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Trees to feature in McNamara Street facelift

By February 18, 2021February 19th, 2021Future City, News

The planting of twenty new trees in McNamara St (between Summer and Kite St) is set to be highlight of Orange City Council’s latest element of the Future City CBD upgrade plans.

The Council today released the design of the McNamara St upgrade which also includes:

  • festoon lighting that transforms the car park into a venue for markets or festivals
  • murals on walls in seven locations along the street
  • a new timber-framed seating area, which can be used by passers-by during the day and for outdoor café seating at night
  • the city’s first two pop-up retail stores, based in converted shipping containers
  • extending the new Summer Street Whiteway footpath lighting into McNamara St, with light poles spaced every 15 metres

Orange Mayor Cr Reg Kidd said he’ll be excited to see the first of the Future City projects get under way.

“Changing the design of a complex area like Summer Street was always going to take longer,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “That’s why we’re not scheduled to start work on the main street until the third year of a three year program.”

“But that doesn’t mean we can’t get stuck in straight away, to really lift the quality and attractiveness of our side streets. These smaller laneways like McNamara Street have heaps of character. They can quickly can become attractive places where people will want to gather, or shop in as they pass through on the way to Summer Street.

“There are currently no trees in this block, so the new plantings will show what can be done in future in other parts of Orange. We’re looking at two different species: a tall column-shaped tree along the eastern side and a wide canopy tree on the western side. We’re also going to be using underground cell structures which let the trees grow but are designed to stop the trees’ roots damaging the roads and footpaths.”

Pending availability, the two tree species proposed are Pin Oaks (Quercus Palustris- Green pillar) on the eastern aside and Scarlet Oak (Quercus Coccinea) on the western side. The trees will be planted about one metre from the kerb using a cell structure that’s two metres wide by seven metres long.

15 of the trees will be planted in tree cells. Five trees will be planted in existing garden beds.

“The trees will be positioned to maximize parking along the street. The use of tree cells lessens the loss of parking spaces.  They’re designed to be trafficable, so that a car can park safely over the roots.”

Orange City Council’s Employment and Economic Development Committee chair Cr Tony Mileto said the design process has already included consultation with business operators in the area.

“We’ve already been talking with business operators in that street and we’ve already been able to incorporate some of their ideas. Their feed-back means there’s going to be one extra loading zone further along the block at the back of the ALDI building.”

“With the proposed plans now on display, we’re looking forward to the wider community now having their say before we can bring this ideas back to Council and then move on with this work. There’s no change to the current one-way traffic.”

Hear the stories behind the news in ‘The Orange Podcast’

Business operators along McNamara Street have welcomed the upgrade, including co-owner of The Grocer & Co Organics, Madeline Schmidt.

“We’re excited to see plans to transform our street,” Ms Schmidt said. “It’s great that there is a focus in this end of town. It’s been nice to be part of the urban development and some decision-making. “

“It’s a great feeling knowing that we were included in those processes and were able to have our say to help our business and other businesses along McNamara Street continue to grow.”

Owner of Pilates Movement Therapy Studio, Veronica Sutherland said the facelift will be a boost for new businesses in the area.

“In the last few years there has been a lot of new businesses come to the lane and now we’ve got multiple shop fonts that are really well attended and innovative,” Ms Sutherland said. “So to have the lane look prettier and be more user friendly will be fantastic.”

“Murals will bring life into what is now a little bit of a cement jungle.  Seeing how the renovation of The Hive has lifted the street and to know that other businesses will now get the same opportunity but at Council’s expense is truly so exciting.”

To see the plans and have share your ideas go to YourSay Orange.

The deadline for comment is Wednesday 24 February

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