Claremont wants shopping centre to stick to agreement over median strip

The median strip in question.
The median strip in question.

CLAREMONT Council and its largest ratepayer, Claremont Quarter shopping centre, are arguing over plants in a median strip.

At last week’s meeting, councillors agreed to tell the centre to pay to landscape 300m of the Gugeri Street median strip on the north side of the shopping complex, which has allegedly not been maintained to an agreed standard for nine years.

“It’s unreasonable for the Town to have to pay the full cost for the irrigation and upgrade, when the responsibility lies with the Quarter,” councillor Karen Wood said.

The council claims a 2006 agreement means the centre’s landscaping designs for the median were to be part of approval for the shopping complex.

However, subsequently planted grasses died, partially from pedestrian trampling, and the area degraded even more when bore water irrigation pressure dropped in 2014.

Last week, council staff proposed ratepayers paying for a new $148,500 bore and pump and $28,350 for the median’s annual maintenance.

Staff said the extra water could create landscaping and a potential “big entry statement” to the Town.

“The medians are presenting well below Claremont Town Centre standard and this cannot be resolved until water supply is improved,” their report said.

However, Cr Wood said the shopping centre needed to be shown the “error of its ways”, by not allegedly fulfilling the 2006 agreement.

It was agreed to ask the centre to abide by the agreement, and landscape and maintain the median to the council’s satisfaction.

A spokeswoman for Claremont Quarter operator Hawaiian said it was committed to finding a positive resolution, and it was liaising with the council about the median strip.