The Glebe Society’s submission to Council on the design for the Harold Park Public Parkland was published in the April Bulletin. It is pleasing that Council has responded in specific terms to our submission. Council’s response is provided below, together with our further comments.

Dear John,
Thank you for your submission to the Harold Park public park developed design. We have reviewed the feedback from the community consultation and are incorporating ideas and comments into the developing design where possible. The scoping report which outlines comments received and our proposals was submitted for discussion at Council’s Environment Committee on 5 May 2014.

Pedestrian and cycle connections: The City recognizes the importance of the north south link. It is described as a ‘future’ crossing as further coordination with Mirvac and approvals from Sydney Water are required to refine the location, delivery and form of the bridge.

Shelters: The shelters are somewhat larger than those in Jubilee Park, however they are smaller than the shelter at Federal Park or the Esther Abrahams pavilion. They are intended to provide more shade and greater flexibility for a communal space in the public park. The shelters are located at key activity areas adjacent to the open grass areas and will have good surveillance from park users and the new residential development. We will be undertaking further detailed design on the structures to further refine their form.

Memorial: Thank you for the additional information on the soldier memorial. We will consult with Leichhardt Council, and the RSL to review its association with past and present depots and its significance to past and present workers. Its relocation will need to be considered in respect to the change in use of the Tram Sheds and Harold Park site.

Habitat and tree planting: This area has an exciting potential to provide additional habitat and connecting habitat with the existing parklands. The design emphasizes the ecological value of the parkland and aims to strike a balance with recreation, education and water treatment. We will continue to develop these areas further, responding to the local microhabitats and working with our ecologist on the detailed selection of plant species and form for each of the areas.

We have included additional areas of inaccessible habitat in the Refined Design following consultation on the developed design. Additional tree planting along the western edge of the park has also been included.

Timing and naming: We anticipate that our program will work well with Mirvac’s target program for their completion of site remediation, essential service infrastructure and cliff works.

Again thank for you for your submission and we look forward to continued collaboration with you in the future.

Warm Regards,
Illira Margaritis
Community Engagement Coordinator, Strategic Community Consultation, City of Sydney

Comments by the Glebe Society Planning Subcommittee on the letter:

  • Pedestrian link: It is reassuring that the pedestrian/bicycle link marked as ‘future’ will be coordinated with Mirvac and Sydney Water and not indefinitely deferred.
  • Shelters: we will need to watch for the detailed design to see what exactly is proposed.
  • Memorial: it is appropriate that consultation with Leichhardt Council and the RSL takes place over location of the soldier memorial.
  • Habitat and tree planting: it is pleasing that additional tree planting on the western side has been included and that the City’s Urban Ecologist will be working on the detailed selection of plant species.
  • Naming: no comment has been made on a process for naming the park that includes public consultation. We will need to continue to press for this.