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Have a say on design plans for Frederick Street precinct

Looking south along Frederick Street.

Have your say on the plans to upgrade Frederick Street and Mechanics Lane in Castlemaine.

Monday 22 February 2021

Frederick Street and Mechanics Lane in Castlemaine are earmarked for an upgrade, and Mount Alexander Shire Council is seeking community feedback on the landscape concept design plans to improve the precinct.

Under the plans the precinct, which is a natural pedestrian thoroughfare between Mostyn and Lyttleton streets, will become a shared street that allows safer access for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

“The plan outlines the range of elements to improve the amenity of the area, including landscaping, street furniture and lighting, all while maintaining historical characteristics,” said Jess Howard, Director Infrastructure and Development, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

“The deep gutters and poor condition of the road pavement and footpath, particularly on the southern end of Frederick Street, along with its central location, are just some of the reasons why this area is identified for improvements,” she said.

This is the first major project planned in the Castlemaine CBD following Council’s adoption of the Castlemaine Town Centre Streetscape Plan and Design Standards in 2020.

Local residents and businesses provided considerable input into the Castlemaine streetscape plan, which included aspirations for the Frederick Street precinct. Feedback included improving pedestrian and cycling access along with landscaping and plantings, maintaining vehicle access and on street car parking, and increasing seating and opportunities for public art.

The landscape concept designs have incorporated these elements, with a focus on amenity, pedestrians, vehicles, art, heritage and plantings.

“Under the proposed plans we intend to reconstruct sections of the existing roadway level with the footpath (at-grade), essentially making the precinct ‘kerbless’. This will significantly improve accessibility in this central location,” said Ms Howard.

“The stormwater drainage will be upgraded, and there will be a greater focus on landscaping, including street trees and boxed garden beds with low level vegetation,” she said.

The granite pavers in the deep stone gutters will be reused and incorporated into the streetscape improvement works.

Nine parking spaces will be retained on the western side of the Frederick Street between Mostyn and Lyttleton streets. Street furniture and lighting will be added to fit with the heritage elements of the town.

Council staff have met with neighbouring businesses to ensure the proposed designs allow suitable access to retail loading docks and waste and recycling collection. They have also sought feedback from Mount Alexander Shire Disability Advocacy Group (MASDAG).

“Now it’s the community’s turn to provide feedback on the plans. We want to know what you like about these plans, what you would change, things we may have missed, or other ideas we should consider,” said Ms Howard.

Feedback will be open until 5.00pm on Monday 22 March. Community input will inform the next stages of design.

Council’s project manager and consultant landscape architect will hold two drop in sessions for community members to come along and discuss the plans and share ideas.

Event details
Drop in sessions during these sessions to discuss the landscape concept plans with our team.

Session one: 4.00pm to 5.30pm on Thursday 4 March at Ray Bradfield Room at Victory Park in Castlemaine.

Session two: 6.00pm to 7.30pm on Thursday 4 March at Ray Bradfield Room at Victory Park in Castlemaine.

You can also view the plans on display along Mechanics Lane, in the shared foyer for the library and Phee Broadway Theatre, Castlemaine Visitor Information Centre in Mostyn Street, and on Council’s website at www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/HaveYourSay. Complete a short survey with your feedback via Council’s website or at the Castlemaine VIC, library or VIC.

Council has developed the design plans with landscape architect and urban designers from Tract Consulting. They aim to complete designs this financial year.

No construction will take place until further detailed designs are completed and budget is allocated. There is no budget for construction in the current 2020/2021 budget.

Image: Have your say on the plans to rejuvenate Frederick Street and Mechanics Lane in Castlemaine.

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