Eurobodalla Shire Council has voted in favour of the Batemans Bay Waterfront Masterplan and Activation Strategy.
Council’s planning director, Lindsay Usher, said the plan positions the CBD foreshore as an inviting backdrop for Batemans Bay’s residents and visitors.
“We want people to stay longer,” he said. “This plan provides a blueprint so local business can flourish and visitors come back year-round – and tell their friends – because there’s always something happening at the Bay.
“We need an interesting, comfortable and safe environment that everyone can enjoy – big shady trees, better parking options, more seats and easy access to the water. I can see the Clyde full of people, day and night, with all kinds of activities going on.
“There’s too many vacant shops. We need to change things up and get people to stop, spend and stay in Batemans Bay.”
The plan has been developed by Eurobodalla Shire Council after extensive discussions with local community groups, business and tourism enterprises, landholders and planning experts.
Council’s strategic planning officer, Angie Radford, said the shared vision for the waterfront paved the way to better use of some of its open areas.
“The business chamber is already working with council to make some of the smaller public spaces more inviting to buskers and performance artists, using the draft masterplan for guidance,” she said.
The plan includes the creation of a youth activity space with multiple play opportunities, improved pedestrian accessibility, a waterfront square with interactive installations, street furniture and improved access to water.
The plan also outlines product displays; experiential retail; alfresco dining; busking and entertainment in collaboration with businesses and changed road pavement; parking alignment; seating; shade and open green spaces; improved infrastructure for marine-based tourism; and a staged implementation which retains the Clyde Street boat ramp at Smoke Point.
“Overwhelmingly, people are looking for more to see and do, with free passage along the foreshore and into the CBD,” said Ms Radford. “Easy access to the water is a priority for many, with wider paths and steps – not rocks – down to the water, and some sandy areas, too.”
The endorsed plan allows for the Clyde Street Boat Ramp to remain, with the option for removal at a later date. It is currently closed during construction of the new Batemans Bay bridge.
The Batemans Bay Waterfront Masterplan and Activation Strategy is online at the Eurobodalla Shire Council website.
Original Article published by Sharon Kelley on About Regional.