Sanger Street under review

By Rhys Williams

Federation Council is undertaking a review of the design and layout of Sanger Street and has engaged a local consulting business to get community input into reshaping the streets future.

Projectura has been engaged by Council to facilitate the community consultation to understand the strengths, challenges and opportunities associated with the layout and design of Sanger Street, Corowa.

The community consultation process will include the facilitation of a focus group meeting, face to face interviews with traders and residents who live and work in the Sanger Street area and an online survey to gain insight from the broader community into the challenges, opportunities and desired direction for the development of Sanger Street.

“The project focuses on the streetscape; particularly accessibility, landscape, parking, aesthetics, social connections, safety, and comfort,” Projectura Senior Consultant Kirsty Beattie told The Free Press.

“We are passionate about ensuring that everyone has a voice in planning their community, and that everyone has equal access to their communities, including streets and public places.”

Ms Beattie said that they consulted with a number on local business on Sanger Street last week, and they will continue to ensure that all voices of the community have an opportunity to contribute to the planning of their town.

“We are now engaging with businesses and residents in the study area, and the broader community to understand the strengths, challenges and opportunities,” she said.

“So far we’ve had over 60 survey responses and spoke to over 40 businesses, and we’re hoping to speak to more businesses over the coming week. 

“The next step is to analyse and document the information and make recommendations.”

Ms Beattie said the community has been enthusiastic throughout the early stages of the process and they will soon have some findings to recommend to council.

“We’ve had a really positive reception from the community, with people eager to have their say and be involved. 

“It’s a little too early for themes to emerge from our consultations thus far. The engagement activities are currently open and we are welcoming the community to have their say until 22 August.”

Phillip Nielsen, Director and Architect at Regional Design Service on Sanger Street, thinks council have taken the right approach to engage the local community through this process, which he thinks will ultimately achieve a good outcome.

“I think the process council is undertaking to look at options to upgrade Sanger Street is the right approach with the community consultation,” he told The Free Press.

“From what we’ve seen historically there hasn’t been a lot of consultation with the community, or if it has it’s been after decisions have already been made.

“Going about it this way enables the community to really have their say and engage and council can take a solid brief to a landscape architect or urban designer to deliver an outcome.”

Mr Nielsen said that he thinks outside of the cosmetic fixes, the street’s functionality also needs to be addressed.

“While we need to fix the unsightly concrete and brick and the mix match of it all, there’s all these fundamentals that also need to be addressed.

“We’ve got cars out the front hitting their bumpers on the curb, there’s acorns dropping from the trees that people are slipping on and people not being able to cross the road –  it’s things like this that we need to brief a future design team with.”

Outside of fixtures to the exterior of the street, Karen St. John at Flooring Xtra is hoping that council can apply more pressure to landlords to provide maintenance to their shops.

“Some of the landlords need to provide maintenance to the shops because some of the conditions are shocking.

“Here at our business we’ve got a leaking roof and blocked guttering that needs to be fixed,” she said.

“Ultimately if the shops are maintained a little better, then  people are more inclined to want to come and shop here.”

The Sanger Street Streetscape Project been investigated by Council previously and those findings will be utilised as part of this consultation process with Projectura. 

If you would like to have your say on the future of Sanger Street, a survey can be completed on the Federation Council website before Friday, August 23.