Esperance CBD alfresco trial open for expressions of interest

An example of an 'urban node' in the city. Photo: Shire of Esperance.
An example of an 'urban node' in the city. Photo: Shire of Esperance.

Tourists and locals alike could be enjoying outdoor alfresco dining in town as soon as Christmas.

Council unanimously (9-0) approved expressions of interest for a trial of 'Urban Nodes' in the Esperance CBD.

The trial would see 20m2 or 40m2 'urban nodes', resulting in the loss of two or three parking spots respectively. Each node would cost the shire about $3000 for the 20m2 area or $5000 for the larger node.

Shire of Esperance chief executive officer Matthew Scott said council would have to receive the expressions before deciding how many nodes to approve and where to allow them.

The trial is set to focus on Andrew and Dempster Street, but restaurants elsewhere in the CBD can apply. There is no start date yet for the trial, but Mr Scott said it would ideal if it was in place during the peak tourist season.

In moving the motion, Shire deputy Cr Basil Parker emphasised that this was "just a trial".

"We'll get the trial out there and we'll get the opinion of the community," he said.

Esperance Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive officer Bronwyn McLeod said she believed the trial was an "absolutely terrific idea" that would be great for the town.

Mrs McLeod encouraged businesses to put in an expression of interest.

"The more that put in an expression, the better idea we'll have on how the businesses feel about it. In the end, it's about them and what we can do for them," she said.

Chamber and shire representatives will be meeting with businesses in the main streets next week.

The 'urban node' trial is part of the Esperance CBD Landscaping Concept Design. The alfresco trial aims to promote vibrancy in town and support local business.

Expressions of interest will be open shortly.