What is happening at Blackheath Soldiers Memorial Park?
We’re finalising the Masterplan and future designs for Blackheath Soldiers Memorial Park. The draft Masterplan is on public exhibition until Wednesday 10 June. This is the final opportunity for you to provide feedback and help shape future plans for the park.
The draft Masterplan has been developed with community input and takes previous Council resolutions and documents into consideration.
Is Council planning to drastically change Blackheath Soldiers Memorial Park?
No. The draft Masterplan focuses on how we can enhance the park and improve the experience for everyone who uses the space, There are four elements through which the park with be managed – Community, Heritage, Water and English Garden Landscape Style. These are described in detail on page 8 of the draft Masterplan, and referenced throughout the document.
There are also six areas of focus for you to comment on – Rhododendron Lawn, Pools, Community Hub, Swamp Precinct, Menin Gates, Amphitheatre.
What are the four elements all about, and why are they important?
Heritage is the primary lens for the community and includes items like the soldiers memorial, rhododendron walk and Gallipoli steps, as well as local stories. The draft Masterplan looks at how the park’s heritage can be valued and enhanced.
Water is why the park came into existence. Its abundance contributed to the pool, ponds and plants. The draft Masterplan looks at how water can be celebrated and improved.
Community is the facilities, access, inclusivity and community expressions. This park is loved for the role it has in providing a place for the community to socialise, and for events.
English Garden Landscape is elements that contributes to the parks special aesthetic style and unique character. The draft Masterplan looks at how we can retain, maintain and restore many of the original components.
When will the changes and upgrades identified in the Masterplan happen?
A range of future works are identified in the Masterplan, and implementation of those works will depend on funding.
The first stage of works will be funded through the Western Sydney City Deal. These works are valued at over $900 000 and will include a brand new toilet block and a fully accessible pathway, and will make it easier for everyone in the community to access and use the park.
We will continue to talk to you to get the details right for stage one, and the broader Masterplan before we finalise the designs and start work.
This is one of 10 projects that will be completed across the Blue Mountains over the next three years, providing a welcome boost to community infrastructure and public spaces.
Stage one of this project will be funded under the Western Parkland City Liveability Program, which is part of the Western Sydney City Deal (WSCD). The WSCD is a 20 year-agreement between Australian and NSW governments, and the eight local Councils of the Western Parkland City.
Where will the accessible pathway go?
The accessible pathway will go from the ANZAC gates on Prince Edward Street, up towards the pool fence. Some areas of the park are too steep for a pathway to comply with Australian Standards. Council will continue to talk to the community about the location and style of accessible pathways, as well as other paths that are in line with the draft Masterplan.
How was the draft Masterplan developed?
We have done extensive community consultation over the last two years and have included the community’s input in the development of the draft Masterplan. We also sought specialist advice from architects and engineers on best practice, and gave due consideration of the Plan of Management.
What is a Plan of Management?
A Plan of Management is a legal document developed to guide how a park or space will be managed. It establishes directions for planning, resource management and maintenance of the land.
The Local Government Act 1993 requires Council to have a Plan of Management in place for all public land that is classified ‘community land’, and these plans must be endorsed by both Council and the NSW Government.
What is a Masterplan?
The Masterplan is a more detailed plan that guides future design and development for public spaces. They improve function and access; recognise, respect and enhance the existing character; and facilitate social activity and amenity for both residents and visitors.
Masterplans must be endorsed by Council.
What is a district park?
Blackheath Soldiers Memorial Park is one of four district parks in the Blue Mountains. District parks are large and high quality parks that cater to the needs of the broader Blue Mountains community. They offer a wider variety of activities and settings and are often the most popular parks and playgrounds. District parks can cost over $1 million to upgrade. More information about parks and playgrounds is available at: bmcc.nsw.gov.au/playgrounds