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Revitalising town centres

Revitalising town centres

How much should be spent on revitalising North Shore City's town centres to support their future vitality and viability?

The council is asking for feedback on improving the look and feel of town centres in proposal 5 of its draft 2004-14 City Plan.

North Shore City strategy and finance committee chairperson, Tony Holman, says town centres are focal points for communities, as well as for retail, leisure and commercial enterprises.

"But we need a steer on how much and how soon - is our current spending of $400,000 a year enough? An alternative is to spend an extra $900,000 a year which would increase rates by 0.1 per cent per year," he says.

"I realise it's not an easy task as there is a variety of proposals to consider, but people need to think about what's important to them, how much they are willing to pay and let us know."

The council last year considered a report showing that limited funding is available for centre plan work, making it difficult to deliver the outcomes sought by local communities. If the council maintains current spending levels there may not be enough money to follow through on many of the initiatives in its existing town centre plans let alone new ones.

North Shore City has already prepared four centre plans for Devonport, Takapuna, Albany Village and Browns Bay, and over the next few years will create centre plans for other centres around the city. Local residents will have the opportunity to contribute to them. Work is already under way to develop plans for the central areas of Albany and Highbury.

Councillor Holman encourages people to speak up by filling in a submission form on the draft City Plan.

Consultation on the draft City Plan ends on April 22. The full plan is available on the council's website http://www.northshorecity.govt.nz, or can be viewed at council offices and libraries.

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