Consultants have been appointed to work with Rodney Local Board and Ngati Manuhiri to create a Warkworth Town Centre Plan to guide development as the town grows.
Community development consultancy Community Think, led by Cissy Rock, and urban design specialists Motu Design, founded by Tracy Ogden-Cork, are developing an engagement process to encourage a wide cross-section of the community to contribute to the plan.
Rodney Local Board says this is because it wants to make sure any future changes are driven by community needs and priorities, as well as excellent urban design practice.
“The Warkworth Town Centre Plan will set the direction for the development of the area and will guide future decisions on place-making projects, public spaces, accessibility and connectivity projects, land use and community projects in and around the town centre and riverfront,” the project management team said in a statement.
“The goal is a Warkworth town centre that meets the needs of the whole community, nurtures and protects the river, and provides a well-designed, vibrant and attractive place for everybody.
“We recognise that local residents have invaluable expertise and knowledge about what will improve the town centre and enhance the stunning riverside location.
“We are hoping that lots of people will get involved and talk to us and each other about creating a great future for the town and the river.”
Key stakeholder groups will be contacted initially, followed by opportunities for the wider public to contribute their views and ideas. It is anticipated that the plan will be finished within a year.
The need for a town centre plan was outlined in Rodney Local Board’s 2020 three-year plan and it is also a priority for One Mahurangi Business Association this year (MM, Apr 25).
The Warkworth Town Centre Plan aims to:
• Reflect a commitment to actions that improve the health and wellbeing of the river
• Reflect Ngāti Manuhiri aspirations, culture and identity
• Identify opportunities and projects for council and private landowners to improve the appearance and functioning of the town centre
• Identify opportunities to improve relationships between community facilities, the town centre and residential areas, including shared outcomes for further development
• Provide for high quality public spaces that will become social and community hubs with attractive and safe pedestrian connections
• Improve accessibility of the town centre for all modes of transport – walking, cycling, public transport and parking
• Create a sense of place that reflects the diversity of the culture, history, people and their connections to the place
• Illustrate best practice community engagement and urban design