Some sights not so welcoming
TREE-planting to beautify the highway entrances to the glorious Rose and Rodeo City is one thing but go for a drive with a visitor’s hat on and you’ll spot several other local features badly in need of attention.
Broken-down signs, overgrown vacant lots and derelict dumps – along with a lack of greenery – are detracting from the otherwise attractive look and feel of the most historic town on the Downs.
And visitors, it seems, are noticing.
Our story on Wednesday on calls to improve the look of the highway approaches to Warwick prompted Max Holder and Yve Stocks of Harcourts Rural real estate to highlight a few other not-so-pretty sights on our main drag during a road trip with the Daily News yesterday.
While they reckon our highway vistas aren’t too bad overall, the pair of property gurus say prospective Warwick dwellers and investors they show around town frequently comment on a number of local eyesores which could do with a facelift.
Or at the very least, a date with the mower and the whipper-snipper.
Mr Holder and Ms Stocks pointed to the poor condition of much of our highway roadside signage, a number of neglected vacant blocks and the condition of the former servo and bus station at the corner of Wood and Wallace streets as prime examples.
“I look at these things as a tourist would and they do stick out,” Ms Stocks said.
“I just feel that everyone who owns property, particularly when it is highly visible on a highway frontage, needs to take a bit of responsibility for how it affects the overall look of a town.
“With commercial signage, the council collects an annual licence fee so perhaps they should be requiring higher standards.”
Mr Holder agreed, saying a basic tidy-up was often all that was required when it came to vacant allotments.
“If owners won’t do this, then again I think council needs to look at requiring them to clean up and mow and make vacant sites look presentable,” he said.
The Daily News attempted to contact Criterion Hotel licensee Tony Prentice – whose plan for a bottle shop at the corner of Wood and Wallace streets was approved in April 2009 – for comment on where the plan is at but he was unavailable.
Mayor Ron Bellingham agreed that site and others were detrimental to Warwick’s appearance but said council was “limited” in its powers to require appearances to be kept up.
“It is a challenge but where a site is overgrown we can certainly issue a notice and if it is not complied with then council can do the work and send the owner the bill,” Cr Bellingham said.
“On the Wood and Wallace street corner, I would be very pleased if an appropriate development went in there, in the same way as the (now United) service station on Helene Street has been a good improvement.
“It’s about pride of place and, bluntly, those who neglect their property are sending a message that they do not care about our town.”
Got a headache thanks to a particular eyesore? Call us on 4660 1310.