Tocumwal Foreshore building design knocked back

By Daniel Hughes

The motion to approve the design plans for the Tocumwal Foreshore building have been declined.

As per the Wednesday, February 19 council meeting, the Berrigan Shire Council will now explore more architectural options in two weeks’ time.

As supported by Cr. John Taylor and Cr. Denis Glanville, the council staff will prepare a report that outlines the options and issues for conducting a design and construction tender process.

This report will be discussed at an extraordinary Council meeting to be
held on Wednesday March 4, 9am in the Council Chambers.

Tocumwal Chamber of Commerce president Sergio Redegalli has been on the forefront of opposition to the model plans the council has submitted and has finally received confirmation that change could be afoot.

While expressing his concerns to the council at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 19, he recognised that the chamber and council are more aligned when it comes to the new building.

“While we have been in opposition to the plans for the building, we have more in common in the community then we have conflict,” Mr Redegalli said.

“We don't have a problem with the slight extra cost as we view the building itself as a worthwhile project.

“It's a prime location and a sitting spot for the community.

“We simply just want the best option and outcome to be met by the council.

“The design of the building is flawed, and we have expressed this from the start, we are asking that the council completes a proper brief system that sees a competition between different architects to compete for the best possible building.

“I urge the council to consider postponing the judgement in order to get the best result possible and avoid the disastrous build that doesn't fit with the heritage of the town.

“At the beginning the plans were flawed, the council was given poor advice that it should consult only one architect and that architect is out of their depth, something that shows in the drawings.

“Now that the motion was lost and we have had the support of Cr John Taylor and Cr John Bruce we will then have an extraordinary meeting in two weeks to explore the cost of doing the competition.

“I'm happy that they're moving in the right direction but you can't count your chickens before they hatched.”

Mayor Matthew Hannan said that the decision to push to an extraordinary meeting will make the deadline tight but is a result of the council listening to what the community wanted.

“We've always wanted to decide what will be the best future outcomes for the community,” Cr Hannan said.

“The process will make our deadlines tight but he council went with the recommendations it heard from the community meeting the week before.

“It was a case of the council listening to what the community wanted and thought it was a good idea to explore more options with the designs.”