CBD plan will be success - Architects confident hurdles can be overcome

By ROXANNE MILLAR

THE movers and shakers behind the revitalisation of the Tweed Heads CBD have hit back at claims that it is already facing collapse. Tweed Shire Council's planning department has identified hurdles that may affect the CBD masterplan's implementation, which is set to go before a council workshop. In a report released last week, planners raised concerns over creating the costly lagoon, which has associated public liability issues, the viability of creating a cultural centre and the required upgrade of roads. During council debate recently, Greens councillor Henry James said his impression from the report was that there would be some things difficult to implement, some things impractical and others quite expensive. He suggested there would be cheaper ways of providing some amenities. Taskforce members Magdy Youseff and Tweed MP Neville Newell have hit out at suggestions that these concerns meant the plan could fail. "From day one this was put together as a plan for the next 15 years that will carry the growth of the town centre for 15 years," Mr Youseff said. "There are 33 different projects involved. If one or two prove not to be viable or cannot be funded then it doesn't mean they won't happen. Everything is interlinked so if one doesn't happen others can." He said the next stage of the plan was looking at the viability of the projects one by one. "We haven't done this work yet, so you cannot jump out and say it is not viable. How do you know what is not viable when the feasibility has not been done?" Tweed MP Neville Newell said he believed, and would ensure, the masterplan would succeed despite the criticisms. "The State Government backed the sustainable redevelopment of Tweed and as long as I am the state member I will make sure we continue to do so," Mr Newell said. "The masterplan recently won a merit award from the Planning Institute of Australia and I am confident this recognition will continue and will outshine some of the negativity from local politicians." Tweed Economic Development Corporation boss Tom Senti said the negative light thrown on the report would not hamper future development. "I have had enough of negativity and believe the challenge is that we have an opportunity and can find a solution," he said. Council's development director Noel Hodges said the report had identified several problems, but overall it was a vision that Council embraced. "If you look at the report we are saying it is great and that we adopt it for the vision of Tweed Heads," he said. "Out of 30 little action things only four to five are impractical." Mr Hodges listed these as including drainage on the cultural site and reclaiming State Government land. "These are engineering things rather than planning things. "I would like to see the masterplan bear fruit." n?What do you think? Let us know at the Daily News, regarding the master plan by contacting our editorial department on 07 55246400 or email subs@tweednews.com.au



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