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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Suffolk Park pump track

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Jinesh Attard, Suffolk Park

Many in the local community of hillside Suffolk Park have come to understand the impact the pump track will have on our neighbourhood. From increased traffic from outside the area, to destruction of our green space, to a possible, but likely, increase in anti-social behaviour, noise, extra pollution, plus the impact of many more people accessing our quiet neighbourhood.

I don’t oppose a pump track per se; but I do oppose it in this residential area where the track will be surrounded by homes. The Cavanbah Centre was built for these sorts of amenities and the pump track should be located there.

We have an opportunity to create a beautiful inclusive park that would incorporate the community gardens, plus we could plant koala trees and have an area where families and friends can gather for a barbecue or do yoga, read, or a have space just to hang out.

This area is an extension of the forest that surrounds this area – we even have a Suffolk Park sculpture walk featuring some of our local artists. This should be an area that brings all the community together rather than just having a facility that focuses solely on one demographic.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Jinesh, if you take a stroll down to the area I think you’ll find that many of the things you desire are there already. If you take a look at the concept plans that have been used for the extended community consultation and feedback – and that incidentally include the pump track – you will see that these outline many enhancements that will create the vision you somehow see as elusive.

    The pump track will not mean that the park is exclusively reserved for one demographic – it will cater for very young children through to adults. It’s fine to talk. The truly inclusive vision you advocate include young people and make them feel part of their community – not exiled to an out-of-sight, out-of-mind location that will encourage anti social behaviour.

  2. Young people already have a skate park, pool, wreck, volleyball, tennis court, soccer field, beach, lake, bike paths, drama space, movies, markets, a new skate park in town costing millions, and purpose built Cavanbah. Byron Bay kids are often overseas, and up and down the coast. There are all manner of sports clubs. Very few adults would want a pump track attracting crowds and motorised skateboards and bikes next to their peaceful home. Why the big need to asphalt over a green space, lie about who was using it, mislead about community consultation and information, and impose the heat, noise and traffic on others?

    • I don’t know who is being accused of deception here but some background:

      The land was owned by the NSW Department of Education. When the decision was made by the state government to put the land up for sale, rather than use it for a school, the Suffolk Park community faced losing the area to the highest bidder. Very little chance of it remaining green space.

      The Suffolk Park Progress Association (SPPA) led a grass roots campaign to retain the land given the lack of recreational facilities for a growing area.

      On 23 June 2017 Council successfully settled on purchase of the land.

      A community survey was undertaken from 30 May to 27 August 2018 to inform Council of community preferences for recreational embellishments for the land. The results of this survey informed the development of the current adopted Plan of Management.

      The pump track was the most strongly supported option. 

      On 13 December 2018, Council adopted the Open Space and Recreational Needs assessment action Plan. An action within this plan is the construction of a BMX/pump track within this reserve.

      Landscape architect concept plans were the subject of an exhibition period, survey and public meetings. A further survey led to the adoption in September 2019 of the POM.

      All along the community has been saying it wants a pump track as part of a multi use community hub that incorporates active and passive recreation, a park- like atmosphere with treed landscaping and meeting places. The current adopted Plan of management expressly authorises a Pump Track.

      On this basis SPPA applied for a grant for construction and received Council support. Grants were awarded on the basis of a voting system that gauged community support for a range of projects.

      Council voted to match the grant funding and further consultation occurred, re footprint and siting, that involved a public meeting and further surveys.

      The pump track design brief was for the accomodation of a wide range of age and skill levels.

  3. Many of the facilities you mention Kerry, are in Byron Bay and the idea was to provide accessible activities for Suffolk Park kids. Sporting clubs are great but there are not all manner of them in Suffolk Park some kids are put off by competitive sports. To get all kids active we need to provide alternatives to the traditionally dominant bat, ball hand/eye coordination dependent alternatives.

    I don’t know how many people would want to use a motorised anything on the track, given the nature of the activity which involves fitness and skill.

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