Bangalow’s citizens aren’t normally given to introspection, unless it’s at a yoga class. But next week’s Chamber of Commerce meeting will be devoted entirely to considering the future of the village and its disappearing historic heritage.
Tuesday evening’s talkfest will look both backwards and forwards.
As long ago as 1994 a Main Street Plan was drawn up for Bangalow, following two years of community consultation. While some key elements were implemented, many of the community’s preferred ideas never transpired.
Now Byron Shire Council is set to convene a ‘place creation workshop’ to dust off the old plan and start afresh.
In preparation, the chamber’s Carolyn Adams and Jeff Lovett conducted a survey of its members and found that 84 per cent supported a plan (originally floated in 1994) to connect Station Street to Leslie Street via a second rail crossing to take traffic pressure off Byron Street.
Some 95 per cent supported putting powerlines underground in Byron and Station streets while 78 per cent thought traffic flow could be improved by better use of Station and Deacon streets.
Other issues that perturbed the town’s burghers in another recent survey included:
- a tired streetscape with little adherence to heritage colour schemes;
- the ad-hoc removal of street trees for works, which were subsequently not appropriately replaced;
- an unsafe pedestrian crossing and a dysfunctional traffic model that encourages u-turns in Byron Street to access parking;
- the demolition of a heritage listed house in Station Street, with the accompanying fear that Bangalow’s heritage status could be eroded;
- lack of tourist accommodation in the village.
One ‘big idea’ suggested was to use a connected Station/Leslie street as a one-way town bypass heading west with the full length of Deacon Street to perform the same function heading east.
Another bold suggestion was to enlarge the existing industrial estate or create a second estate on the edge of town to cater for businesses that don’t fit in with the village’s heritage character.
The meeting is open to members of the Bangalow Chamber of Commerce only.
Echonetdaily understands a number of other Bangalow community groups will be holding their own meetings in due course.