Council hunting for CBD parking remedy

20th May 2017 5:00 AM
Ipswich City Square carpark. INTERRUPTION: Ipswich City Square carpark will be affected by construction in the mall. Rob Williams

PARKING.

It's a bone of contention and the source of complaints for most Queensland regional councils.

Parking has also become the hot topic in Ipswich as the start of the $150 million CBD redevelopment draws near.

Next month, demolition of buildings in the CBD is expected to start.

As the long-awaited moment approaches, some business owners have expressed concern "a sudden lack of parking" will drive customers away.

Jim McKee wrote a letter to the editor published in the QT on May 17, outlining his concerns and suggesting the council had not considered the issue.

Ipswich City Council says that's scaremongering and providing on-site parking during the project remains the council's priority.

The upcoming construction works include shutting down parts of the multi-storey Ipswich City Square car park, underneath the soon to be demolished mall.

It currently has space for about 1400 cars.

While the upcoming closures may reduce the number of parks available at any given time in the city centre, the council says it is investigating alternatives, should the need arise.

The QT also understands the car park will only be closed entirely on a short term basis for specific reasons, including revamping the entries and exits.

Business owners in the mall say they're more concerned about pedestrian access during construction than parking.

Voice Hair and Beauty's Tess Claris is confident her business won't be affected too adversely by the redevelopment as long as the council provides parking alternatives for staff and clients.

Planning boss Councillor Andrew Antoniolli says his council has already assured business owners temporary parking options are being investigated.

"Additional car parking options, if required at any time during the demolition and construction were outlined at the information sessions including the investigation of an option of using the QR land," Cr Antoniolli said.

"Our obvious priority is to maintain as many on-site parking opportunities throughout the works.

"The council and the Ipswich City Properties Board are well aware of the concerns of business and traders during the construction period and has committed to ongoing and regular communication and engagement with these important stakeholders to ensure that these concerns are addressed."

Part of that communication included public information sessions which Cassie Doherty from Schudio Studio on Nolan's Corner attended.

She's even hoping all the action from the redevelopment will bring more customers into the mall.

"People are naturally curious," Ms Doherty said.

"The development itself might be disruptive but it could also bring more people into the area because they'll want to see for themselves what's going on.

"I can't wait for the works to start.

"It's going to be so good for Ipswich."

 

I've been here nine years and I've seen everything come and go. Parking is an issue; there are more shops here that there are parks. There's an old Ipswich motto 'if you can't find a park you don't stop' and that's true. We need more free two hour parking. I am looking forward to the redevelopment. It's not for us, it's for the next generation and I love it. Dean DevinDean's Coffee House, Top of Town
I've been here nine years. I've seen everything come and go. Parking is an issue; there are more shops than parks. There's an old Ipswich motto 'if you can't find a park you don't stop' and that's true. I am looking forward to the redevelopment. It's for the next generation and I love it. Deann Devin, Deann's Coffee House, Top of Town Helen Spelitis

 

 

Parking is a major issue that customers raise. It would be good if the council could provide alternative parking during the redevelopment and for example set a vacant block as a temporary car park. They can charge a low flat fee and make some money for the city. As long as its affordable I don't think people would mind. Jo Hart Oh Jo Jo, Top of Town
Parking is a major issue that customers raise. It would be good if the council could provide alternative parking during the redevelopment and for example set a vacant block as a temporary car park. They can charge a low flat fee and make some money for the city. Jo Hart, Oh Jo Jo, Top of Town Helen Spelitis

 

 

Voice Hair and Beauty has opened on the top floor of the Nolan's building in the Ipswich CBD. Julene Simpson (nails), Tess Claris (hair) and Teresa LeLievre (beauty).
We do need to have parking available and as long as the council can do that, I'm not worried. I would be more concerned about ensuring clients can get to us from wherever they park easily. Tess Claris, Voice Hair and Beauty, Nolan's Corner Rob Williams

 

Ipswich City Councillor Andrew Antoniolli's full statement in response to Jim McKee's letter in the QT, published May 17;

There's nothing new in Jim McKee's letter, either in its negativity, it's liberal interpretation of the facts or its scaremongering.

Yes, he has attended two information sessions and yes, car parking during construction was raised as a genuine concern and finally, it was reinforced to those in attendance that the provision of parking remained our priority.

Additional car parking options, if required at any time during the demolition and construction were outlined at the information sessions including the investigation of an option of using the QR land. Our obvious priority is to maintain as many on-site parking opportunities throughout the works.

This was further reinforced with Mr McKee when I personally discussed the matter with him at his business premises approximately two weeks ago and detailed to him precisely the Ellenborough St QR land that was being considered as an option.

Council and the Board of ICP are well aware of the concerns of business and traders during the construction period and has committed to ongoing and regular communication and engagement with these important stakeholders to ensure that these concerns are addressed.

Such alarmist letters from those with an obvious political agenda are not helpful to maintaining proactive engagement and confidence.