Improvements in Featherston Masterplan go to design phase
Featherston Masterplan is one of WRLC’s six complex development opportunity projects (CDOs)
South Wairarapa District Council has given its planners the green light to advance detailed designs for improving Featherston’s main street and the link between the main street to the train station.
At the Council meeting on 14 December, Councillors endorsed a recommendation to progress a proposed concept plan for Featherston’s Fitzherbert Street/SH2, and a concept plan to enhance the walkway to the station.
The Council received substantial public feedback after an initial consultation phase asked residents for their ideas in July and August this year. This process gathered the views of more than 180 people via a survey and feedback from public drop-in sessions.
Mayor Martin Connelly said there were some very interesting suggestions that came out of the process, such as additional tree planting and traffic safety measures along the main street.
“The idea of enhancing the current walkway between the train station and the main street also seems like a wonderful opportunity. There are a lot of possibilities, such as a mini-basketball court, artworks and a greater reflection of the town’s Māori heritage.
“I look forward to hearing more when the draft Masterplan is ready.”
Council planners can now go ahead with detailed designs for a draft Featherston Masterplan. Formal public consultation on the draft is expected in the first half of next year.
Proposed concept options suggest using the existing median strip on State Highway 2 to enhance the amenity of the main street, with wide and generous footpaths on both sides, retention of carparks and the addition of tree planting, as well as retaining a 7.5 metre carriage for traffic.
The Council also agreed to amend a set of draft principles for the Masterplan, with extra clauses to acknowledge the town’s care and future planning for the young and the aged, and a need to integrate infrastructure and land use.
The five principles, based on public comments and feedback from agencies, can be viewed in full below.
‘Our Story’: Five Principles guiding the Featherston Masterplan
Principle 1: Honouring the past “Ka mua, ka muri” “acknowledging the past to move forward”
- Acknowledging that in the past our moana and awa were healthy, providing us with an abundance of kai
- Committed to restoring the health of our moana and awa – getting everyone onboard – including our young people
- Looking for ways to promote sustainable and local food sources
- Respecting the enormous contributions that the community and local leaders have made to strengthening community spirit
- Always working in an inclusive way so we build Featherston together – never leaving anyone behind
- Learning about our history to create shared understandings – moving forward together
Principle 2: Comfortable with being ourselves and caring for each other
- Featherston is quirky and different and that’s what makes us unique
- We are a community of workers, families, creatives, innovators and volunteers
- We are committed to connecting our community
- We take care of and plan for our young and aged residents
- That we make sure existing, local residents can afford to stay here and that there are opportunities to work locally, and/or commute for work
- Valuing our Booktown status and ensuring this remains a core part of who we are
Principle 3: Acknowledging mana whenua, and whānau Māori
• Working with Pae Tū Mōkai advisers to engage with Pāpāwai Marae and Kohunui Marae, and be guided by advice given
• Ensuring Māori have a visual presence in Featherston
• Dual narratives – recognising Māori history by creating opportunities for dual narratives to be expressed
• Openness to shared values – continuously learning from each other
Principle 4: Caring about our physical and natural environment
- We want to feel safe when we are in Featherston whether it is crossing the road, walking to the train station in the mornings and evenings, and having well maintained footpaths
- We have parks that work as cohesive and connected spaces – we need to help make them places where everyone can “hang out” easily, no matter what their age, or interests – make them spaces that bring people together
- We want more beauty in our environment especially on our main street and we will work to make it pleasant for residents, as well as functional as part of the regional transport network
- We want to live sustainably and reduce our carbon footprint
- We work hard to integrate infrastructure and land use.
Principle 5: Doing what we can, being solution focused
- Identifying actions that are possible now – and making a start
- Keeping the big picture in mind – balancing the “here and now” with future transformation
- Knowing that this is a journey, working out what we can progress, securing help, expertise and funding from anyone who believes in community and our future.