Have your say on vision for CBD

More shade, outdoor dining, free wifi and play spaces are the focus of a draft plan designed to draw more people into Forbes’ town centre.

Council's Janet Brown and Mayor Graeme Miller with the draft CBD masterplan on display and (inset) some of the concept options.

Council's Janet Brown and Mayor Graeme Miller with the draft CBD masterplan on display and (inset) some of the concept options.

A draft masterplan for our CBD and the approaches to town is now on display through Council for community comment.

The plan – drawn up by Group GSA following community and business consultation last year - presents a number of options with the goal of enhancing “the economic viability, growth and marketability of the Forbes town centre”.

Key to the plan are changes to what is described as the “heart” of town – Templar, Lachlan and Rankin streets.

Suggestions include: installing free wifi through smart poles; extending pavements to allow for more tree planting and pedestrian movement; feature lighting; play structures and toilet facilities in Rankin or Templar Street.

The consultants have offered three options for Templar Street – all involve keeping the road open but do propose replacing some of the parking spaces to extend the paving.

This would allow more space for outdoor dining, they also propose a water feature, shade structure and additional seating as well as more shade trees and public art.

The width of Rankin Street near Target provides scope to extend the kerb to provide space for public toilets as well as a “pop-up” community stall that would be for hire and a pergola with seating.

Similarly, a mini plaza could be created at the corner where Rankin Street branches off Lachlan Street.

Lachlan Street is to be “re-imagined” as a green boulevard with verge and median planting to reduce heat. With feature lighting and banners, this would help draw in visitors approaching from Parkes.

The consultants would like to see the connection between Lake Forbes and the town centre become more pedestrian-friendly with footpaths and tree planting.

Reviews of signage and parking are also recommended.

You can download the complete draft plan from the Council website, view it at Council’s office or attend the presentation at Council Chambers at 6.30pm Monday April 9.

Written submissions will be accepted by Forbes Shire Council until 5pm on April 20.