Merimbula boardwalk renewal planning draws good response

Initial feedback around an upgrade to the Merimbula boardwalk has been encouraging.
Initial feedback around an upgrade to the Merimbula boardwalk has been encouraging.

More than 640 people provided feedback on the future of the iconic Merimbula boardwalk throughout July and August, with the key findings now summarised in a Listening Report available on council's website.

Council's project manager, Amelia Souter, said the response from the community was very encouraging.

"I'm really excited by the amount of feedback we received, and I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey or have a chat with one of the team at our pop-up sessions on the boardwalk," Ms Souter said

"The most common reason people use the boardwalk is to connect with nature, followed by exercise; and while the overwhelming majority of those providing submissions would like to see the structure widened to allow two wheelchairs, prams and people walking dogs to pass more easily, there was a consistent theme of retaining the 'charm' through a simplistic, low-impact design.

"A small number of people said that they would like to see a balustrade applied to the boardwalk, however the vast majority requested that these treatments be kept to a minimumto retain the visual amenity and subtle character of the structure.

"Other suggestions included low level lighting, the repair of gravel footpaths, additional jetties, viewing platforms and seating areas, improved signage, safe connection across Market Street, the removal of invasive species and revegetation of native species, and formalising the bush tracks and access to residential streets."

The Listening Report is now available on council's website and will be used to inform the development of a concept design.

Further community consultation will occur once the concept design is developed, which is expected to be around December.

"We are focused on ensuring the boardwalk continues to be a key recreational and nature tourism feature of Merimbula and the Sapphire Coast and the development of the concept design will enable us to seek external funding for the upgrade," Ms Souter said.

The timing of the upgrade is dependent on council securing funding for the project.

For more information visit https://begavalley.nsw.gov.au/cp_themes/default/page.asp?p=DOC-ELU-00-84-55 or contact council's project manager, Amelia Souter at asouter@begavalley.nsw.gov.au.

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