Renovation of facades encouraged

Taelor PeluseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
Business owners along the main strips of Busselton are being urged to prepare for a raft of upcoming changes.
Camera IconBusiness owners along the main strips of Busselton are being urged to prepare for a raft of upcoming changes. Credit: Taelor Pelusey

Business owners are being urged to prepare for a raft of planning changes and developments expected to transform Busselton’s central business district and foreshore within the next few years.

City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley encouraged business owners to take advantage of the City’s Facade Refurbishment Subsidy Program in the lead-up to the proposed changes, which could soon see mixed-use spaces in the CBD, taller buildings and high-level short-stay accommodation along the foreshore.

Busselton Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Ray McMillan supports the rejuvenation of shopfronts in the CBD, but believes business owners and the City must engage in discussions to ensure the opportunity is taken up.

Cr Henley said the initiative had been available since about 2013 and now was a good time for businesses in the CBD to consider getting their shopfronts “to the standard they want them at”.

The initiative aims to improve streetscapes by financially supporting business owners’ efforts to improve the appearance of their shop facades.

Successful applicants are granted up to 50 per cent of the agreed project cost above $5000, but not in excess of $20,000.

Mr McMillan told theTimes the scheme had been available “in some shape or form” for many years and it had never drawn the desired response.

“The City has contributed in a major way to the central spine of Queen Street,” he said.

“It’s now appropriate some of the business owners take that on board.

“The business owners need to be engaged, so this is a conversation that needs to be had with the City, and the chamber would be part of that discussion.”

Busselton councillors considered three applications for the Busselton and Dunsborough centre’s Facade Refurbishment Subsidy Program earlier this month.

An application to upgrade shop windows at an establishment in Dunsborough and another for the addition of an awning at a Busselton business were found to be not consistent with the objectives and assessment criteria.

However, an application to replace windows at a shop in Busselton was approved and will see the City will contribute $6208 towards the works.

Cr Henley said the initiative aimed to tidy up some of the “tired” facade’s within the City, and was not suitable for ongoing maintenance or repairs.

“We want to see an actual upgrade, so we decided … those two weren’t an appropriate use of ratepayer money,” he said.

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