THE Terang Streetscape is the most divisive issue the Corangamite Shire Council has faced according to Mayor Matt Makin.
The council voted unanimously on Tuesday night to make major changes to the streetscape plans, including walking away from angle parking, after costings showed the project was too expensive to go ahead with.
Terang resident and Terang and District Residents and Ratepayers Association secretary Ann Harris said the council had failed to deliver a plan that was acceptable to the community.
"Terang is tired, tired of missing out, tired of the put downs and tired of being held back while seeing Camperdown blossom with continual improvements with no streetscape funding required," she said.
"It is time for council to realise that Terang residents do indeed get out of their lounge rooms and that we are prepared to work alongside a willing council to achieve fair and equitable outcomes for all, the question is, is this council willing?"
Councillor Chris O'Connor told the large public gallery that he could hold his hand on his heart and say the only reason they could not carry the project off was because of cost.
He said in 2006 a town meeting identified enhancing the amenity of High Street as the number one priority.
"It's with some embarrassment that six years later we're not meeting the council or community's expectations," he said.
He said the detailed costings revealed the Northern side of main street had risen from the expected $1.2 million to $1.9 million and he was embarrassed the costings were out by 50 per cent.
"This was all presented to council last week, we could have had a rate increase of 10 per cent for the next three years," he said.
"We've been forced to make a balanced financial decision.
"I've had a lot of people critical of the group who has agitated against the original plan.
"There is always opposition to change and change is always difficult.
"I can hold my hand on my heart and say the only reason not carrying this off is the cost."
Cr O'Connor said the council would build on the consultation already done.
"Consultation is not getting everybody to agree," he said.
"You consult, you change the plan and you do the best job you can."
Cr Makin said it was sad the way the controversial plans had divided Terang.
"It's my opinion that this is the most divisive issue since I've been on council," he said.
He said he hoped council could have played a role in bringing groups and people together.
Councillor Ruth Gstrein said she was disappointed the plan wouldn't be delivered in its current form but she urged the community to get on board.
Councillor Geoff Smith echoed Cr Gstrein and assured the public the cost had been a major factor in the council's decision.
The council's chief executive Andrew Mason said the consultation on the drainage and footpaths would be limited to a few days in June.
"If we're going to deliver we can't open the whole thing up for broad based discussions," he said.
"I'm just trying to be up front with council and the community if we're going to get this delivered by January."
Terang and District Residents and Ratepayers Association member Mike Shearer said his calls for council to include the group in further consultation on the detailed design elements were not recognised.
"I'm interested to know who will be the residents of Terang that will be consulted," he said.
On Monday the group also made a 41 page submission to the council along with 500 signed petition calling for the council to suspend and re-design the plan.