News | 28 July 2016

How would you spend $1 million in Tawa? Come and tell us on Saturday

Wellington City Council has earmarked $1 million for Tawa town centre improvements, and locals are being asked to work with the Council to help decide which improvements to fund and get under way.

The improvements are designed to define the shopping area, manage traffic and improve the town centre’s overall character.

The public is invited to learn more and discuss the options with Council planners at a drop-in session at the Tawa Community Centre, 5 Cambridge Street, this Saturday 30 July, 1.30pm–4pm.

“We’re excited to be offering these improvements in the Tawa town centre. They will add appeal, add vibrancy to the area and make it safer for people on foot. The prioritised improvements will get things started this financial year,” says Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

“Tawa is a great place to live and bring up families. Together we can make it even more attractive and offer more housing choice for residents. The Council is addressing Wellington’s population growth by planning together with residents for future housing needs. The proposed Tawa town centre work fits with the aim to create more homes in the area.”

The Council has worked with the local community to develop a suite of possible improvements and there are two broad options being suggested: focus on improving the centre's character, or focus on managing traffic through the centre. People can also select and rank their preferred improvements out of the six offered.

Ideas to improve the Tawa centre’s character are upgrading the Plaza, adding gateway features at each end of Main Road, redesigning the Essex Street junction and raising the pedestrian crossing outside Plan B House and the TAB. This option totals $910,000.

Ideas to manage traffic better through the town centre while also upgrading the Plaza are adding a roundabout at the Main Road–Surrey Street intersection, upgrading the Plaza and installing a planted central median strip. This option totals $985,000.

Councillor Andy Foster, Chair of the Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee, says: “The ideas are based on what the community told us in last year’s consultation.

“We are also looking at minor road safety funding to improve the pedestrian crossing access at the junction of Oxford and Melville streets to the Tawa railway station, and setting up a Business Improvement District. This would cover activities that can’t be funded from the town centre budget, such as shop-front improvements, signs and marketing activities.

“We want our suburban centres to be strong, attractive hearts of their respective communities. That is a critical part of being a really liveable modern city. I particularly want to thank the residents and businesses who have worked with the Council to develop these ideas.

“I also want to thank the Tawa community for the work on housing choice which is closely linked to the town centre upgrade. We are working to facilitate more people living in close proximity to the town centre. This will help address the need to improve housing supply and affordability, provide opportunities for retirement housing, and of course directly add to the economic and social vitality of the town centre in a sustainable way.”

The Tawa community is encouraged to have its say on the proposed town centre improvements by Friday 26 August, 4pm.