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Lack of vision killing Leongatha

LEONGATHA could have a traffic-free mall as the heart of the community, a place where people could socialise and celebrate the town.

Last Wednesday, Ron Brown told South Gippsland Shire Council of his vision to close the intersection of McCartin and Bair streets to vehicles, and reinvigorate the junction as a plaza of the likes seen in Spain.

The Turtons Creek man suggested the area be paved and planted with shrubs, and attractive lighting installed.

“It could become a centre for Leongatha, which has been sadly lacking for a long time,” he said.

“We have too many cars and car parks in Leongatha, and nothing for the people. Leongatha is a place that we should be trying to build upon.”

Mayor Cr Jim Fawcett said the idea had merit.

“We could dust off a plan that was made 40 years ago that was for the same thing,” he said.

But Cr Fawcett said McCartin Street carried traffic to the Bass Coast and closing the street to traffic would be an issue.

Cr Bob Newton said he had long been trying to push for a bypass of Leongatha linking the South Gippsland Highway with Mitchells Road.

“I just can’t get the support to back it. You are a one soldier army,” he said.

Cr Andrew McEwen said council was bound to abide by planning requirements that specified a certain number of parking bays be constructed per square metre of building.

However he agreed the shire’s major towns needed beautifying, with many empty shops in Leongatha and Korumburra.

“Both Leongatha and Korumburra need a makeover to make them more attractive. They need to be more pedestrian friendly,” Cr McEwen said.

Mr Brown also criticised the design of new shops in Leongatha, saying they should have been built with flats above to accomodate young people.

Mr Brown disagreed with the new heavy vehicle alternate route for Leongatha, saying the route should leave Anderson Street north of Turner Street and continue down Hughes Street and then into Long Street.

The route will now start from the intersection of Anderson and McCartin streets, and then turn into Long Street, which Brown believed posed an excessively tight turning circle.

He urged council to start planning for a heavy vehicle bypass at Mirboo North, warning of the prospect of a serious collision there.

Mr Brown added the Aldi supermarket should have been built on the edge of Leongatha rather than in its current location in Bruce Street.

He said is fed up with a general lack of vision and progress in the region, and is planning to move to Europe, possibly Portugal.

Fresh idea: Ron Brown believed the intersection of McCartin and Bair streets in Leongatha could be transformed into the social heart of town.

Fresh idea: Ron Brown believed the intersection of McCartin and Bair streets in Leongatha could be transformed into the social heart of town.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=11853

Posted by on Aug 26 2014. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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