Stratford launches into the future

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The future of the Stratford district got a little more focus, with the release of three major plans tonight.

The Stratford District Council used the AGM of the Stratford Business Association to release an updated Stratford economic development strategy, the Future of Broadway concept plan, and the district plan review issues paper. Together these documents are being referred to as Stratford 2035 - Making it Real.

“We are taking an integrated approach by launching these three documents together,” says Mayor Neil Volzke. “The Future of Broadway concept plan is a major enabler to the district’s economic future, as is a revamped district plan.”

The updated economic development strategy provides progress on the actions that were identified on the 2012 – 2015 strategy and identifies six key actions the council will be focussing on over the next two years.

Other key actions, says Mayor Volzke are the establishment of effective communication channels with key business leaders including iwi, exploring the range of affordable housing options the district could provide, and exploring further the role of council and business sectors in education and early employment opportunities.

“How the district markets itself to potential investors will be another focus. We have so much to offer from a live-work-play perspective,” says Mayor Volzke, “And I think at times we don’t do enough to put our best foot forward.”

The Future of Broadway concept plan identifies a set of actions to improve three key parts of the town – Broadway, Prospero Place and Fenton Street at the Malone Gates. A key feature of the place-making is the establishment of a town square, expanding the southern edge of Prospero Place. “Prospero Place is already a major walkway and cultural hub with the library and art gallery,” says Kate Whareaitu Director Community Services. “Making this area larger and more interactive will confirm it as the heart of the town. Connecting these places to the parks, sporting precincts and the Patea River is another major part of the plan.”

The district plan review has commenced with the release of the issues paper. Director Environmental Services Liam Dagg says it is vital the goals of the economic strategy and the Future of Broadway vision inform the district plan review. “The new rules and zones we propose as part of the review need to be created with a clear understanding of where we want the district to head, we don’t want to be sending one message in one strategy, and something completely different in another. Aligning these three documents and processes and releasing them together certainly reduces this risk.”

The Stratford 2035 documents are out for consultation until 2 December 2016.

A project specific Facebook page has been established. Find it here on Facebook - Stratford 2035.

More information on the project can be found here.