I have always held the belief that this is the wrong location, right from the start when it was suggested that the CALM building site be negotiated – many years ago. I have said so on many occasions. Because:
- The size of the area is far too small, which is why the police/courthouse development rebuilt on another site (among other reasons, presumably).
- The proposed style of the entertainment centre is way out of keeping with the heritage looking buildings in the vicinity. It will stick out like a ‘sore thumb’ and spoil the ambiance of the area entirely.
- This idea that this is a cultural ‘hub’ is quite a new invention and I really don’t see the need to have such a huge overwhelming building placed next to the current heritage-style buildings in the area. I recall the fight to keep the buildings from demolition that are currently used by the Art Society and the Acting Up group. Think back decision makers – why was this done? To keep the old buildings restored to their original design and used for community purposes and to enhance the area. Placing the proposed entertainment centre building of the current design right in the middle of these group of beautiful buildings will destroy that ‘vibe’ for ever.
- Parking – again the lack of available parking in the area is obvious. To build additional parking in the area is almost criminal. I am shocked with the current thoughts that the removal of the tennis courts is resulting in parking area. I stand corrected if this is not the plan for the tennis court area but what a waste of prime land!
I have no idea why the ‘must build everything near the beach’ mentality persists in of this town! An entertainment centre is predominantly an inside activity area – views of the ocean are not necessary.
This facility is a ‘want’ of the community and I agree with that entirely but NOT in that location. There are better locations close to the CBD. One suggestion I made many surveys ago was the use of the land opposite Churchill Park that was an accommodation premises (Brown/Duchess Street corner). Another was the use of the land along Causeway Road – plenty of room for scope, parking, and would be a great entrance to our town. Unfortunately, there is a road and a roundabout there now – not particularly the best look for entrance to a town! Another possibility is the vacant land opposite the Old Butter Factory and the private land across Brown Street which is currently vacant as well. Close to the CBD, plenty of space for expansion and the ‘dreaded’ parking issue.Choosing a more suitable location to start off at a lesser cost to the community, with room to grow and expand with arising needs of the community is a far better option that what is proposed at this current time. Even if the project is put on hold at this time, it will give the opportunity to look for a more suitable site with more potential than the current Queen Street location.