City News

“Garish” park angers community

By Georgia Fullerton

Local residents have expressed concern over the current design of a park in East Sydney.

The City of Sydney’s reconstruction of a park in a heritage area — between Bourke and Stanley street has been criticised for not keeping with the harmonious nature of the community.

East Sydney resident Jane Anderson said the council had gone against community wishes.

“We were unanimous in asking for a low-key, natural park upgrade which respected the community and discouraged anti-social elements.  Instead council has gone against these wishes and installed a garish bright yellow and white wall and a huge electrical box plonked right outside a home,” she said.

Residents said they wished council had never chosen to redesign the park, after the site has been left untouched for three weeks and large quantities of sandstone have been wasted.

“Sandstone is a sympathetic material, it was removed from the park and sent to the tip. We’re bitterly disappointed,” Ms Anderson said.

There have also been concerns about the design breaching the heritage aspect of the park.

Pam Burling, who lives opposite the reserve, said residents’ requests are yet to be acknowledged by council.

“As we are in a ‘heritage’ area you can imagine our surprise or rather shock when we now have a ‘contemporary’ feel to our park as the designer felt it would look better,” she said.

“We do in fact live in a heritage area because that is the look and feel we enjoy – if we wanted contemporary we would move to Zetland or some other area where the feel is certainly more modern.”

A council spokersperson said the council made “great efforts” to work with the local community and take feedback into account.

“As part of the City’s upgrade to O’Brien’s Lane Reserve, a colourful design feature was added to three small retaining walls to encourage children from a nearby school to play in the park. The coloured glazed bricks added to the wall are similar to bricks and tiles on nearby heritage-listed hotels,” they said.

“The City’s design team followed all relevant consultation procedures for the project and conducted additional investigations in respose to community feedback before it proceeded with a tender selection process for the works.”

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