BY RYAN QUINN
Leichhardt Council has ‘ollied’ over State Government red tape, finally receiving consent to lodge a Development Application (DA) for the Callan Park Skate Park.
The decision, made on November 12 by Callan Park owners, the NSW Health Department, came after many months of friction bteween government and council over the site.
Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne said that red tape had unnecessarily stalled an overdue project.
“Council has allocated $907,000 for the development of the regional skate park, so it has been strange and extremely frustrating that the NSW Government has delayed so long signing a bureaucratic form to allow us to actually build it,” he said in a statement.
The skate park is part of the Callan Park Master Plan adopted by Council in 2011, which will involve the demolition of two cottages.
Balmain Greens MP Jamie Parker congratulated the local skating community for seeking his assistance and thanked council for its work on the project.
“Following the transfer of Callan Park administration to the Minister for the Environment, I met with the Minister’s office to ensure the landowner’s consent was progressed for the skate park. I am delighted the Department of Health has then acted so quickly,” he said in a statement.
The design and location of the park were decided in consultation with local skaters, park stakeholders and the wider community.
Cofounder of Sydney Skateboard Association Nigel Cameron said that the choice of location ticks all the boxes as it invites both existing skaters and families, is close to public transport for young visitors, and is away from houses, which prevents noise issues.
However, Councillor Byrne told City Hub that not all stakeholders were happy with the outcome.
He said that a spokesperson for Friends of Callan Park (FCP) and a Greens Party Activist attended the council’s October 10 policy meeting, and claimed they wanted to delay the DA.
The war has not been won though, with council still calling on the State Government to officially adopt the entire master plan.
The plan focuses on mental health care and support, as well as open space for the community, which is to be overseen by a trust, similar to the Centennial Park Trust.