, but rather were "a recital of what has been proposed".
Mr Clear said the retail environment was fragile and central city business owners were scared.
"They’re scared of any decision.
"You need to hold their hand and make sure they’re involved in decision-making.
"So far, that has not happened."
He asked the council to defer decisions for up to 12 months, to ensure they made a "well-balanced" decision.
Lawyer and Octagon tenant Susie Staley said she believed the council needed to pause and consider previous engagement before moving forward.
Businesses would need time to get back on their feet.
"Take time to engage, not just consult." she said.
She felt there might have been some haste in consultation, and asked the council to "pause and consider previous consultation".
"I urge you to include retailers. Whether we like some of the opinions we hear or not, I think you will get a much better outcome if you bring people with you."