A decision on the future of Shepparton’s Maude St Mall is one step closer after Greater Shepparton City councillors voted on releasing four design options for comment.
Residents will now have six weeks from today to have a say on their preferred option.
Three of the options suggest re-introducing traffic to the mall in some respect, while the fourth leaves the strip as a pedestrian precinct.
Each of the four would cost somewhere between $15million and $18.5million to implement.
The design options come more than a year after councillors voted to allocate funding in the current financial year’s budget to investigate proposals for the mall.
The consultation period will help council progress to a detailed design phase for a particular option, a background report said.
Initially, a trial re-opening of the mall had been earmarked, but it was not pursued given the almost $1million price tag.
Instead, a different fourth option was developed following stakeholder consultation, consisting of a mixture of one-way traffic, public space and parking.
In a report to Monday's meeting, council conceded the Maude St Mall issue had proved to be a ‘‘divisive one’’ and a ‘‘particularly challenging issue for council and the community for an extended period of time’’.
It is hoped whichever option is chosen will contribute to a central business district which meets the community’s needs.
During consultation, residents will be encouraged to rank the designs and offer feedback to help indicate particular elements which resonate.
It is hoped any redevelopment will attract new visitors and shoppers, for increased visitation to provide a chance to leverage more trade and to incentivise new business and property investment.
Option 1: Re-introduction of two-way traffic and on-street car parking between Fryers and High Sts: cost $15.8 million.
Option 2: Introduction of one-way traffic and on-street car parking, entering from Fryers and High Sts and exiting at Stewart St: cost $15.9million.
Option 3: Retention of the mall as a pedestrian open space with new urban design elements and infrastructure upgrades: cost $18.4 million.
Option 4:Introduction of one-way traffic between Fryers and Stewart Sts, with additional off-street parking in the south, accessed from High St: cost $16.4 million.
Greater Shepparton City Council is now accepting submissions on the four designs.
To have your official say on the future of the mall and the new concept options, make a submission here.
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