A former bus interchange in St Albans could soon be turned into the town’s centrepiece.
The Brimbank council will seek state government support to develop a new civic square at the former bus interchange in Alfrieda Street, near Main Road East, St Albans.
The interchange was recently relocated to the St Albans railway station as part of the government’s Level Crossing Removal Project, however Brimbank mayor John Hedditch said what’s been left in its place was unacceptable.
“This site has been returned to council as asphalt – the St Albans community and traders deserve better,” he said.
“We want to create a vibrant space for people to gather and enjoy community and cultural events on a permanent basis.”
The council allocated $150,000 in the 2017-18 budget towards the civic square project. However, it estimates about $1 million will be needed to complete the project, which means it is unlikely to go ahead without state government funding.
Cr Hedditch said the council will write to the Minister for Public Transport requesting funding for the civic square project as part of the state’s Main Road Level Crossing Removal Project.
The council installed a pop-up park at the site in mid-August in an attempt to demonstrate the site’s potential.
The temporary park, which features bamboo structures for shade and shelter over seating and tables, decks and an artificial lawn, has proven popular with the community.
However, Cr Hedditch said the community requires a more permanent use for the site.
“This temporary pop-up park showcases the possibilities for this currently under-used space, but the St Albans community needs a permanent solution,” he said.
Cr Virginia Tachos echoed Cr Hedditch’s sentiments, but emphasised the need for state government assistance.
“The pop-up park has proved very popular and we’ve seen that activation plays many different roles. It prevents crime and creates a point of interest.
“The idea to turn the space into a town square is a good one, but it needs to be funded. We need to push hard for this.”