On Monday 7 April, Council project manager Sky McNamara and designer Mal Fox presented preliminary diagrams and sought feedback from Lennox Head Residents’ Association members and guests on several plans being considered for the rejuvenation of the Lennox Head town Centre.
Three primary drawings were presented. Two of these include one way options: South-bound for Ballina Street and North-bound for Park Lane. In one of these, over 30 new car parks would be created. In the other, car park numbers remain the same, but the amount of open space is increased. The other option maintains the two-way status quo, with increased street beautification.
For full diagrams and information go to the Ballina Shire Council website here.
What kind of town centre do we want in the future?
Many people at the meeting were clearly interested in increasing foot and bike traffic in town, while decreasing car numbers. Some participants indicated that they preferred a focus on increased green spaces and shared spaces, to increased car park numbers.
And while many agreed that parking is a problem in town, many were concerned that increased parking will just increase traffic and reduce the ambient amenity many desire. To quote one attendee — ‘more car parks will just equal more cars.’
Council’s recent traffic count of Lennox Head has been completed and is currently being analysed.
Preliminary results show that 8700 cars were counted in one day in Ballina Street (2 way), while 2500 were counted in Park Lane.
Other streets that are under pressure and were mentioned at the meeting, are Rutherford Street and Rayner Lane.
One suggestion made at the meeting was that the car park behind the Community Centre be converted into a multi-storey car park, but this was strongly opposed by another participant.
With the construction of new estates such as Epiq, and the associated shopping centre construction, several participants suggested the increased use of shuttle buses to discourage car use in the centre of town.
Others suggested that the use of bikes — hire bikes, bike paths, bike racks — be implemented to encourage people to ride into town.
Questions were raised at the meeting about what individual main street businesses require to ensure their ongoing success. The Chamber of Commerce has been included by Council in consultation and draft diagrams are available to the public before any decisions are made.
Ross Park Playground
The initial suggestion that the Ross Park playground would be moved up to behind the public toilets behind the bus shelter has been postponed.
Potential time line
This project is still in the beginning phase. Current drawings are preliminary. Council is seeking feedback from Lennox Head residents and businesses, but there is still a long way to go.
Some members of the Residents’ Association showed interest in completing the upgrade by the Lennox Head Centenary celebrations in 2022. However, Ms McNamara indicated that this would be very tight.
Still to come as part of the consultative process, an online survey will be made available for all Lennox Head residents to fill out. We will keep you posted.