Longford Urban Design Strategy planning gets under way

ON THE UP: Planning is under way for future upgrades in Longford.
ON THE UP: Planning is under way for future upgrades in Longford.

The push to strengthen Longford’s character, design and economic activity took another step forwards on Wednesday as community members met to discuss plans for the Longford Urban Design Strategy. 

About 60 people met with Lange Design’s Leon Lange and Loop Architecture’s Tony Purse at the town hall to examine past reports and plans for the main street and the open spaces between the village green, St George’s Park and the Mill Dam Reserve.

Mr Lange said development of the strategy would begin when the project’s first stage wraps up this week. 

“The workshop was to let the community know that council really wants to start building stuff in the main street because there's quite a few studies that have been done,” Mr Lange said.  

“What we're focusing on for Longford is heritage, (motor and horse) racing and agriculture.” 

PLANNING AHEAD: Lange Design's Leon Lange.

PLANNING AHEAD: Lange Design's Leon Lange.

Mr Lange said constructing better-established pedestrian crossing points in the main street and more uniformity in street furniture such as seats, bins and bollards was crucial to the town’s development.

“The main focus of a lot of people was the speed of traffic and safety for crossing roads, that came up in just about every conversation. 

“Because the roads are so wide and there's little protection for pedestrians crossing the road, a lot of the elderly people can feel unsafe so that's one of the biggest things we're going to address.”

PROGRESS: Northern Midlands mayor David Downie.

PROGRESS: Northern Midlands mayor David Downie.

Northern Midlands mayor David Downie said council was keen to begin taking action on past and present planning compiled for the town. 

“We're keen to get some activities in the main street, we're keen to promote al fresco dining on the pavement and get visibility of people enjoying the ambience of Longford,” Cr Downie said. 

“If we can get people out on the pavement that helps draw other people to the town.”

Cr Downie also thanked community members and organisations such as the Longford Local District Committee for their passion in contributing to the town’s future.

“People that are interested in their local environment are invaluable to the council because they'll pursue the interests of what's best for their local area.”