Documents provided by the City of Launceston Council to a question at last month's ordinary meeting revealed the road safety of the Myer carpark ring road was deemed to not be appropriate for a proposed bus interchange.
The details came as part of a feasibility study commissioned in 2017 by the council into the most viable place to move two St John Street bus stops to 12 different proposed sites including Dechaineaux Way - the ring road at the current carpark.
Two of the proposed sites, Paterson Street Central, which is opposite the carpark, and Paterson Street East were the only sites deemed to be entirely feasible in their current form.
Council acting chief executive Leanne Hurst said the 110-page and $28,400 study was "extremely comprehensive".
"[The study] provided the Council with evidence-based data by which it could make the final decision to relocate the proposed bus interchange to the Paterson Street Central carpark," she said.
The study said the road safety of the site would not be feasible due to heavy foot traffic using short-term car parking.
It said the issue would be exacerbated by the "lack of formal pedestrian facilities, including footpaths and crossings, resulting in poor separating between pedestrian and vehicular traffic".
In responding to the question on notice council chief executive officer Michael Stretton said the two Paterson Street options deemed acceptable by the study had been knocked back by local businesses.
"The Paterson Street Central option is located immediately adjacent a church and child care business, both of whom advised the council that they would strongly oppose any proposal to re-locate the bus interchange onto this site," he said.
"Similarly, the Paterson Street East option is located immediately adjacent the State Government Office building who were equally emphatic that they would strongly oppose any proposal to relocate the bus interchange onto this site."
Mr Stretton said, as a result, "it was clear none of the options considered ... could achieve community support".
"This caused the council to re-consider its options and it became apparent that the [Myer] carpark would deliver the same attributes," he said.
"It should be noted, however, that while Dechaineaux Way was considered in the assessment, the Paterson Street Central [Myer] carpark was not because it is not currently a publicly owned asset."
In June last year Mr Stretton said the cost of relocating the bus interchange to one of the two on-street options "required a lot of modification and design" and would cost about $5 million to $7 million.
The study found the original Dechaineaux location proposed was not feasible due to a lack of operating space and parking, and concerns about road safety.
The three factors were deemed to result in "major impacts which may be prohibitive for the option".
Paterson Street East was the most feasible, while Paterson Street Central would be appropriate "subject to relaxation of design standards" on four of the nine measures. Intersection operation and road safety were two of those measures.
Mr Stretton said the "appropriateness" of the Myer carpark as a whole was essentially the same as the Paterson Street Central assessment which considered the impacts of buses stopping on the Civic Square side of the road.
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Shortly after the feasibility study was completed the council announced it had purchased a section of the Paterson Street Central carpark as well as the former Birchalls building.
It was then announced part of the site would be home to a new creative hub which would include learning spaces, commercial tenancies and retail spaces to link to other parts of the hub, such as the bus mall and Birchalls' retail space which being developed by the council.
On July 9, 2020 the council paid a $1.2 million bank cheque, or 10 per cent deposit for the Myer carpark to "guarantee the obligations of the applicant (Creative Property Holdings) and undertook to complete the contract in the event that the applicant breached its obligations to do so".
The entire plan was set to cost $90 million to finalise, with funding coming in part from both the state and federal governments.
The feasibility study said for the Dechaineaux site to be used would require the "acquisition of private land at 41-43 Paterson Street".
The acquisition of the land would come as part of the creative hub, but hit a speed-bump when the sale of the car park was subject to a court case.
The federal court case regarding the sale was set to be heard from October 22.
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