Gordon Falls Reserve Precinct Plan

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* COMMUNITY CONSULTATION ON THE CONCEPT DESIGNS FOR THE
PRECINCT HAS NOW CLOSED *

THANK YOU for taking the time and effort to make a submission and share your thoughts. The project team will consider all community and stakeholder feedback to inform the development of the Precinct Plan. The draft Precinct Plan will be put to the elected Council for endorsement, most likely in late February 2023. Keep an eye on this page for updates.



Blue Mountains City Council is progressing the planning for the Gordon Falls Reserve precinct after hearing from community and stakeholders in August (Preliminary Design phase) and December / January (Concept Design phase).



Background:

The precinct is a popular place for residents of Leura and surrounding villages. It also has the potential to have a key role in the visitor experience of the Blue Mountains.

There is a need to upgrade the precinct to protect the environmental and cultural values of the site, meet current and future demand, improve the experience of both residents and visitors, meet current safety standards, improve residential amenity, support local economic development, and provide universal access to allow those of all abilities to enjoy the spectacular views from neighbouring lookouts.

The precinct plan will guide future upgrades of the Gordon Falls Reserve, and Elysian and Olympian Rock lookouts.

To find out more about this project, you are encouraged to read the information provided below, and in the Document Library and FAQs to the right.

It is important to note that Council is not looking to change the role of the Reserve as a public park and access point to walking tracks. The purpose of the proposed upgrade is outlined below.


Gordon Falls Reserve is located within the Country of the Dharug and Gundungurra peoples. We recognise that the Dharug and Gundungurra Traditional Owners have a continuous and deep connection to their Country and this is of great significance to Aboriginal people, both locally and in the region.


Context:

Council is preparing a Southern Escarpment Master Plan which aims to provide an integrated, co-ordinated and strategic framework to the planning of natural area visitor facilities from Katoomba to Wentworth Falls. As part of that process Council is undertaking precinct plans of the higher priority visitor precincts. Gordon Falls is one such precinct. Gordon Falls is an important visitor node within the Southern Escarpment and is identified as the mid-point of the two-day Grand Cliff Top Walk.

Find out more about the Southern Escarpment Masterplan here.


The focus of the Gordon Falls Reserve Precinct Masterplan is to:

Council is working with experienced consultants on this precinct plan, specifically to:

  • Renew / upgrade the existing amenities building
  • Review existing park infrastructure including seating, tables, and the children’s playground
  • Review existing carparking in the reserve and surrounding streets to determine capacity and suggest improvements
  • Upgrades to the walking track and Elysian and Olympian Rock Lookouts
  • Investigate the feasibility of an accessible walking track to a lookout within the Reserve

Community Engagement

Community engagement on the development of the Gordon Falls Reserve Precinct Plan has five phases.

Phase 1 - Preliminary Design (scoping): community and stakeholder consultation to identify insights, issues, and ideas to inform the development of draft concept designs.

Phase 2 – Draft Concept Design: community and stakeholder consultation to see if we got the balance right after considering community and stakeholder feedback as well as other influencing factors including, policy, planning, legal, technical, compliance requirements.

Phase 3 – Final Concept Design: presented to the elected Council for endorsement to place on public exhibition. The report will include a summary of the consultation and submissions and indicate how community and stakeholder feedback was considered and / or incorporated.

Phase 4 – Draft Precinct Plan: with the Final Concept Designs is presented to the elected Council for adoption as the final Precinct Plan. Members of the public can address the Council Meeting. Community and stakeholders notified of the decision of the elected Council.

Phase 5 - Community and stakeholders notified of the completion of the Blue Mountains Southern Escarpment Masterplan – the ‘parent’ plan incorporating all precinct and locality plans.



This webpage will be progressively updated throughout the life of the project. Please subscribe to receive regular project updates directly to your inbox.

* COMMUNITY CONSULTATION ON THE CONCEPT DESIGNS FOR THE
PRECINCT HAS NOW CLOSED *

THANK YOU for taking the time and effort to make a submission and share your thoughts. The project team will consider all community and stakeholder feedback to inform the development of the Precinct Plan. The draft Precinct Plan will be put to the elected Council for endorsement, most likely in late February 2023. Keep an eye on this page for updates.



Blue Mountains City Council is progressing the planning for the Gordon Falls Reserve precinct after hearing from community and stakeholders in August (Preliminary Design phase) and December / January (Concept Design phase).



Background:

The precinct is a popular place for residents of Leura and surrounding villages. It also has the potential to have a key role in the visitor experience of the Blue Mountains.

There is a need to upgrade the precinct to protect the environmental and cultural values of the site, meet current and future demand, improve the experience of both residents and visitors, meet current safety standards, improve residential amenity, support local economic development, and provide universal access to allow those of all abilities to enjoy the spectacular views from neighbouring lookouts.

The precinct plan will guide future upgrades of the Gordon Falls Reserve, and Elysian and Olympian Rock lookouts.

To find out more about this project, you are encouraged to read the information provided below, and in the Document Library and FAQs to the right.

It is important to note that Council is not looking to change the role of the Reserve as a public park and access point to walking tracks. The purpose of the proposed upgrade is outlined below.


Gordon Falls Reserve is located within the Country of the Dharug and Gundungurra peoples. We recognise that the Dharug and Gundungurra Traditional Owners have a continuous and deep connection to their Country and this is of great significance to Aboriginal people, both locally and in the region.


Context:

Council is preparing a Southern Escarpment Master Plan which aims to provide an integrated, co-ordinated and strategic framework to the planning of natural area visitor facilities from Katoomba to Wentworth Falls. As part of that process Council is undertaking precinct plans of the higher priority visitor precincts. Gordon Falls is one such precinct. Gordon Falls is an important visitor node within the Southern Escarpment and is identified as the mid-point of the two-day Grand Cliff Top Walk.

Find out more about the Southern Escarpment Masterplan here.


The focus of the Gordon Falls Reserve Precinct Masterplan is to:

Council is working with experienced consultants on this precinct plan, specifically to:

  • Renew / upgrade the existing amenities building
  • Review existing park infrastructure including seating, tables, and the children’s playground
  • Review existing carparking in the reserve and surrounding streets to determine capacity and suggest improvements
  • Upgrades to the walking track and Elysian and Olympian Rock Lookouts
  • Investigate the feasibility of an accessible walking track to a lookout within the Reserve

Community Engagement

Community engagement on the development of the Gordon Falls Reserve Precinct Plan has five phases.

Phase 1 - Preliminary Design (scoping): community and stakeholder consultation to identify insights, issues, and ideas to inform the development of draft concept designs.

Phase 2 – Draft Concept Design: community and stakeholder consultation to see if we got the balance right after considering community and stakeholder feedback as well as other influencing factors including, policy, planning, legal, technical, compliance requirements.

Phase 3 – Final Concept Design: presented to the elected Council for endorsement to place on public exhibition. The report will include a summary of the consultation and submissions and indicate how community and stakeholder feedback was considered and / or incorporated.

Phase 4 – Draft Precinct Plan: with the Final Concept Designs is presented to the elected Council for adoption as the final Precinct Plan. Members of the public can address the Council Meeting. Community and stakeholders notified of the decision of the elected Council.

Phase 5 - Community and stakeholders notified of the completion of the Blue Mountains Southern Escarpment Masterplan – the ‘parent’ plan incorporating all precinct and locality plans.



This webpage will be progressively updated throughout the life of the project. Please subscribe to receive regular project updates directly to your inbox.

  • Consultation on Concept Designs closed - Thank you for your feedback

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    * COMMUNITY CONSULTATION ON THE CONCEPT DESIGNS FOR THE PRECINCT HAS NOW CLOSED *

    THANK YOU for taking the time and effort to make a submission and share your thoughts. The project team will consider all community and stakeholder feedback to inform the development of the Precinct Plan. The draft Precinct Plan will be put to the elected Council for endorsement, most likely in late February 2023. Keep an eye on this page for updates.

  • How do the Concept Designs respond to community feedback?

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    The Project Team has carefully considered the feedback from community and stakeholders provided at the pre-design stage of the project - see news item below. The Concept Designs reflect community comments, concerns, and ideas, where possible and practical. Our response to community feedback is summarised below:

    Gordon Falls Precinct Plan

    1. Southern Car Park or Car Park 2 – a medium strip has been provided to separate reversing cars from the intersection of Olympian Parade and Lone Pine Ave.

    2. Siting of toilet facilities – The existing amenities do not meet current accessibility or Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) standards. Two potential locations have been shown, in both cases the amenities allow good lines of site from the park, both for wayfinding and passive surveillance purposes, an aspect which is current best practice. In both locations there will be filtered views towards the building from most vantage points in the street. The amenities will be accessible in whichever location.

    Option 1 located near the northern car park has the advantage of being closer to the existing sewer, it presents a narrow elevation to Lone Pine Avenue.

    Option 2 is located far enough from the car park for parents to allow young children to go to the toilet without a hand being held. This option is more centrally located within the park.

    The design of proposed amenities will be sympathetic to the built character of the surrounding neighbourhood in roof form, materials and colours.

    3. Location of the existing play area and retention of existing play equipment is retained and enhanced with nature play opportunities.

    4. The existing mock rock structures are retained but would be modified to allow passive surveillance from the surrounding areas. At present these shelters present spaces where antisocial behavior may occur with those in proximity unaware.

    5. The bus stop has been located so that buses coming from a northerly direction will round the corner and be able to stop at the correct place. A new bus shelter provides protection from wind and rain for those waiting for buses and other pickups.

    6. Stormwater will be addressed in three separate locations so that velocity and nutrient loads are reduced and there is some measure of contaminant reduction prior to discharge into the natural systems.

    7. Have kept the northern area substantially the same as it is currently except for revegetation of an eroded section of the park and two paths, one which enables access to the Prince Henry Cliff Walk and one which caters for greater numbers of walkers arriving on the Grand Cliff Top Walk from Wentworth Falls.

    8. A path and revegetation of the eastern portion of the existing asphalt car park not only reduces hardstand but allows the southern and northern sections of the reserve to have a pedestrian link.

    9. There was strong feedback that the southern section of the reserve with its open space should largely remain grassed open space for Tai Chi or informal games.

    10. Clear signage will provide wayfinding near track entrances directing to walks and Gordon Falls Lookout. Shelter signs will provide maps at both car parks

    11. Coach parking would be provided on Olympian Parade to the west of the relocated bus stop.

    12. Overflow parking will be provided at Lone Pine Reserve with walking links back to Gordon Falls Reserve clearly signposted.

    13. Have generally tried to ensure that only essential features are added to these areas as sensitively as possible retaining furniture and infrastructure that is still in good condition.

    14. The current orientation of the food van has been switched around so that the van opening faces a pedestrian area.

    15. The existing footpath network runs along the northern side of Olympian Parade. A new ramp allows for a crossing point to the other side of the road to enter Gordon Falls Reserve.

    16. The initial concept showing stone arches as markers for the end of day one and beginning of day two of the Grand Cliff Top Walk have been replaced by a single piece of high-quality interpretive sculpture that will perform the same function in a more sympathetic way

    17. The track to the war memorial plantings is beyond the scope of this Precinct Plan

    Prince Henry Cliff Walk

    1. The proposed future boardwalk will be linked with sections of concrete path. It was noted that concrete used in construction alkalises stormwater which may have the effect on plant ecosystems downslope. Care will be taken to specify the most suitable type of concrete.

    2. The access tracks to Olympian & Elysian Rock lookouts will be upgraded.

    3. Track work between Olympian & Tarpian Rock is not part of the scope of this Precinct Plan however tracks are to be upgraded in 2023 including a new bridge traversing the landslide on the track that has caused the closure in that direction.

  • Community feedback on precinct issues, opportunities & initial design ideas

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    Gordon Falls Reserve

    • Leave the southern part of the park relatively un-developed. Retain the WSUD elements, replace bridge with stepping stones
    • Three options for the location of the amenities block have been provided by Council consideration
    • Update amenities block as per attached PDF supplied by BMCC, ensure adequate screening of toilets from residents
    • Provide details of Grand Clifftop Walk entry and exit structures
    • Retain location of existing BBQ and consider options to include a hot coal bin near the northern car park area
    • Identify Lone Pine Reserve as overflow parking and include wayfinding signage locations (by others)
    • Ensure accessible pathway connects the northern and southern car parks with the accessible walking track, picnic tables and future boardwalk
    • Include locations for information shelters at both northern and southern car park
    • Steps to be included near the entry/exit to the Grand Clifftop Walk to be alleviate erosion Car Parks

    Southern Car Park

    • Push car park into the reserve and have angled parking with one way traffic from north to south
    • Allow for a longer car space suitable for the coffee cart to park

    Northern Car Park

    • Allow for batter or retaining wall on the northern end of the car park
    • Keep proposed car park footprint within Council land
    • Reduce length by two spaces from the north and increase the southern eastern row by one or additional spaces
    • Investigate opportunities to push the car park further away (to the east) from existing trees to retain the trees
    • WSUD treatment to run into bushland area on Council land (not in grassed area)
    • Car space provided for BMCC cleaning/opening/closing vehicle near the proposed location of the toilets


  • Masterplan - starting point

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    The consultation on the Preliminary Designs has concluded. See above for updates on the progress of this project and opportunities for community comment.

    Our first thoughts on the proposed upgrade of Gordon Falls Reserve precinct are provided in the four Information Panels in the Document Library:

    The designs reflect the key issues, insights and opportunities relating to the site, previous community feedback, and recommendations from other Council studies and plans e.g., Destination Management Plan and Nature-based Recreation Strategy. They provide a starting point for conversation with the community.

    It is important to note that Council is not looking to change the role of the Reserve as a public park and access point to walking tracks. The purpose of the proposed upgrade is outlined above.

    Invitation to Comment

    We welcome your thoughts / ideas / concerns / preferences about the Gordon Falls Reserve precinct in its EXISTING state and on the PROPOSED CHANGES, as shown in Information Panel 2.

    Complete the survey here.

    Your feedback is welcome until 9:00am Monday 29 August 2022


Page last updated: 30 Jan 2023, 07:08 PM