Promised park in limbo

McLeans Ridges residents say they were promised a community park in Cameron Rd as part of re-zoning negotiations, but all they are going to get is a vacant block of land.

“In every discussion we had with Council and in public they said, ‘the park will have this, and it may have that’ – there was never any discussion about it being a park with no facilities,” resident Noel Parker said. “All the time they were talking this development up – there would be community facilities, the public would benefit (we were told).

“Council has discovered that there are insufficient funds being contributed by the Cameron Rd development alone to pay for the acquisition cost of the land. Residents are now told they will have to wait till future development funds any necessary facilities in the park.”

Council is now calling for a draft contributions plans which would outline when section 94 contributions would be levied, when the land would be dedicated as a public park and when park embellishments would be provided.

In a report to Council last December it was estimated that the 1.25 hectare land would cost $300,000 and would require a further $132,900 for facilities such as barbecues, benches, a shelter, playground equipment and so on.

But Council had originally planned for 124 lots to become available at McLeans Ridges to cover these costs, but “based on rezoning to date, 62 lots are likely while there is some doubt based on recent Council decisions as to the remainder being realised”, the staff report said.

“It is estimated that not until lot 86 of 124 is released will developer contributions equal the cost of the land. It is envisaged that embellishment works will take place after all land costs have been repaid and only as developer contributions are received.”

Council’s strategic planning co-ordinator Paula Newman said a moratorium on any further rural residential development in McLeans Ridges until after the Rural Housing Strategy is reviewed has left the park in limbo.

“If the review results in no more rural residential development in McLeans Ridges, the park will not be able to be fully funded from the section 94 contributions,” she said.

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