Upgrade works to see curb extensions between pedestrian crossings, two car spaces returned

Plan: The amended Linear Plaza design plan for High Street considered at the policy review committee meeting.
Plan: The amended Linear Plaza design plan for High Street considered at the policy review committee meeting.

Council has accepted a plan that would increase outdoor dining opportunities on High Street, but see the loss of eight parking spaces.

The policy review committee meeting on Monday night considered the amended High Street Linear Plaza Concept, part of scheduled upgrade works for the CBD due to commence next year.

Adopted in 2013, the plans include a linear plaza constructed on the southern side of High Street between the two pedestrian crossings. 

“The concept involves an extension of the kerb and paving into the parking lane on the south side of the street between the pedestrian crossings,” a report to the committee stated.

The original proposal would have seen the loss of 10 parking spaces in the immediate area to make way for a community space for “dining, socialisation, placemaking and amenity”.

However, following concerns raised by the Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce, Penrith CBD Corporation and a High Street property owner, the plans were changed.

“The [changed] proposal is for permanent kerb and granite paving extensions in three locations abutting the pedestrian crossing extensions to produce two generous zones for community use,” the report stated. “It is proposed that up to eight existing car spaces be utilised for these kerb extensions, two fewer than were previously proposed.

“Cafes and food tenancies have been consulted about the provision of dedicated outdoor dining licence spaces beyond the footpath and they are supportive of the proposal.

“By moving all dining furniture into the kerb extensions, there will be a return to a continuous shoreline along shopfronts, clear of obstructions for the visually impaired.”

The space would feature the same look and feel as nearby Triangle Park – itself to undergo a $2.8 million upgrade – thereby linking the two areas, the report said.

While councillors voted to adopt the amended plans, Cr Marcus Cornish and Cr Jim Aitken raised concerns over the proposal with Cr Cornish saying he was “totally opposed to taking more parking from High Street”.

Detailed design and implementation will now take place by the council.