See Council document here >> Streetscape draft DCP

Response to Council

The Berry Forum provides the following comments in relation to the document currently on public exhibition.

It is noted the document primarily deals with the design/construction of footpaths, associated furniture (eg, seats, bin enclosures) and street tree planting within the central part of Berry as per the map included (Berry CBD).  It does not deal with Building finishes despite a Streetscape Study commissioned by Council (and the NSW Heritage Council) in 1988 which made a number of recommendations including relocating powerlines underground within the core Queen St.  Shopping Precinct – if carried out this would make a significant improvement to the attractiveness of the town centre. It is noted Council often promote Berry as the Northern gateway to the Shoalhaven as well as its historical links.

The volume of pedestrian traffic within Berry continues to grow at a significant rate and parking has reached saturation point at various  times of the day on many days of each month – the growth is driven by the increased number of local residents/ businesses and perhaps more dramatically by the significant growth in tourist/visitor numbers and public events. Each year seems to reach a new level of pedestrian activity and it is also common for many cars to park well outside the designated CBD area often 100’s of metres from the nearest footpath. With the absence of footpaths in this area, foot-traffic is often along the roads and in a 50 klm traffic zone. Further, despite the By-pass being in operation for some months several critical pedestrian hazards remain, in particular at the intersections in Queen St with Prince Alfred St and Alexandra St which could be improved by the installation of Refuge Islands.

The document sets out a number of Objectives (Section 4) and Controls (Section 5) and these are fully supported. In particular Performance Criteria:

  • Pedestrian oriented with high amenity,
  • Safe to use and encourage perceptions of safety,
  • Convenient and equitable pedestrian travel.

The elements within the streetscape standards as outlined in the Technical Manual are generally supported and in many instances are now in place. However, there is no indication in what timeframe the remaining parts will be addressed.

We believe priority must now be given to the following issues;

  • Pedestrian refuge islands on Queen St at the 2 intersections mentioned above.
  • Footpaths with kerb ramps, within the designated area that have increasing volumes of foot traffic using the road – (1) Alexandra St (west side) between North St and Albert Street; (2) Albert St (south side) between Prince Alfred St. and Alexandra Street; (3) Princess St. (north side) between Prince Alfred and Alexandra Streets.
  • Improving nature verges in the areas immediately outside the Berry CBD where no footpaths exist (some of these are waterlogged for days after heavy rain)
  • Review some footpath widths where heavy pedestrian activity, eg Alexandra St between Queen and Albert Streets.
  • Examining relocation of power-lines underground in main section of Queen St.
  • Review of speed zones not only within the Berry CBD itself but also in the streets surrounding.
  • Completion of footpath as per Council diagram on west side of Prince Alfred St (between Queen and Albert St) in vicinity of Apex Park toilet block.
  • Set tree planting plan as per Performance Criteria P8.

The recent rapid growth in Berry as a residential and commercial hub, as well as rate rises well above the SCC average has led to significant growth in Council revenues originating from the Berry area. We strongly urge Council to give due consideration to making available a portion of these Funds to improving pedestrian connectivity/amenity/safety within perhaps the fastest growing commercial area within the Shoalhaven and meet the core objectives and performance criteria as outlined on the Streetscape document.