OPINION: Safety concerns for redevelopment of Nambucca Library Opinion by News Of The Area - Modern Media - August 12, 2021 DEAR News Of The Area, I AM writing in support of the views of Rhonda Davies (‘Library Concerns’, News Of The Area, p13, August 6 Edition) in relation to the Extension Project Plans for Nambucca Library. There are significant public safety issues arising from the present design plans which need to be further explored. The present courtyard area on this plan would be landscaped, furnished with seating and decorative colonnades and no doubt would look attractive. However it would be closed off to vehicles and the only vehicular access to the site would be via a timed Loading Zone. This means that any performers or Main Hall users would need to unload on Ridge Street in the line of oncoming traffic. As we know, Ridge Street leads to the busiest intersection of traffic in the whole of Nambucca Heads and is becoming more congested as time goes by. In fact New South Wales Police have expressed concerns in relation to these plans. They have advised that the loading and unloading of passengers and performers on such a busy street via a timed Loading Zone puts the public at risk of accidents and therefore should be reconsidered. For this reason we need vehicular access to the courtyard to be maintained. On the existing plan there is to be a fence and a locked gate to control access to this newly landscaped courtyard which will be opened up by librarians when the library is open. There will be no access to the facility for most of the weekend, evenings or on public holidays. Public spaces should be open to the public and visitors at all times and particularly at leisure times outside of the working week. A locked off facility sends unwelcome messages to visitors and residents alike. We would have a beautiful courtyard with a beast of a plan to control it. There would be a $2 million development shut off for most of the time behind a locked gate. This is not good town planning. Most of us support the idea of the development of library facilities and understand the need for additional space for library staff and users . However this site is too constrained to offer sufficient expansion that would serve the needs of the library into the twenty-first century. If this development proceeds, the Main Hall would be much less attractive as a Performance Venue due to the public safety risks around the issue of access. I have been a concert organizer for many years but would not be prepared to risk public safety by organizing future concerts should these plans come to fruition. There are many others of the same opinion as myself. In time the Main Hall is likely to attract fewer bookings and the great facilities we have created in the hall by the grants we have successfully achieved over the past 12 years will be of little value to our community. You cannot have a successful Performance Venue with such limited facilities for access and this is the only sizable venue in the Nambucca Valley that serves the purpose of large public gatherings. There is a lot to lose if these plans are developed. They need to be reconsidered so that they reflect the needs and aspirations of our community. Yours sincerely, Marlene GRIFFIN, Valla Beach.