Community to have its say on footpath network in Grove
THE community will have its say on the design, funding and implementation options for a connected network of footpaths in Ocean Grove.
The City of Greater Geelong will call for feedback on the Principal Pedestrian Network (PPN) on the Geelong Australia website’s Your Say page, at drop-in sessions and focus groups in the coming weeks.
Mayor Bruce Harwood said the construction of new footpaths would encourage more walking in Ocean Grove but also lead to safer access for all residents and visitors, including the elderly and those with a disability.
“The PPN is a significant infrastructure project and we need to hear from residents on how they think council should move forward,” Cr Harwood said.
Cr Stephanie Asher said many Ocean Grove residents had shown interest over a number of years for a connected network of footpaths.
“It’s important we undertake community consultation quickly on the design and different costing options, so we can get this very important project started,” Cr Asher said.
In 2016, consultation was undertaken and identified a 22.3 km network of potential footpaths with an estimated cost of $6.98 million.
This option could potentially impact 6,640 properties and take at least five years to deliver.
In February 2019, the Ocean Grove Community Association helped to create a second option by reducing the total footpath length to 11.3 km, which would potentially impact 3,282 properties.
This option would cost an estimated $3.3 million and see the project delivered in three years.
The cost of either option is proposed to be shared between council and property owners, through one of four funding methods: traditional frontage charge; both sides of street share charge; tiered charge based on the distance from the proposed PPN; and equal charge.
Following approval from council on the PPN model, property owners would have the option to pay their contribution in full, one year after the footpaths are built or by instalments over a five year period, with interest.
The first round of engagement in 2016 sought the community’s support for the project in general and received 780 responses, with 56 per cent of community members preferring the funding method where everyone contributes.
A fresh round of consultation will provide the community with a more detailed extent of works and costed funding options.