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Car parks top of mind for Lansdowne shopping hub

Keri Mignot, left, with councillor Brent Gare, Dionne Pugh, and Sang Say. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN

KAREN COLTMAN
[email protected]

The future of the Masterton Town Hall and car parks are issues ratepayers are raising with Masterton councillors as they take their Long-Term Plan [LTP] survey to the streets.

Councillor Brent Gare was at the Lansdowne shopping centre on Thursday with Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson and Deputy Mayor Graham McClymont to talk with ratepayers and invite them to complete a survey about priorities.

Gare said he wanted to hear views on council proposals and decisions.

“I love talking with people, this is what I do, and I am really enjoying the street-side sessions,” Gare said.

He said people had spoken to him about their concerns about climate change and what it meant for Wairarapa, and he had heard positive comments about the library service.

He said the issue of where the civic centre would be and what it would look like was a popular topic.

Masterton couple George [Father Christmas for many years] and Shirley Groombridge have lived in the same house on Oxford St for 71 years.

They wanted the Masterton Town Hall retained and were hopeful property developer David Borman was still keen to help with the project.

But at the forefront of the minds of three Lansdowne business owners was what they said was inadequate car parking at the shopping centre.

Parks were forfeited in 2016 for a green space.

Lansdowne Sammies owner Sang Say said there were not enough car parks outside the shops.

He was aiming to open a laundromat next to his lunch bar and said he would need more parking.

“The new restaurant being built next to us will need parking, and the building has a retail outlet, but we have this waste of space at the front of the shops when we actually need parking,” Say said.

This sentiment was echoed by Keri Mignot of the First Class Hair Studio.

“We were ignored when that waste of space went in, and now we lack car parks, and we could also do with a public toilet block,” Mignot said.

“The strip of grass is not used. I would like it turned back to parking space or toilets.”

She said there was no shelter at the seats or any trees on the grass so deemed it pointless.

One of the seats faces the footpath and is unused, but the development meant a loss of about 10 car parks.

Gare committed to taking the issue of the lawn, the bollards, and park bench to the next full committee meeting and invited the Lansdowne business representatives to attend.

“We don’t always get to see what the public give to the council as it can go to staff and not to elected representatives, I am really pleased to hear these concerns, it’s great,” Gare said.

Dionne Pugh, who manages Pampered Paws, said her more elderly clients could not get a car park near enough to her business.

She suggested a taxi stand would be useful and a disability car park.

The next ‘pop up’ survey desk was scheduled for Thursday, November 26, noon to 2pm at the Kuripuni shops.

Copies of the council’s LTP survey can be picked up from the council’s Queen St office, or the survey can be done online at www.mdc.govt.nz

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