Strategy for more people near CBD

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times

Town planners will turn their focus to residential areas on the outskirts of Bunbury’s central area in a bid to boost the population around the CBD.

It was revealed during a Bunbury City Council briefing session last week that staff will turn their attention to the area bounded by Forrest Avenue, Spencer and Blair streets after the council’s CBD Action Plan was implemented.

Planning and development services director Gary Barbour told the council, the next study to be undertaken in the city would be a housing strategy.

“The specific focus of that will be around how we get more population both in and in close proximity to the CBD,” Mr Barbour said.

He said one of the issues facing the CBD was the cost of building up – such as high rise apartments – but there was potential for other “products” like townhouses which were more affordable.

He said the council just needed to find appropriate locations for potential developments.

“The area immediately around the CBD is a little bit restrictive,” he said.

“Obviously Marlston Hill is brand new, the tree street area you probably couldn’t develop, so that area (Spencer Street and Forrest Avenue) does have some potential, but there obviously needs to be a pretty comprehensive review of that.”

Mayor Gary Brennan told the Bunbury Herald that there was already some good examples of townhouse developments in the area and the plan would complement the future vision of multi-storey apartments in the CBD.

“I think we’re going to see more of that (townhouses), so our planning team are going to focus on that area next and just see what opportunities there are for further rezoning to increase the density for residential,” Mr Brennan said.

“I think that would be pretty welcome by the property owners in that area, but we’ll see.”

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