Callan Park Master Plan awaits green light
Council has called for the long awaited adoption of its award-winning Callan Park Master Plan more than five years after it was first handed over to the State Government.
The push comes after Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton announced on Saturday that Callan Park will be preserved as parklands and sporting fields, and ruling out any plans by the State Government to allow development on the heritage site in Rozelle.
Administrator Richard Pearson said he welcomed the Minister’s commitment, but now wanted the government to once and for all reject development on the site. “And one way to do that would be for the government to step up and adopt and implement the Master Plan,” he said.
“We need to see the full Master Plan vision implemented to preserve this wonderful site as parklands and sporting grounds. It is now over five years since the Callan Park Master Plan was handed over to the State Government,” he said.
“Government funding for the heritage buildings and to maintain the recreational and sporting ground space in the Park is also critical.
"Mr Pearson said the Plan also called for a mental health recovery and bridging centre to be established in Callan Park.
“It is a testament to our community that the extensive community consultation for the Callan Park Master Plan saw virtually unanimous support for Mental Health facilities to be retained and enhanced at Callan Park.
“Mental health was key to the Plan as well as community recreational space but the Plan’s vision for addressing that cannot be achieved until State Government adopts the Master Plan. I call on them to do so as a matter of urgency.”
Former Mayor of Leichhardt and Inner West Council’s Advisory Committee member Darcy Byrne said the onus is now on the State Government to act before the erosion of facilities within Callan Park pass the point of no return,
"Gabrielle Upton says she won't be approving residential development there she has made no commitment at all to reversing the demolition by neglect that has occurred across the park for the last six years.
"With Sydney University vacating the Kirkbride complex local people will rightly be concerned that those magnificent sandstone buildings are about to become derelict like dozens of others the Government has left to rot. The Minister has no plan for a new tenant.
"Establishing a Trust to govern and protect Callan Park is the only way to guarantee its future and clearly the Government is unwilling to deliver this.
“Every year the State Government lets slide, the costs of rehabilitating this community asset increases exponentially.”
Following 18 months of detailed community consultation, the Plan was formally presented by the former Leichhardt Council to the then Minister for Planning, Brad Hazzard, on 11 November 2011.