Lismore laneway gets million dollar facelift

Artist impressions of the $1.1 million refurbishment of Carrington Street and the Star Court Arcade (top).

Rainforest trees, eye-catching sails and pavement motifs are about to turn one of Lismores laneways (and the arcade that links to it) from a dead-alley into a place where people can meet and dine outdoors.

Urban designer John Dayman, of Aspect North, says his vision for Carrington Street and the Star Court Arcade is to create people-friendly spaces and bring life back to the network of lanes in the CBD. Mr Dayman designed the $1.1 million laneway refurbishment after extensive community consultation.

Ive put lots of emphasis on the entrance to the arcade so tourists looking down there see somewhere to go, somewhere to shop, and not just a dead-end, Mr Dayman said. Its like turning the space into an outdoor room, with the trees giving it a sense of order and the sails to catch peoples eye from Magellan Street.

A Celtic design already featured in the Star Court Arcade will be repeated in the laneway outside, emphasising the space is for people, not just cars. It may even include a water feature, although this is yet to be decided.

The design changes the psychology of the place, he said. There are functional things too, like benches to sit on, bike racks, and rocks for kids to climb and sit on but not big enough for them to hurt themselves if they fall.

Amber Hall, the director of Lismore Unlimited Opportunities who first floated the idea of beautifying Lismores laneways in 2002, agrees the plans are moving along perfectly. She is hoping businesses in Carrington Street will be encouraged to refurbish their own facades to complement the new look.

This will strengthen local businesses and make Lismore a great place to be, she said. The designs are step one then its up to businesses to put in the energy and revitalise the place. I think its fantastic that Council is making a move on the project, particularly using local services and contractors.

Ms Hall said she hoped Council would sign off on the project at its meeting on Tuesday, August 8.

I would love to have it finished in time for a street party in November, she said.

Lismore Councils executive director of infrastructure services, Garry Hemsworth, said he hoped work would begin in September, with completion scheduled for the end of November.

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