BAYSWATER council is set to consider a report on developing a policy on empty shops in town and activity centres in October, in a bid to reactivate “decaying” buildings.
The council unanimously supported Councillor Lorna Clarke’s motion to request chief executive Andrew Brien to prepare a report to the policy committee meeting in October at the March 27 council meeting.
The report will consider how rating schemes could be utilised to encourage revitalisation, how the City could contribute to rejuvenate shopfronts and signage and simplify how pop-ups, artists and festivals could access empty shop spaces.
According to an officer’s report, the policy and report could be completed within existing resources by October.
Cr Clarke said empty shop policies were used extensively in the United Kingdom and United States.
“Essentially the problem is decaying, derelict buildings or vacant blocks that aren’t being used,” she said.
“It starts to create a downward spiral where a space does not feel safe – it has more graffiti and vandalism.”
Cr Clarke encouraged the use of pop-up shops, photography exhibitions and simplified temporary use approvals.
Deputy Mayor Chris Cornish said while he supported the motion, he was concerned about the City putting funds to landlords to redo shopfronts.
Cr Elli Petersen-Pik said the whole community would benefit from the City’s “proactive” approach to activate empty shop spaces.