THE recent survey to gauge community response to the proposed Foster Laneways Design Project has indicated strong support for the refurbishment of the township’s three laneways.
The Project is part of the greater vision of the Foster Community Association (FCA) town beautification project, which has been generously assisted by a grant through the recent round of South Gippsland Shire Council’s Community Grants Program. This funding is for designs, but not for any implementation at this stage.
In preparation for Stage 2 of the project, members of the public are invited to a public consultation session which will be held on Monday July 21 at the Foster Community Health Centre, beginning at 7.30pm.
Local artist David Bell has been contracted by the Foster Community Association (FCA) to develop some ideas to enhance the laneways in Main Street and the ideas and other input expressed in the hundreds of surveys received have been invaluable in helping to realise what the community recognises as being most appropriate.
David is in the process of completing initial designs for feedback from community and stakeholders which will be presented to the Foster Community Association. These designs will then be refined, after taking into account the feedback, and finalised towards the end of this year.
“We will need to work closely with Council to ensure that the Foster Laneways Design Project is complimentary to the Council’s proposed streetscape amendments that were presented to the FCA at an earlier meeting this year,” Ms Matthews said.
The current project funding is specifically for the Planning Phase, namely:
- The preparatory work of determining and liaising with the owners of the laneways.
- Consultation with primary stakeholders and the community.
- Ultimately – the planning and design of the three most-used laneways in the Main Street, which have been nominated by the FCA (providing this is feasible within the various constraints).
The laneway between the supermarket and the fish shop is the most frequently used by the community and wider public. This laneway will be subject to detailed planning, including formal survey work, engineering plans and technical drawings. The principal owner of land in this laneway is the South Gippsland Shire Council. Concept plans will be prepared for the other lanes.
The Planning Phase will be completed before the end of the year. The next phase, for which funding will need to be sourced, will be for the Implementation Phase. The Foster Community Association hopes that the groundswell of public support for beautifying the laneways will assist them to raise the necessary funds.
The FCA is aware that some of the laneways are privately owned.
“An important part of the process so far has been liaising with all property owners, and these conversations have been largely supportive of the FCA’s vision to beautify the town; we really hope to produce designs that work for everybody,” Rebecca said.
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