A CHILDREN’S playground, barbecue facilities and a mix of native and exotic trees and shrubs have been included in preliminary landscape designs for the development of Freeman Park at Llanarth that has been four years in the making.
The 1.2 hectare park is the centrepiece of the Avonlea 9 subdivision developed by Bathurst Regional Council in 2014.
There were 17 premium lots in the subdivision that were sold in a council ballot, and each of them faces on to the reserve.
Council had put aside $300,000 in its 2017-18 budget to finally construct the park but the cost of the project was grossly underestimated.
A report to councillors by engineering services director Darren Sturgiss has recommended to plan be shelved for 12 months so extra money can be put aside in next year’s budget.
“Council may be aware that $300,000 was placed within the 2017-18 management plan for the design and development of Freeman Park,” the report states.
“Unfortunately, due to the large area involved and without a design completed at the time, the cost to develop this park, even at a very basic level, was underestimated.
“Refinements have been made to the completed design plan in order to lower the overall construction estimate but maintain the essential design elements that the community would expect to have included within this park.
“The cost to develop Freeman Park, as per the attached landscape plan, is estimated to be in the vicinity of $660,000.”
Council engaged dsb Landscape Architects to prepare a design plan for the park, including consultation with nearby residents.
A survey on council’s website seeking input on the park design received 85 responses, with more than three-quarters of respondents living within two blocks of the site.
dsb is currently finalising the specification documents that will be included in the tender when council seeks quotes to build the park this year.
Major design elements include lighting throughout the path network and picnic shelters; concrete paths throughout the park; bench seating; native and exotic trees and shrubs; open space irrigated lawn area; mounding for spectator viewing and screening; barbecue facilities; multi-use playground; and shade elements.
“t would be recommended that council complete all of the landscape works under a single contract, rather than staging the works over a number of years,” the report states.
“This is because it would be difficult to stage many of the components of the landscape plan such as site earthworks, set levels, path access and irrigation controls and valves etc over a number of years, without causing issues in relation to the usability of the site, maintenance aspects, integration between past works, and accountability between different contractors.
“It is therefore recommended that council provide additional funding within next year’s management plan to enable the landscape design to be constructed in its entirety.”