Camden town centre's future reviewed

THE proposed upgrades to the Camden CBD will be a hot topic tonight as both Camden Council and the Camden Chamber of Commerce hold community forums focusing on the town's future.

The council will hold another community information night about its proposed reforms while the chamber will bring independent experts to discuss how Camden could be prepared for life once the council moves to its new building in Oran Park.

Chamber president Miriam Roberts said the chamber executive had been actively encouraging people to attend both forums.

"We want to offer a different opportunity for people to come along and hear different things from people in the field and to help the chamber form its response to the council."

Mrs Roberts said the chamber was concerned the council did not have a formed plan for its exit from Camden in 2016 and that the town centre enhancement strategy was not doing what might need to be done.

"We all agree we need to address access and pedestrian safety but there's a limited amount of money," she said.

Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak said the council had held information nights and spoken with community groups, and would continue to do so during the public exhibition period.

Cr Symkowiak said the residents she had spoken to agreed there was a need for more parking and safer footpaths. She said the council would bring new samples of paving materials and street furniture after community members expressed a desire to see the current look of Argyle Street maintained.

"Some people said 'Why do we need more parking if council is moving to Oran Park' but it's our intention to have other business and staff in our premises and renting our offices," she said.

"What we're proposing isn't radical, it's commonsense physical improvements."

Cr Symkowiak said the proposed decked car park had attracted a lot of comment, but at the moment the council was only asking for comment on where it should go.

She said once a site was decided more detail about the number of spaces and the location of bus bays would be released for feedback.

Related coverage: Camden car park upgrade plan challenged

What’s on exhibition:

■ The Public Domain Works — proposed upgrades to footpaths, car park construction, traffic lights

■ The Retail and Commercial Study — how the council buildings should be used once the council moves to Oran Park

■ Public submissions close September 17 

What’s proposed for the CBD:

■ Traffic lights at the intersection of Argyle and Oxley streets and pedestrian signals between John and Hill streets

■ One metre wider footpath on either side of Argyle Street

■ Decked car park on the existing council site on Oxley Street

■ Resurface and level footpath and new street furniture

Find out more:

■ The Camden Chamber of Commerce forum tonight (Wednesday) opens at 5pm for 5.30pm at the Camden Civic Centre

■ Camden Council’s community information night tonight (Wednesday) begins at 7pm at the Camden Civic Centre