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June 16, 2024

Draft Master Plan for Wardell Village Centre 

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Connecting to the river. Image Ballina Council.

Ballina Shire Council says that following extensive community consultation, they have developed a Draft Master Plan to help revitalise Wardell village centre.

Council says the plan identifies improvements to the riverfront and Richmond and Sinclair Streets, including the central business area, which aim to revitalise the village and support long-term recovery and community building following last year’s floods.

$900,000 from the NSW Government’s Local Government Recovery Program

Council has allocated $900,000 from the NSW Government’s Local Government Recovery Program to undertake the project.

Council says that the draft plan, developed with extensive community engagement and collaboration, identifies improvements and actions in three focus areas.

Connecting to the River

Connecting to the River key features including a riverfront pathway between Bridge Street and the War Memorial Hall to an informal riverfront parkland that includes seating, bollard lighting and picnic shelter; a timber boardwalk providing a public connection between the riverfront parkland to the jetty and existing repaired boardwalk, and; a widened footpath along Sinclair Street to provide accessible urban riverfront space with seating and art as an entry point to the riverfront parkland all with Interpretative and way finding signage.

On the street

The street upgrade plan. Image Ballina Council.

Improvements to the streets would include new footpath paving and public seating areas; works to protect the fig trees; safe pedestrian crossing points in Sinclair and Richmond Streets; traffic in the village slowed to 30km/h; opening up the laneway behind Richmond Street to allow for improved footpath amenity; kerb pop-outs at the Richmond Street intersection allow for planting, public seating, and outdoor dining; carparking formalised to nose-in angle parking with micro-roundabouts at the Richmond Street and Swamp Street intersection to allow for turning; two accessible car spaces in Richmond Street, and; spaces for public art, interpretative and wayfinding signage.

Green spaces

The planned community green space. Image Ballina Council.

Community green space upgrades would see community green space at the end of Richmond Street which can be used for community events such as markets; a shared zone (10km/h) with additional carparking on grass to support use of the community green space; public seating and sandstone block edging to support day to day community use; spaces for public and community art, and; wayfinding and interpretive signage to identify cultural, heritage and natural points of interest.

Council’s Manager Strategic Planning, Tara McGready, says not all improvements identified in the Draft Master Plan can be implemented with the available funding of $900,000. ‘This document will assist Council to identify priority areas or seek further grant funding to progressively implement the works outlined.

Council wants community feedback

‘We urge the community to provide feedback on the three focus areas. The key question is, which focus area and which improvements should be prioritised for implementation with the available funds? This will help us to determine the scope and priorities for the first stage of works.’

The Draft Master Plan is the result of an extensive community led design process that took place over several months in 2022 and 2023. This included a series of face-to-face street stalls, online surveys, ideas mapping, and a Community Design Charette Workshop.

Following public exhibition Council will consider community feedback and finalise the plan, which will then be reported to Council for adoption. This will allow Council to commence planning and construction.

Provide feedback at yoursayballina.com.au/Wardell-Village-Centre.

Submissions close Tuesday 24 October 2023.

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