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Armidale East Mall plans to go on public display

Plans to revitalise Armidale’s East Mall and make it a more appealing precinct for visitors, locals and business owners will go on display from tomorrow Friday 1 March 2024.

Council agreed to endorse the Draft Detailed Design Concept Plans for the East Mall (Draft East Mall Plan) for public exhibition at its Ordinary Council Meeting on Wednesday February 28.

The draft plans for the upgrade of East Mall largely stem from the Armidale City Mall Vibrancy Plan which was developed between 2015 and 2017 in close consultation with business owners.

Armidale Mayor Sam Coupland said previous feedback from the community during the Mall Vibrancy Plan consultation reinforced the need to address traffic flow and increase parking opportunities.

“The overall aesthetic and appeal of the east mall also needed to be addressed due to a prolonged decline in business health with empty shops, little pedestrian traffic and an overall poor streetscape.

“We are very optimistic and excited about the draft plans for the improvement of the East Mall and I am eager to share this with the community to get their feedback and hopefully an endorsement to move ahead and create a vibrant East Mall precinct.”

The Draft East Mall Plan objectives include:

  • Providing an increase in the number of car parking spaces within East Mall.
  • Balancing the provision of vehicular and pedestrian access whilst providing for an increase in the opportunity for street trading activities.
  • Providing flexibility in the use of the East Mall by incorporating opportunities to restrict vehicular movements for special events.
  • Ensuring the East Mall has improved pedestrian connections with the Central Mall (i.e. across the Faulkner Street Intersection) and eastern sections of Beardy Street (i.e. Marsh Street Intersection).
  • Consideration of the East Mall in context with the surrounding road and pedestrian network, with connections to Coles Shopping Centre Complex and surrounding carparking opportunities being of key importance.
  • Respecting and reflecting Armidale’s rich heritage into concepts for the East Mall, including its heritage buildings.
  • Ensuring that there are multiple opportunities for genuine and constructive feedback to be sought and incorporated throughout the project.

As part of the project, Council has involved key stakeholders predominantly made up of East Mall business operators and landlords who have participated in a working group.

“The main aim for the Key Stakeholder Working Group was to advise the consultants and council staff on the challenges they have faced and to share their ideas during every step of the concept plan and into development,” said Mayor Coupland.

“The group has already met two times and provided valuable input and feedback and will meet again following the exhibition of the draft plans.”

Mayor Coupland said the project closely aligns with the ‘Thriving Region’ theme, which is one of the Six Pillars of the council’s Community Plan.

“The pillars set out the key vision and goals for the next 10 years for our region and aim to clearly identify the community’s main priorities and future aspirations and how we as a council will achieve them.

“This project shows clear alignment with the aspirations, goals, and visions for our region, with economic development, shopping and tourism listed in the top three items the community wanted to see improved in our region by 2032.“

The Draft East Mall Plan will go on public exhibition for a period of no less than 28 days from March 1 to 29.

To make a submission and to view the draft plans vist our Your Say Armidale Page. 

Once the exhibition period has concluded the plans may be revised with consideration to the submissions received.

There will also be a shopfront in the mall open from 9am on Monday March 4 to 4pm Friday March 8.

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