Beautification idea advances

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A proposal to beautify the north end of Main St Mataura by removing some Alliance Group plant car parks and planting gardens is gaining momentum.

The Mataura Community Board discussed the proposal at its Monday-night meeting and decided to formally discuss the idea with Alliance Group representatives.

Council parks and recreation manager Ian Soper said in a report to the board the discussion centred around the possibility of replacing some car parks on land the co-operative leased from KiwiRail, and developing the land into garden to beautify areas between the Alliance plant and State Highway 1.

Mr Soper said at the meeting the car parks that could be removed under the proposal were in the row next to the railway line.

“Council officers believe the initial challenge will be gaining acceptance for this proposal from [the] owner, KiwiRail,” Mr Soper said in his report.

If the board decided to remove the car parks directly next to SH1, NZTA consent would be required, Mr Soper said.

“NZTA may have to be a party to this discussion.”

Mr Soper suggested the way forward could be paved by having an agreement in principle between the council and Alliance Group before the discussion with KiwiRail.

Mataura ward councillor Neville Phillips said concept plans were drawn up for beautifying the area when the Bridge and Main street programme was mooted in 2002.

Mr Soper said he would be happy to view those plans.

The board decided to set up a formal meeting with Alliance Group representatives to discuss the proposal.

Board chairman Alan Taylor said the idea to beautify the stretch of land by the plant came when a plan to shift the Alliance Group’s car park into the plant site was mooted. That plan has been abandoned.

“And it was sort of talked about then,” Mr Taylor said.

The number of car parks that needed to be removed would still have to be determined, Mr Taylor said.

Mr Taylor was keen to view the early plans that had been drawn up that included the area.

If the plans were found, it could be determined whether they were relevant or could be modified, he said.