Cobbled streets, wider footpaths, lots of trees, better signage and cafe tables in laneways are among some of the suggestions in the Draft Edgeware Village Master Plan out for consultation until April 10.
The plan was drawn up after meetings with community organisations and businesses in 2012.
Drawings with the plan indicate that redevelopment of the area could include two storey buildings where possible, with retail on the ground floor and possibly office space above. The supermarket could expand westwards and take up two or three times its current space.
The plan indicates that the shopping block on the western end of Colombo Street currently occupied by the Pharmacy and other retail outlets will be rebuilt. Mention is made of the likely rebuild of the St Albans Community Centre on the site of the transitional centre but does not go into detail about dates. The City Council is responsible for some 1600 buildings and all need to be looked at, repaired, rebuild or brought up to code standard.
The improvements suggested should make the top end of Colombo Street and Edgeware Village more friendly to pedestrians. Cars will still travel through the area at slower speeds and on narrower roads but the sentiment expressed at the earlier meetings was to find ways to redirect vehicular traffic, possibly through a disused shopping block or around Canon Street. This is not possible at the moment but may be one day with property sales.
The area is likely to attract cyclists as well who will use a citywide cycle route that heads down Colombo Street and Trafalgar Street to the north. The plan also mentions a potential increase in car traffic as a result of the planned arterial route ending in the area but does not address that issue. Nor does it address the redevelopment of other retail areas in St Albans (they seem to be getting on quite nicely on their own without too many planning meetings and documents) or medium density residential developments (terrace houses and apartments) that could fuel the expansion (one storey higher) of the village retail area. No mention is made of the temporary workers accommodation in Canon Street that is likely to be there for 10 years.
Hard copies of the Draft Master Plan can be accessed from any open Council library or service centre or Edgeware PostShop, 76 Edgeware Road, St Albans. It is also available online to download.
For a quick read of the draft document, check out the drawings. Although slightly clunky they do give an idea of what the area could look like. The chart at the end of the document with the timeline also gives a useful overview of what is planned. Details of how to contribute comments are included with the draft.
There have been “plans” drawn up for Edgeware Village in the past, most notably Giving Edgeware the Edge in 1998, but these have not always translated into action. The Edgeware Village Master Plan is one of a number of suburban recovery plans that have been drawn up by the Christchurch City Council.