Princes St planning under way

One version of how Princes St outside the former chief post office could look in the future,...
One version of how Princes St outside the former chief post office could look in the future, taken from the Dunedin City Council's central city plan. Image supplied
With so much development momentum in the central city south of the Octagon, the time is right to plan improvements to Princes St, the Dunedin City Council says.

A workshop for owners of buildings and businesses in the area is to he held next week.

And on August 14, a public workshop will be held at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery to discuss what people think could be done to improve Princes St between Moray Pl and Jervois St.

The workshops will be similar to those held before decisions were made about street lighting, planting and other improvements recently made in Vogel, Bond and Rattray Sts in the warehouse precinct.

The workshops were the ''start of a conversation'' around the ''really positive stuff'' happening in Princes St at the moment, where there were some big projects going on, including the redevelopment of the Barton's Building, the former BNZ building and the former chief post office, council heritage policy planner Glen Hazelton said.

''There's possibly less vacancies than we've had down there for decades and we want to know how we can work with people to sustain that momentum and what are the other things we could do in the future to improve it.''

It was important to discuss it now as the council headed into its long-term planning exercise next year.

''It will be good to know what are some of the things we could be looking at in the future, but we really have no set ideas at this stage.''

The workshops also brought together building owners who started doing things themselves. The council wanted to encourage that collaboration between them and independently of council.

Some of the things that had happened in the warehouse precinct had not involved the council spending any money or, in some cases, just staff time helping out - for example, street art in Vogel St, which was paid for by building owners.

Even while delivering invitations for the workshops, some little issues had started popping up. For example, people had already indicated there were not enough bins and no recycling bins, Dr Hazelton said.

''It's little things like that that are actually just a tweak to the [council's work] programme and we can do them.''

The work would build on the council's plan for the central city area, which discussed possible improvements to pavements, road layout changes, parking and street lighting, more trees or other plants, public art or historic information about the area, bins, seating or cycle racks.

They were all things that had happened or were planned for the warehouse precinct.

''There are some visions of the types of things you could do, but we really don't know what people will like, and we don't know if there is support for that type of thing, or if we should be sticking to other things first.''

It was hoped people's contributions at the workshop would provide some direction.

debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz

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