Residents demand return of their promised park

Gwandalan residents gathered at the site of their deleted playground to call for assistance from Central Coast CouncilGwandalan residents gathered at the site of their deleted playground to call for assistance from Central Coast Council

Gwandalan children, parents and grandparents held a rally on Tuesday, May 1, to ask Central Coast Councillors to help them fight for a promised park and playground in their new residential subdivision.

The promised park was deleted as part of an amendment to the development application for the Rosecorp subdivision on Kanangra Dve, Gwandalan. “The former Wyong Council, NSW Government and the developer conspired to delete the Playground Park from the Rosecorp subdivision without any local exhibition or consultation with residents,” said Mr Bill Symington, Chairman of the Gwandalan and Summerland Point Peninsula Improvement Group Inc. One local mother, Ms Jade Liston, said one of the reasons why she and her husband purchased land in the subdivision was because of the promised playground for their two young sons.

“We did buy the land with a plan that said there was going to be a playground park included with this development, which we were very excited about because we had Tye (aged six) and Brodie (aged 4),” Ms Liston said. “I feel ripped off. “I feel really annoyed. “We were previously going to be able to walk up the road to a park that was safe and had easy access, and we could have kept the kids active, which is really important, but now we are going to have to walk a great distance to a skate park that they can’t really use.

“Or, you have to take them all the way down to the water, and if you take them down there, it is too far and they can’t walk back up. and the only playground in the whole area is for toddlers,” she said. Ms Emma Wells and her husband acquired their land when she was pregnant with her daughter. The park had been deleted from the development by that stage, which was one year after Ms Liston had acquired her land.

“It was only when we started speaking to our neighbours that they let us know about a park that is now non-existent,” she said. Mr Symington said he had approached Central Coast Mayor, Jane Smith, but had not yet been successful at arranging a meeting with her. He said he was hopeful that local Councillors would come to the aid of the community and push for the developer to dedicate 0.5 hectares of the blocks that had not yet been sold in the subdivision to reinstate the residents’ park playground.

“When we doorknocked residents to let them know about our rally, just about every house had children, so a playground is an important part of the development of this community,” Ms Wells said. The approved plans for the development showed the park as part of the LEP, but it was deemed to be 0.1 hectares smaller than the minimum size for a park required in the Wyong LEP. In lieu of Section 94 contributions and the deleted park, Rosecorp has to provide a shared pathway from the subdivision to Tunkawallin Reserve, but that reserve is on the other side of Kanangra Dve and is a significant walking distance away from most houses.

The 187-block subdivision was approved as a State Significant Development under the now-defunct Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. The Wyong LEP requires new housing developments to have a greenspace park within 500 metres of any of the properties within the subdivision.

“Council has refused to meet with the local community for over two years, and are hiding, behind the excuse is that this is all the State’s doing. “But, Council’s hands are all over the secret approval for the deletion of the park, in fact, they suggested the removal,” Mr Symington said. The construction of at least one home has already commenced on the site of the deleted park, in a cul-de-sac central to the subdivision, so reinstatement of the original playground is not an option.

Residents want other lands to be offered by the developer as an alternate site for their promised park.

Source: Media statement, Apr 30 Bill Symington, Gwandalan and Summerland Point Peninsula Improvement Group Inc Interview, May 1 Jade Liston, Gwandalan Emma Wells, Gwandalan Jackie Pearson, journalist