A petition against the $4.6 million Armidale mall redevelopment has almost 50 signatures overnight

MALL PROPOSAL OPPOSED: Armidale resident Maria Hitchcock has started a petition against the $4.6 million mall redevelopment plans designed by King and Campbell.
MALL PROPOSAL OPPOSED: Armidale resident Maria Hitchcock has started a petition against the $4.6 million mall redevelopment plans designed by King and Campbell.

A PETITION to scrap the mall redevelopment plans has gained almost 50 signatures overnight.

Designed by King and Campbell, the $4.6 million proposal would see a road put in the central mall.

They’ve now lost the trust of this community and they’re going to have to spend a lot of effort trying to win that trust back.

Maria Hitchcock.

Armidale resident Maria Hitchcock said the plans are not sympathetic to the mall’s heritage.

“I hope that Armidale Regional Council has learnt a valuable lesson here that if they want to do things in an underhanded way they will get caught,” Ms Hitchcock said.

“They’ve now lost the trust of this community and they’re going to have to spend a lot of effort trying to win that trust back.”

The petition calls on council to fund an alternative design that is more sympathetic to heritage aspects.

It opposes a road going through the mall, claiming it will reduce safety, take space from outdoor dining areas and lead to the removal of the fountain and playground.

The petition protests the large square entry portal designed to sit between the old Courthouse and Post Office.

Council has planned to open a consultation office to the community from December 14 to February 16.

Maria Hitchcock hopes to have 5000 signatures before that period closes.

“This comes back to transparency, the mall traders are angry – I mean really angry,” Ms Hitchcock said.

“The idea was that we’d all be blown away by this grand design.

“The designer treated us all like country bumpkins, it would be so ugly and there’s no reason for it – it doesn’t enhance anything.”

Armidale Regional Council leader of organisational services Lindsay Woodland said the design was a concept only.

“If the community are generally against the proposed plans, the plans will be reviewed to reflect the desire of the community,” Mr Woodland said.

“We live in a democratic society and I would like to encourage anyone in the community with a view on the proposed plan to provide feedback.”