City of Launceston aldermen endorse in principle the City Heart plans for Civic Square

Plans for the next stage of Launceston’s City Heart project has received in-principle support from the City of Launceston Council.

The next stage of City Heart will be to redevelop Civic Square into a central space for community gathering and events.

The concept design includes new play equipment, landscaping, pavement, seating and shelter at the eastern end of the square and small-scale improvements to the laneway between the LINC and St Andrews church.

It will also include a new flexible central event area with a stage and grass terrace landscaped seating.

There was also consideration to improvements to pedestrian safety at the western end of the square and other works including further seating, landscaping and associated small-scale infrastructure to support future events.

The development application was put forward to the council in February and was completed by GHD.

The motion to support the designs in principle was unanimously carried at the City of Launceston council meeting on Monday.

An amendment to the original motion was carried to support the design “in principle” as the redevelopment concept plans will be considered at a special meeting of the council next week.

Alderman Janie Finlay raised the issue at the council meeting, saying it would be more appropriate to discuss details of the design at the special meeting.

Deputy Mayor Rob Soward, who moved the motion, said he was happy with the way the project had progressed through the community and the council.

“The extensive process undertaken by council staff and the various ways we’ve done that has been very, very important,” he said.

“People have had the opportunity to have their say.”

A number of problems with the public space was identified during public consultation in 2014.

Some issues raised included the under-utilisation of the square, the limited infrastructure for events, uninviting seating and limited provision of weather-protected areas.

As part of community consultation, community member Julie Walpole expressed concern about the removal of the multicultural fountain in the square.

She presented a petition with 90 signatures to the council in January.

Alderman Hugh McKenzie said the council had spoken to the petitioner since it had been tabled.

“We’ve spoken to the lady since and told her about the alternative proposed location. She has said verbally that she’s happy with that but we are just waiting to receive that in writing,” Ald McKenzie said.