Margaret River is an important town in the South West with 13,000 residents and some 500,000 visitors a year. In 2010, Lonely Planet voted Australia’s South West one of the world's Top 10 Regions, with the town of Margaret River being a key destination. The Margaret River town centre and main street redevelopment project is focused on creating a pedestrian friendly place along Bussell Highway within the centre of town.
The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River understands the importance of an inviting town centre and a pedestrian friendly main street to the health and well being of the community. As part of the strategic Margaret River SuperTown Growth Plan for 2035, the Shire seeks to rejuvenate the town centre of Margaret River. The main street redevelopment focuses on the quality of the public realm of Bussell Highway as it passes through the town.
The objective is to relocate heavy vehicles and high-speed commuters away from the centre of town and encourage increased pedestrian movement along a safer main street. The design integrates best practice water sensitive urban design techniques with new hard landscaping, paving, seats, benches and street trees to improve pedestrian amenity. Lighting will provide improved safety levels for those using the main street. At the southern gateway to the main street, the existing park will be upgraded to provide shelters, additional paths and links to the main street. At the northern gateway is an area of natural bushland linking to the river and opportunities for mountain biking to the north-west.
There have been challenges that the design of the main street has successfully addressed. These challenges have been met through comprehensive collaboration with the relevant stakeholders before establishing design outcomes.
Consultation resulted in the main street redevelopment plan specifically identified the following design initiatives:
- Reduced Bussell Highway road reserve through increased pavement widths and plantings.
- Traffic management along Bussell Highway such as, planted median strips.
- Inviting shared street surfaces within the town square.
- Increased number of sheltered resting places and shade trees in the main street.
- Improved pedestrian amenity by providing pedestrian bridges over planted swales within adjoining parks.
- Provide greater access to Reuther Park.
- Increased cycle paths linking to the mountain biking area to the north-west of the town.
- Continued support for shop front awnings to protect pedestrians from sun and rain.
- Support new development to provide an active edge orientated toward the main street, including alfresco terraces.
- A town square or festival precinct area identified at the intersection of Bussell Highway and Wilmott Avenue, central to the main street.
- Recommended built form around the town square area to support a lively community area.
The Shire will continue to develop and adopt planning policies and provisions to support the long term vision established by the main street redevelopment plan.
- Shire of Augusta-Margaret River
Approximately $8.29 million. The Shire will receive $5.49 million from Royalties for Regions funding and will contribute $2 million funded through the sale of Shire land.
A centre based on main street development principles has a positive impact on health, economic, environmental, social and use indicators.