City Hub

Controversial Rushcutters Bay skatepark back on the agenda

Rushcutters bay Park

Harbourside Rushcutters Bay Park is the proposed location for a controversial skate park. Photo: City of Sydney.

By TILEAH DOBSON

The Rushcutters Bay skate park saga continues as the issue of a proposed ‘Youth Recreation Area’ at the harbourside location of Rushcutters Bay Park has resurfaced. At a recent Woollahra Council Finance, Community and Services Committee meeting, the idea to move onto the next steps in building the skatepark was put forward to the committee.

Despite vocal opposition from residents and community groups, such as the Darling Point Society, the ‘Youth Recreation Area’, which will include a skate plaza and a basketball area, continues to be put on the cards by council.

Rushcutters Bay Skatepark

Impression of the proposed plans for the skate park and basketball area. Photo: Darling Point Society Inc.

Woollahra Councillor Nicola Grieve tabled a motion to re-mobilise plans for the skatepark, and submit an application to move forward with the next steps in the project if heritage approval is granted.

Councillor Merrill Witt put forth an amendment on the motion seeking to postpone the project until a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for all the State Heritage Registrar (SHR) listed parkland has been prepared.

Along with the CMP plan, the amendment raised a request to explore alternative locations for the skatepark both within the SHR parklands and outside of them.

Cr Witt’s amendment managed to secure a tied vote, along with the original motion, meaning both will be up for debate at the full council meeting on Monday August 22.

City Hub spoke with Cr Witt, who emphasised the importance of the CMP plan.

“Taking the extra time to ensure that the proposed Youth Recreation Area does not detrimentally impact the unique heritage values of the park is essential. The project should not be allowed to proceed until a site-wide Conservation Management Plan is prepared,” Cr Witt said.

Darling Point Society’s fight against Rushcutters Bay skatepark continues

City Hub also reached out to Charlotte Feldman, the President of the Darling Point Society, who expressed her disappointment that the skatepark plans have been raised again.

“DPS [Darling Point Society] has been fighting against this skatepark for over 6 years gathering over 4,000 signatures against 1600 of which tabled in parliament all to no avail,” she said.

“Residents are going to be very disappointed as almost everybody in the area thinks it has been abandoned.  In particular residents of Nautique will be virtually on top of it.”

Feldman has also written a letter to NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, expressing that after the tough battle of getting the park heritage status and two years of silence, residents were distraught to discover it was being debated once again.

City Hub reached out to Woollahra Mayor Susan Wynne’s office who gave a short comment.

“As the matter has now been referred to full Council for consideration, we can provide comment once that meeting has taken place,” a spokesperson said.

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