Proposed parking plan must be deferred
I only deal in facts, madam mayor (“Mayor outlines facts on new town centre strategy”, Camden-Narellan Advertiser, August 27).
Yes, you have spent money on consultants to justify the council’s ideas for Camden Town Centre, but they still fail.
For example, the council’s recent traffic and parking consultant studies conclude and I quote, “additional multi-deck car parking is not required. However, in the medium to long term, consideration should be given to providing a multi-deck car park on the Oxley Street site”.
But wait, you also say in your letter that “Camden contributions plan 2011 provides $3.6 million for a decked car park in Camden”, and “this money cannot legally be used for any other purpose”.
If we look at the council’s 2011 plan it provides for a John/Murray street decked car park. There is no mention at all of the Oxley Street land.
Therefore, if we accept the mayor’s advice “that the money cannot be used for any other purpose”, we have to use the John/Murray street site for the proposed decked car park.
Why then is the council putting us through the costly current exhibition/marketing charade for a different, but illegal outcome?
Of course the council could amend its 2011 contributions plan to achieve its purpose, but this has so far not been suggested.
The proposed parking station on the Argyle Street land must be deferred to enable the council to achieve redevelopment of the John/Argyle street block as a matter of urgency.
Such development would include future necessary parking by a developer.
The proposed $3.6 million for parking may then be reallocated (as again proposed by the consultants), or used as an incentive for the development.
If you have similar concerns please contact me on 0417 281 934.
Peter Standen, Harrington Park
Why bother asking?
I attended the community workshop last week at the civic centre with an open mind as to the council’s plans for the town centre upgrade, hoping that the council would be open to community input regarding the proposed works.
The only thing I gained from my attendance was the knowledge that the council has already made the decision to carry out the work and that our input would not change those decisions to widen the footpaths and build a car park behind the current council offices.
I expressed my concern that the car park was being built in the wrong place and that Camden CBD needs a long-term plan in order that the businesses in that area can survive in the long term after council moves to Oran Park.
My immediate impression is that Camden Council is feathering its own nest.
I hope I am wrong, but it would seem that the car park location might have something to do with it renting its current office space to businesses which would require the extra parking.
Obviously having a car park directly behind its offices would make renting those much more attractive to potential tenants.
My thoughts are that the best location for the car park would be behind Larkin Place. It is much more central and would provide better access to Argyle Street.
The widening of the footpaths to allow for alfresco dining would also allow the council to charge the cafes and restaurants more to use that area.
If that extra footpath area is clogged with seating and planter boxes we have achieved nothing.
Pedestrians will still have to dodge tables and chairs and each other as they try to make their way to their destinations but the council benefits from the extra income.
I hope I am wrong with this one too.
My concerns are that when the council moves to Oran Park and the expansion of Narellan Town Centre nears completion, our CBD will suffer a knockout blow which will force businesses to either move or close down.
If that is the case then we will have no need for any of the council’s proposed works .
Michael O’Brien, Grasmere
Need for more disabled spaces
I’VE been so pleased by the community’s response to the public consultation period on the Camden Town Centre upgrade.
There have been many interesting suggestions and opinions voiced — which is the whole point of public consultation.
In particular, the number of disabled car parks was raised with me.
I asked Camden Council staff what our levels currently are.
We have 16 disabled car parks in the Camden Town Centre, which is about 1 per cent of the total car parks.
Australian Standards recommend 1 per cent to 2 per cent disabled car parks in commercial centres, and 2 per cent to 3 per cent in community/recreational areas.
So, we are already lacking.
If the proposed multi-storey car park is to go ahead, it behoves us as a council and community to provide additional disabled car parks – at least to bring us up to the recommended levels.
Each disabled car park requires two regular spaces.
There are a number of doctor’s surgeries and other services often utilised by the elderly and disabled in John, Hill and Broughton streets.
I would welcome additional disabled car parks for the most vulnerable in our community, placed where they most need them.
I have relayed this desire to council staff and I shall be pushing for amendments to the town centre upgrade when it comes back from exhibition.
Penny Fischer,Camden deputy mayor
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