Residents Around Pirralea Gardens Park in Nelson Bay want to save their boardwalk

Pirralea Gardens Park in Nelson Bay Boardwalk.
Pirralea Gardens Park in Nelson Bay Boardwalk.

 

Pirralea Gardens Park in Nelson Bay was an award winning design when installed by Hunter Water some 12-15 years ago.

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It was the site of the Nelson Bay Primary School before it was moved to the Tomaree Education Precinct.

Council has plans to conduct works which residents say are earmarked as replacement but fall well outside replacement work.

In fact residents understand that the works will remove the boardwalk and replace it with native grasses.

A number of the residents of the street have contacted the Capital Works Team at Council as it seems no consultation has taken place with residents and our views are not going to be taken into account with the proposed works appear to be ‘fait accompli’.

Emily Perry told News Of The Area, This is in contradiction of Council policy that on its Urban Parks Generic Plan of Management, which notes that ïmpacts on neighbouring properties should be considered prior to approval of any development”.

She believes that Council should consult with Ratepayers before taking action which considerably reduces the public amenity of its assets.

“I, along with the residents of Primary Crescent and surrounding residents, am extremely disappointed with Council’s lack of communication to residents and poor attempt at making more information available to residents before a decision on this works had been made.

Residents found out about the proposed works in a Council Newsletter issued one week prior to the planned work.

“Residents have contacted Council on numerous occasions, as soon as the “Newsletter” was received on Thursday 13 June, to express their anger and frustration.

“I personally believe that the works if carried out, pose a high risk of a child fatality with motor vehicles.

“This park is adjacent to St Michaels Primary School, with many parent vehicles using this street as overflow car parking.

“I have witnessed on many occasions, small children making use of the boardwalk with their scooters, tricycles and bikes.”

The Boardwalk is part of the award winning design and is a very important part of the Park.

There are also trees in the Boardwalk which some believe would suffer detrimentally and eventually die from the compacted fill it is proposed to put on top of the structural root zone.

“I, along with the residents of Primary Crescent and surrounding residents, am extremely disappointed with Council’s lack of communication to residents and poor attempt at making more information available to residents before a decision on this works had been made,” she said.

Brock Lamont, Port Stephens Council’s Community and Recreation Coordinator, told News Of The Area Council have delayed works by one week to allow Councillors to discuss the project, scope and reasoning with community members. Work is now planned to begin 24 June 2019.

Mr Lamont said, “It (Council) doesn’t have the resources to undertake community consultation on all projects.” 
“This is categorised as minor works, our standard approach is to notify nearby residents before construction begins,” he said.

“Our finite resources must be managed according to this project hierarchy.”
Mr Lamont said, “Council cannot justify spending above what is necessary on projects that do not have wider community benefit.
“The boardwalk at Pirralea Gardens has deteriorated beyond repair and will be removed due to public safety issues.
The project is listed in Council’s Capital Works program for $40,000.”

By Marian SAMPSON

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