A NEW plan for central Horsham recommends that Firebrace Street – the city’s traditional shopping centre – should remain the main shopping and business street.
The Horsham Central Activities District Strategy recommends Firebrace Street remain a community focal point, despite the street’s 11 vacant shop fronts.
The number of vacant shop fronts along Firebrace Street north of McLachlan Street jumped from 16.6 per cent in 2011 to 28.2 per cent this year.
Horsham councillor Mark Radford said the strategy, adopted by council on Monday, would guide development in the district.
“This is a project that has been on the go for a while and has involved extensive consultation in the community,” he said.
“It is really important because it guides the way our central activities district should look in the future.
“It is important that we get this right.”
The strategy found Horsham’s central activities district, which extends from Dimboola Road south to O’Callaghan Parade and from Horsham Racecourse east to McPherson Street, lacked an entertainment and dining precinct.
It recommended Horsham Rural City Council help develop the precinct within the next year.
The strategy also suggests building medium-density residential housing and buildings up to five storeys high.
Cr Robin Barber said multi-level developments were decades away.
The plan also outlines improvements for Firebrace and Wilson streets with more trees to provide summer shade.