City to preserve Fitzroy Gardens after community consultation

The City of Sydney today announced that Fitzroy Gardens will receive a package of heritage and maintenance works to preserve it as an iconic landmark in the heart of Kings Cross.

“Overwhelmingly our most recent feedback shows the local community is divided on what should happen. Half do not want any changes to the park, while the other half either support only minimal changes or all changes proposed in the 2010 draft concept plans,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

The Council had released plans in 2010 to transform the park and held extensive community consultation sessions to find out what local residents and businesses wanted.

“The City engages award winning designers but beautiful designs also need to work for the local community,” the Lord Mayor said.

“I’m a passionate believer in listening and working with local communities to get the best outcomes for an area. While support for the park’s makeover was strong a year or two ago – it’s clear that that has now waned.

“I believe the best way forward is to preserve the park – to keep it just the way it is with only some vital heritage and maintenance work undertaken.”

The Lord Mayor said the heritage and maintenance works include:

  • Restoration works on the El Alamein Fountain;
  • Improved lighting and seating;
  • Improvements to play equipment and addition of soft fall in the existing children’s playground;
  • New shrubs and floral displays in both Fitzroy Gardens and Lawrence Hargrave Reserve; and
  • Painting the Police Station facade.

“This park is important for local residents and visitors, especially as the Kings Cross and Potts Point area has the highest population density in Australia – Fitzroy Gardens is a little oasis of calm in our busy city,” the Lord Mayor said.

The City’s concept plans for Fitzroy Gardens involved opening the park to Macleay Street by replacing the raised garden planters with open paving, seating and new trees. They also included a generous lawn, a bigger playground and improved space for the markets.

Those plans were drawn up following years of community feedback.

At public workshops in 2008, more than 1,200 ideas to improve the park were received. New concept plans were made available in August 2010, when further ideas on improving access were received.

During that consultation 74 per cent of public submissions provided support for the new concept plans, however, late last year, public support for the make-over waned. Further consultation was sought in December and January and the most recent feedback showed that the community was divided about what should happen.

The heritage and maintenance program for the park will start later this year.

Media Contacts:

 

For interviews with the Lord Mayor contact:

Shehana Teixeira (02) 9265 9400 or steixeira@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

For more information contact CoS media:

Leanne Lincoln (02) 9265 9910 or llincoln@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au