Pathways & fencing update
In response to further questions from the community about the new path and fencing:
What is the new circular path and how wide is it?
The new circular path which is being built at South Lawson Park is a shared path. A shared path is wider than a standard footpath and allows walkers with dogs and cyclists to use the path at the same time, safely. The standards for shared paths are from a national set of construction standards and depend on how busy the site is. The surface of the shared path will be 2.5 metres wide.
The shared path will be wide enough for vehicles such as council’s maintenance and bush regeneration teams, but gates to the site will always be locked and it will not be open to public vehicles.
Parts of the circular informal walking path are too steep to be wheelchair accessible, but the route has been designed to ensure that the grades along the path are easily walkable with no steep sections. This makes it a suitable walking option for community members who use a wide range of mobility aids. This is why parts of the path are being built through trees and some smaller trees will be removed for the shared path. (Where the path is being built through pockets of bush, Council’s Principal Landscape Architect has worked with a local aborist to ensure that the path alignment avoids removal of significant, rare and habitat trees.)
Building the path through trees will also provide a variety of landscape along the path for walkers and shady places on very hot days.
Why is heavy machine necessary to build this path?
To construct the shared path, the clearing will be at least 3.5 metres wide, so grasses can be planted along the edge of the path. Where the path needs to be constructed on ground across a slope clearing it will be wider, but no wider than necessary, to ensure that there are no steep drops on the low side of the path. Some members of the community may think that the construction equipment is larger than necessary, but the machine called a drot, has been chosen because it can do all the work for the job.
What are the other paths and how wide are they?
Inside the fenced dog off-leash area the paths are footpaths as this part of the park has not been designed to include bike riders. The footpath will be 1.8 metres wide and the width of clearing will be at least 2.8 metres through any existing vegetation.
Will there be a buffer to protect the natural vegetation and wildlife habitat?
Along the eastern edge of the park, there will be a large area, that is currently mown grass, which will be reclaimed as bushland through a natural regeneration process which will increase the habitat for native animals and birds. This will create a wider protective buffer for Lawson Creek and Adelina Falls to further improve the water quality flowing into the Blue Mountains World Heritage National Park. Vegetation which is removed from the from the dog agility area and the path construction will be used for the bushland regeneration to ensure that local seeds are used to retain the local genome for these plants. (This area will be temporarily fenced with a standard stock fence while the bush regenerates which may take 2-3 years.)
Has there been consultation for these changes?
All the elements of the project have been designed following a comprehensive community consultation process. Following the community consultation, there were several changes made to the design as a direct result of requests and suggestions from residents and park users including:
- The originally proposed sports grounds are not in the Master Plan or Plan of Management.
- Significant enlargement of the fenced off-leash area
- Even more additional native landscaping and bush regeneration
- More accessible grades along the path and extra seating and rest areas
- Maintaining the heritage landscape values of the golf course fairways and vistas with an unobtrusive fence and planting changes
- A safety gate to protect dogs and children from the risks of unmanaged bushland and Adelina falls.
What is happening with the fencing?
Previous consultation has also included options for the type of fencing to be used on site.
Following a large number of questions from the community about the type of fencing which will be used for the dog off leash area, completion of the fencing has been put on hold so further consultation can take place. While the fencing is on hold it is important that construction for the rest of the project is able to continue because construction delay costs are significant.
For further details regarding this project to please refer to the FAQs on the right hand side of the page or click here.