CONSTRUCTION on the Armstrong Street revamp is due to start shortly despite delays, however, traders are still lamenting the City of Ballarat’s handling of the development.
The $1 million revamp, which will include removing the parking spaces in the centre of the street and replacing them with trees, has been delayed with construction originally planned to start in February.
The revamp is expected to result in the loss of 17 car parks.
The Courier spoke to multiple traders yesterday who all questioned the consultation process which was meant to have occurred before construction started.
Creative Framing Gallery owner Peter Voterakis said he welcomed improvements being made to the street but still said he wasn’t happy with the changes being made to the section of Armstrong Street.
“We held two meetings with traders in the street and the majority were against the changes,” he said. “The consultation process was a waste of time.
“I am more concerned about the process and the process was poor.”
The council was not in attendance at the meetings held by traders.
However, City of Ballarat co-ordinator of major projects Jeff Pulford said a number of options had been discussed with traders as to the best way to deliver revised car parking, loading zones and outdoor eating areas.
“The final design reflects the outcome of a discussion that has been taking place in excess of nine months,” he said.
“Loading zones are now in the preferred position of traders and pedestrian outstands reflect the overall preference of the various businesses in the street.”
“When works commence, businesses on Armstrong Street, between Sturt and Mair streets will still be open as normal, and the project will be working with traders to ensure customer access.”
Stockade Cellars owner Leeanne Campana agreed with Mr Voterakis and questioned car parking issues which plague that section of the CBD.
“They haven’t accounted for the businesses and their growth in the area,” she said.
“I am still not happy but what can you do.”
Ms Campana said she had hoped the council would organise a meeting with all traders to discuss the project, however, this had not occurred.
The project was originally announced in August and is jointly funded by the state government and the City of Ballarat.