More al fresco dining spaces could open up on The Terrace by Christmas, with a council plan to create temporary outdoor dining areas in the final stages of feedback.
In line with the Victorian government’s directive that outdoor activities should be prioritised as COVID-19 restrictions ease, the City of Greater Geelong has distributed a proposed design to all businesses along The Terrace, who have been invited to provide their feedback via an online survey.
The proposal aims to enable hospitality businesses on The Terrace to accelerate their recovery from COVID-19 by expanding their outdoor dining options, in turn offering more opportunities for residents and tourists to dine out.
Recognising that the precinct is home to a variety of business types who have also been impacted by COVID-19, the design also seeks to meet the needs of non-hospitality businesses by maintaining current levels of car parking, traffic and loading access, and public open space, council said.
Council is proposing to convert sections of on-street car parking along The Terrace into temporary outdoor dining areas. creating capacity for 70 extra diners.
The parking spaces would be relocated between the new outdoor trading areas and the road, meaning current parking space numbers would be maintained.
Existing one-way vehicle access and all loading access would also be maintained.
Council plans to provide planter boxes to clearly define the temporary extended trading areas.
Hospitality venues will be invited to take up a space within one of the new areas and will be responsible for its management, including providing furniture.
“We are working to do everything we can to assist businesses in our region to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and be well-placed to drive much-needed revenue over the summer months,” City of Greater Geelong acting economy, investment and attraction director Tim Ellis said.
“At the same time, we’re mindful of other businesses along the street. Non-hospitality businesses have distinct needs that must be considered, and we are committed to taking account of their feedback during this process.”
A decision on whether the proposal goes ahead will be made once all feedback from traders has been received and considered. The survey will be open to business owners until the end of today (November 20).
Should the proposal go ahead, the city would aim to have the new areas installed in time for Christmas, for a temporary period with the exact timeframe still to be decided and informed by trader feedback.