Council can certainly get things rolling very quickly when they want to. The latest is the Lord Reserve car park development at the cost of $542,000. Tenders were advertised on November 16th and closed on 6th December. The decision was made on the 17th December. Quick as a wink, without telling residents exactly what is happening, the contractors moved in, and what a surprise, a further bunch of at least 8 mature trees were removed.

We do not for one instance believe that the speed and timing of this project is a coincidence. If you expect community opposition, and certainly questions, then January is the best time to get the ball rolling.

Please note: we are not suggesting that this section doesn’t require work. What we are questioning is:

  • Why were so many trees removed? Could any have been saved?
  • How much open space will be lost and turned into a bitumen car park?
  • Why can’t residents be given a clear picture of what is happening?

PS: By way of contrast, residents should take a look at how Bayside City Council deals with car park extensions and the value of trees and consultation. The following is taken directly from the agenda set down for January 28th.

The Beaumaris Reserve Masterplan was adopted by Council in September 2008. The masterplan identified a range of initiatives to be implemented over the lifetime of the plan, including works to the car park adjacent to the sportsground at the rear of the Reserve.

The design for the car park was subject to a period of community consultation between May and July 2013. Key design features reflected the endorsed 2008 masterplan and included; reducing the area available for car parking by turning the area behind the Arts Building into an extended Village Green, proposed removal of six trees to the north of the existing car park to facilitate additional car parking spaces and the installation of a rain garden. 

Following this phase of community consultation, it was evident from the comments received that the proposed design no longer met the needs of the community or the users of the Reserve. As a result, a revised design was developed to take into account issues raised by users, including retaining the existing car park footprint, retaining six trees proposed to be removed and reducing the extent of asphalt surface to the entry road. As the revised car park footprint differed significantly to the endorsed 2008 masterplan, a revision to the masterplan was required.

A revised masterplan detailing the amended car park footprint was presented to Council and adopted at its 29 October 2013 Ordinary Meeting detailed in Attachment 1.

Source: Agenda item 10.1 – 28th January 2014 – http://www.bayside.vic.gov.au/documents/governance/28_January_2014_Ordinary_Meeting_Agenda_without_confidential.pdf

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Here’s the ‘before and after’ –

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