South Lawson Park upgrade paused for further consultation
An upgrade of South Lawson Park that will create a significant community recreational space – integrated with bush regeneration, planting of over 35,000 plants and improved protections of the creek line, swamp and wet areas – has had to be paused.
The upgrade, which includes construction of accessible path, a new fenced oﬀ leash dog area and nature play area has been impacted by various challenges since December including higher than average rainfall that has aﬀected sediment control measures on site, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic that has aﬀected staﬀing and the delivery of materials.
The pause will allow further community consultation to be conducted on fencing, the shared path and other features, including plans for bush regeneration that will increase the edge of the riparian zone to better protect Lawson Creek and Adelina Falls.
Sediment controls have been improved at the site over the past two weeks following intense storms and persistent wet weather, and further controls will be implemented over the coming days and monitored, to ensure run-oﬀ from the construction site does not aﬀect waterways.
Blue Mountains Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said: “South Lawson Park is a significant public open recreation space for the whole community to enjoy. We are upgrading the site to serve the needs of the broad community, as well as dog owners.
“But challenges with this project, including higher than average rainfall that continues unabated, have meant that construction has had to be paused.”
Last week it was discovered that a turtleʼs nest had been damaged at the park, during the upgrade works.
“One of Councilʼs highest priorities is caring for the environment and the Cityʼs precious biodiversity,” Mayor Greenhill said. “Staﬀ and Councillors, who care deeply for our World Heritage Area, are upset that this incident has occurred.”
Council is looking at current processes and how contractors are briefed on environmental matters to ensure this type of thing does not occur again.
Council developed the designs for the park upgrade following extensive community consultation since 2018. This included consultation on the Plan of Management and Masterplan adopted in March 2021. The final designs feature:
· Improvements to the creek line, swamp and wet areas due to the planting of more than 35,000 plants and 5,000 sqm of bush regenerated · A walk around the outskirts of the park, that will be fully accessible in sections · A fenced dog oﬀ leash area that is significantly larger than the current dog oﬀ leash area, with several tracks and play zones · A nature exploration play area · A natural amphitheater for informal gatherings and small community events · Water refill stations throughout the park, and · Accessible paths from both Ferris Lane and Wilson Street towards the new dog area.
“The upgrade will improve community recreational space in the mid mountains and better protect and enhance safety for the natural area,” Mayor Greenhill said.
“We know the community continues to have questions relating to this upgrade. Large parts of the site are currently a construction zone – and it is very diﬀicult to envision the final product. But further consultation will be held to ensure the community are content with plans for various elements of the project.”
Council oﬀicers will run four consultation sessions on site, starting at the end of the month. Dates and times will be publicised closer to the date. There will also be further opportunities for the broad community to make submissions and provide feedback online, on the upgrade of the park.
The project was due to be completed mid-2022, weather permitting, but this timeline is being reviewed due to current challenges.
For more information and to register for updates on this project, visit yoursay.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/lawson.
The project has been funded under the Western Parkland City Liveability Program, which is part of the Western Sydney City Deal (WSCD). The WSCD is a 20 year-agreement between the Australian and NSW governments, and the eight local Councils of the Western Parkland City.
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