Blackheath master plan to be considered by council

Wentworth Street Blackheath in autumn colour: Plans for a one-way section and angled parking have bene abandoned by council.
Wentworth Street Blackheath in autumn colour: Plans for a one-way section and angled parking have bene abandoned by council.

Plans for angled parking on a one-way Wentworth Street in Blackheath have been scrapped in the latest version of the town’s master plan.

There was overwhelming opposition to the parking plan: Of 119  submissions received, just 2 per cent were in favour and 98 per cent were against.

The reaction has led council to abandon the idea and instead it will introduce more time restricted parking around the village and ultimately install electronic monitoring sensors.

The Wentworth Street proposal was in response another part of the master plan, creating a town square in the main car park.

The square would be created by closing the Govetts Leap Road entrance to the parking area and removing 16 parking spaces.

It remains controversial.

The three land-holders whose properties adjoin the area designated for the square are strongly opposed to it, concerned about access for delivery trucks and garbage trucks. The council report suggests the businesses could relocate garbage areas or use smaller trucks.

There is also opposition to the square from the Blackheath Alliance, a group comprising 19 of the town’s clubs and associations, including the Chamber of Commerce, RSL sub-branch, the Rhododendron Gardens, the Area Neighbourhood Centre and Rhodo Festival committee.

According to council, only 32 submissions were received about the town square, with 50 per cent in support and 50 per cent opposed.

The Alliance has disputed this, arguing that its response was counted as a single submission, even though the groups it comprises include hundreds of residents.

The council report said those in support of the square thought closing the driveway would make it safer for pedestrians. Some submissions wanted the town square but also wanted to keep the Govetts Leap Road access. Council has rejected that as unsafe.

Members of the Alliance are planning to speak at the council meeting next Tuesday. They will strongly support the parking proposal (although believe longer-term plans are still needed) but will seek to have the town square matter deferred.

At an Alliance meeting on Wednesday night, the groups expressed concerns that, in closing off the Govetts Leap Road entrance, all traffic, including large trucks, will have to use Sutton Lane, a narrow road which can just fit two cars side-by-side.

Council will consider the revised master plan next week.