The Beagle Editor, Council has made a few attempts to upgrade the Batemans Bay Water front and the adjacent CBD over almost three decades. Three service stations were removed over that time. Fiddling with the car parking and removing a lot of it added to reducing peoples access to Clyde, Orient St and waterfront areas and redirecting parking to the centre of the CBD rather than the edges, affects, as is agreed to by Council's current town planning consultant, the economic viability of businesses in the area. The negative impact of the streetscaping work that went well over time caused more and more to change their shopping patterns and attend the Village Centre and Bridge Plaza shopping centres or the Industrial areas where many of our small local retailers have relocated to for ease of parking and lower rentals.
Removing car parks with the expectations that our ageing population would walk further was never going to be of economic benefit. Having no left turn from the Princes Highway coming from Sydney into Clyde St when the new bridge is operational in a few years time will also be detrimental to businesses in the Clyde Orient St areas yet there are no assurances from Council to the businesses there and there has been no traffic study done on the impact the bridge and 4 lane bypass will have on the CBD.
If Council is fairdinkum about reactivating the foreshore and having open and transparent community engagement about where Batemans Bay is going in the next twenty years the crown lease of the Boatshed etc. needs to be terminated and not renewed. It is no longer relevant, the building has little if any historical significance and the present lease fees give the business a significant advantage over competitors. The building should be demolished and a new modern pier or jetty with a decent attraction, construction provided.
It appears that the Council consensus will be to remove even more parking from Clyde Street foreshore. If that is the case and they pursue a centralised parking mode then a multi deck car park needs to be built right in the Bays CBD centre providing access for all the likely or potential users rather than favouring one complex or another. Ideally a multi story carpark over Perry Street with a bus station and shops below, car park above and then residential for three stories above that to bring local demand back to the CBD. Rising sea levels as a result of sea storm events needs to be accounted or provided for, what ever is decided on. Sea storms already impact on the walkway between the Clyde River Bridge and Beach Rd. The area's population demographics is ageing quickly. That needs to be accommodated as a high priority. More mobility scooters will need to be catered for as well. A decent public transport terminal should be part of any upgrading solutions too. A public transport terminal could include storage facilities, freezers etcs. for those who will be dependent on public transport in the immediate and coming years, as is provided in many other places in the country.