Kerry Wright, Suffolk Park
The Stage 2 Pump Track development went ahead, causing great distress to many, and the large-scale bulldozing of the grasslands next to Baz and Shaz’s shop is in progress, causing resounding shock for its size and impact on this quiet residential environment and the very close neighbours. The way it has been publicised, misleading movable facts, without proper heat, noise, traffic impacts made public, no EIS, and no proper consultation with those gravely and permanently affected, is now well known.
Given the council’s unexpected Stage 2 approval at Christmas time, with no time for shocked submissions, the council was either caught in a dilemma that could be expensive, or did this deliberately. Sadly no-one stepped up at the time to speak for the uninformed neighbours, and now there are already grave heat, noise, and traffic issues – even without all the regional clubs coming. So we (the affected neighbours) have a few suggestions to Mayor Richardson, given the 400 or so objections, and the sad outcome.
1. State the exact people who will use it. The mayor repeatedly publicly assured everyone that it will be just ‘kiddies on bikes’ and ‘supervising parents’, and ‘almost silent’. This once-green open space is not a sportsfield. Recreation is not massive development, noise, and destruction. It is a quiet residential area, with space for many things, including bush foods and community gardens, which all sane nations are now growing.
2. State that no motorised bikes or skateboards are allowed to use it. The neighbours were assured that there would be no skateboards; references to skateboards were removed from the council advertising, and the mayor assured that the Pump Track would be ‘almost silent’. (We are not quite sure why wheelchairs were touted.) As this is an echo chamber. This is important to all the close neighbours on the N, S, E and W sides. (See photo)
3. Who will set the hours of use? The close affected neighbours, protecting their rights to peace in their homes, or the current extended excited use?
4. That no further trees be removed from the creek ecosystem, as only two were stated, but more were obviously removed. We suggest an attempt to find any remaining plovers be made, since the bulldozers crushed them and their 15-year-old home. The heat has already greatly increased.
5. Owing to the very obvious noise factor, no paths go across the creek, affecting the houses in Dehinga, Beech, and Oak, and no further cutting into the creek ecosystem occurs (see photo). A careful noise buffer should be planted between the pump track and the Oak Ave and Pepperbrush homes. No concrete or hard, straight paths across remaining green should go ahead.
6. No cars should be allowed to park beside the established access road in this area, because of further obvious noise and safety; it is used by everyone, and should not be unsafe. [ITALIC]Only[/ITALIC] local access to the carpark near the community gardens and soccer field, and access for neighbours as needed, is now appropriate.
6. A sign should be erected, with the rules clearly stated, including no skateboards, parties, glass, alcohol etc in this area. A fine for littering would also be a good idea, given the recent state of the small skatepark at the other end. The current sign is ignored, and police do not come. The neighbours will be more affected than now.
7. Any further landscaping should be done with proper community consultation. Given the state of the island, we need people who know what they are doing to maintain the current ecosystem. The destruction has already changed the whole neighbourhood.
8. A formal public explanation should be given by Council as to how a ‘$50,000 like Lismore’s “kiddies on bikes” pump track turned into a $500,000 (plus maintenance costs) asphalt major-impact project went ahead, using up all the allocated funds for Suffolk Park on one project, without discussion with all concerned, and community choice. What other surprises will there be in the mysterious ‘Masterplan’ for this precious parkland, and at what cost?
9. ‘Green’ councillors standing at the coming election should obviously be assessed for authenticity. Clearly, a green council would not have approved this.
10. We have not seen any report on border silt and runoff.
We are all trying to make this huge and horrible disruption create as little impact as possible in this once-quiet, now clearly upset, residential area for the people who live here, and all those using this wonderful parkland.
1. Note ridiculous proximity to homes.
2. Open space that could and should have been beautiful.
3. Extensive roadfill, removal of topsoil.
4. Creek intrusion.
5. Shocking size.
6. The recently publicised size (compare with Community Gardens).
7. Impact and proximity.