"The only thing holding Stratford back is ourselves."

Jason Kowalewski, owner of Amity Court Motel, was one of the submitters who chose to speak at the Stratford 2035 and Annual Plan submissions hearing last week.

Jason told councillors he believed redevelopment of Prospero Place was vital for businesses to take advantage of the 15,000 car movements a day in Stratford.

Jason, with his father David, owns Kowalewski Development Ltd, which has purchased four buildings which they are planning to demolished to make way a proposed retail hub on Broadway.


To questions from councillors following his submission, Jason was asked about the time frame for the development.

"Aside from issues with current leases, anytime from tomorrow," he answered.

Jason wasn't the only submitter to talk about the demolition of buildings along Broadway, with Gavin Dey submitting a radical proposal which suggests council purchase and demolish all the buildings along the eastern side of Broadway between the two roundabouts.

In addition, Gavin suggested moving that section of the State Highway further east, to sit adjacent to the railway lines.

"The area of what is currently Broadway would then be developed into off-street parking," he said.

Admitting his proposal was "a radical change," and a bold plan, Gavin compared the potential result with a more famous Broadway, in New York.

"There, the street is closed to vehicles. Pedestrians are free to wander with all sorts of entertainment and shopping to choose from.

"We could create something similar, albeit on a far smaller scale."


Mayor Neil Volzke singled Gavin's submission out, congratulating him.

"This was one that really caught my attention," he said.

Debbie McKinlay also spoke to her submission on the subject of demolition of the ANZ bank building owned by Council.

"I would agree to knocking down the ANZ Bank building if there is a confirmed agreement it will be relocated in the new development."

She added the Christmas tree should then be located where the bank was, to ensure everyone can see it, saying it's current location over the seasonal period meant hundreds of people were missing it.

Debbie also spoke in favour of renovating the Hall of Remembrance, saying it needs more promotion to ensure people see the unique place.

The development of Prospero Place, she said, should balance with the need to keep it an intimate space.

A general clean-up of the town is also required, she said, and asked what could be done to encourage business owners to tidy up their business frontages.

Adrian Lobb made a submission asking for Council to consider increasing the level of their investment in economic development.

"I feel the town needs a more proactive approach, more than throwing in with the various regional bodies who are doing strategic things and economic stuff."

He said he felt the town needed a strong local economic development programme, to ensure Stratford remained in control of its own aspirations.

"Without investment, change doesn't happen."

Councillors will now discuss the suggestions brought up in the submissions, both written and heard on the day, in more detail.