25 June 2020

Masterton District Council has approved redevelopment of lower Queen Street, with work set to be carried out next year.

At its meeting yesterday, the council resolved to proceed to tender for construction, with work likely to start in March/April 2021, depending on contractor availability.

The redevelopment includes widening and upgrading pedestrian areas, creating public amenity space, including seating and upgraded lighting, and removing curbs along the segment of the street to facilitate possible pedestrianisation in the future. There will also be new gardens and additional trees planted, with careful consideration given to maintenance requirements.

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson said it was a significant milestone for the town centre revamp project. “We began exploring a redevelopment of our town centre five years ago – it’s exciting to have construction for part of the redevelopment in sight,” she said. “This planned redevelopment gives us a great starting point for the broader revamp of our town centre – the building blocks to add to over time. For example, while we have plans to redevelop the streetscape, we will be looking for opportunities to further enrich the public space with addition of public art and other points of interest that will help Masterton tell its story.

“We’ve been back to touch base with a number of businesses in this area of Queen Street to understand how this planned timeframe would impact their business and were met with enthusiasm about the project proceeding.

“Construction of projects like this always comes with some disruption to business and we will be looking at ways we can mitigate this.”

The council has been working with urban design consultancy Boffa Miskell on the redevelopment of lower Queen Street, Park Street and Bruce Street since early 2019.

The council is seeking external funding for redevelopment of Park Street. The next steps of the town centre revamp project will be part of consultation on the Long-Term Plan next year.

Sam Hepburn, owner operator of House of Travel welcomed the news. “I am very excited about the revival plans for the CBD – as a business owner I have been longing for a plan that brings some vibrancy to our town,” he said. “We need a place where friends and families can connect, a place that lures people into town, a place that creates some much-needed energy. We need to be brave and bold.”

Manager of Ten O’Clock Cookie Bakery Cafe, Monique Kloeg, said she was excited to see the change. “We really support what is being planned. I think it will help create an environment with an ambience that will attract people to this area.”

Images of the planned redevelopment are available at mastertontown.nz

Monique Kloeg