Adelaide Hills

Council’s $2.5M land purchase paves way for new Hahndorf Main Street parking solution

Mount Barker Council has taken a significant step towards alleviating traffic congestion in Hahndorf’s main street with the recent purchase of a prime piece of land for $2.5 million.

Mount Barker Council has taken a significant step towards alleviating traffic congestion in Hahndorf’s main street with the recent purchase of a prime piece of land for $2.5 million.

The acquisition, approved following deliberation on the town’s ongoing parking challenges, aims to enhance accessibility and convenience for both locals and tourists.

The 4100 square meter plot, located at 108 Mount Barker Road, adjacent to the existing gravel carpark at the Verdun end, presents a strategic opportunity for the council to address longstanding concerns over parking shortages.

Early estimates suggest that between 88 to 95 car parks could be developed on the site, at an estimated cost ranging from $750,000 to $925,000.

While the purchase price of $2.5 million exceeded the valuation of $1.9 million, council documents reveal a deliberate decision to pursue the acquisition due to the property’s strategic location and potential benefits to the community.

According to the confidential staff report released by the council, negotiations for the purchase were authorised to ensure the best value for money.

The council remains committed to exploring all potential funding contributions related to the land purchase, including engagement with the Hahndorf Business and Tourism Association. The move aligns with the council’s broader objectives outlined in the Community Plan 2020-2035 and Annual Business Plan, which prioritise transport solutions and economic opportunities that enhance the district’s liveability and sustainability.

As Hahndorf is a popular tourist destination of state significance, it’s grappled with parking challenges for years, exacerbated by the steady influx of visitors and limited parking infrastructure. Efforts to address the issue have included proposals for a freeway bypass and a $250 million township upgrade, both of which have been sidelined.

Council documents highlight the potential for the repurposing of the existing building on the site for commercial or retail lease opportunities, further enhancing the economic viability of the project. While specifics regarding parking management, such as timing or fees, were not disclosed, the council’s focus on improving parking supply and demand in Hahndorf remains steadfast.

In light of the withdrawal of state and federal funding for the Hahndorf Traffic Improvements Project, the council emphasises the importance of securing alternative funding commitments to support future initiatives, including the main street upgrade.

The number of tourists to the region is only growing, in 2022 the Adelaide Hills placed fifth as one of the most popular places to visit in Australia. And Hahndorf specifically was the most visited township in the Adelaide Hills and is arguably the jewel in the region’s tourism crown with pre-covid visitation numbers well over 1million a year.

As discussions surrounding the land acquisition move forward, the council underscores its dedication to transparent decision-making and community engagement. The proposed purchase aligns with broader efforts to enhance Hahndorf’s appeal as a tourist destination while ensuring the continued growth and prosperity of the district.

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