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More shops and more control over development are two of the things Cromwell residents would like to change about their district, preliminary findings of the Cromwell ''Eye to the Future'' masterplan show.
But housing affordability and job opportunities were also important, and would encourage people to shift back if they moved away in the future, responses showed.
The Central Otago District Council yesterday released the results from a public survey done as part of the masterplan, which is expected to take a year to develop and will be in the Central Otago District Council's 2019 annual plan.
The survey asked three questions: What is the one thing that you like about the Cromwell area, what is the one thing you would like to change about the Cromwell area, and what is the one thing you would like Cromwell to be known for in the future?
The survey ran from July 3-20, and 461 people responded.
Forty-six percent of respondents commented on the community and lifestyle Cromwell offered, 37% on the recreational amenities and facilities, and 33% mentioned the area's natural environment. The town's location and climate also featured highly.
When asked the one thing they would like to change about Cromwell, the main theme was people wanting ''a better mall with more shops''.
''Comments ranged from opening up the mall, pulling down shops, attracting more shops such as Kmart and Briscoes, making the shops more attractive or physically relocating the whole mall.''
Many respondents also wanted to have better control of development (26%) and to have more or better facilities and amenities (13%) and better infrastructure (11%).
When asked what would encourage them to come back and settle in Cromwell if they moved away to study or work, respondents mentioned housing affordability, safe environment, job opportunities and the environment.
Council planning and environment executive manager Louise van der Voort said it was good Cromwell residents were so engaged with the masterplan.
''The next steps are to refine the options that will be put before the Cromwell Community Board in September. Then in October, we'll be having further conversations with the community, including presenting some options on what they think is the best way forward for the Cromwell area.''