Previous public space planning

Cooks River Parklands Master Plan

Extensive research in 2012 resulted in the ‘Recreation Needs Research - Strategic Directions for Marrickville’, which identified the Cooks River Parklands as being in need of improved recreation and environmental outcomes for the community. The former Marrickville Council initiated the planning process to develop Plans of Management and Master Plans for 2.5 kilometres of the Cooks River Foreshore in July 2014.

The scope of the project includes the following parks and recreation reserves:
• HJ Mahoney Reserve;
• Steel Park;
• Warren Park;
• Richardson’s Lookout;
• Cooks River Foreshore;
• Kendrick Park; and
• Fatima Island.

The report outlines all the legislative requirements for a Plan of Management. The report is divided into eight sections, within which, each of the parks are described separately. The sections include: project context, existing site description and site analysis, park categorisation, leases and licences, engagement overview and common themes, designs including proposed strategies and the implementation plan.

The report provides information on the Cooks River Parklands as a connected series of open space areas that form the northern riparian corridor of the lower Cooks River. The report balances interests of passive and organised recreation, biodiversity, stormwater treatment, heritage, pedestrian and cyclist circulation. It aims to deliver balanced outcomes that facilitate multipurpose infrastructure and use outcomes that provide for all park users and the environment. The design outcomes are a direct representation of requests from the community engagement process.

The key design strategies proposed for each the parks include:

HJ Mahoney Reserve

• Construction of water sensitive urban design initiatives including an ephemeral wetland and swale for water treatment from Wharf Street. The design provides for recreation nodes including barbecues, a shade structure, picnic facilities, seating, planting and shade trees.
• Naturalisation of the river edge with a share pathway, shade trees, habitat provision and seating.
• Retention of the sports field, athletics facilities and amenities building.
• Development of a youth facility with multi use courts, skatable seating and retention of the existing graffiti street art wall.

Steel Park

• Implementation of the DAB expansion Master Plan.
• Integration of WSUD initiatives to existing and new car parking areas along with water treatment from Illawarra Road and implementation of associated passive recreation opportunities of seating and shade.
• Additional seating around the playing fields for sports viewing and terraces on the embankment from Thornley Street.
• Expansion of the existing children’s playground, picnic facilities, picnic shelters and barbecues.
• Provision of a vegetative buffer between users and the river near the play facilities to limit water access by users.
• Upgrade of the playing fields with new turf and drainage.

Richardson’s Lookout, Warren Park and the Cooks River Foreshore

• Implementation of water sensitive urban design initiatives to reduce erosion and treat storm water from Thornley Street and Warren Park.
• Implement staged exercise circuit with new equipment along the foreshore.
• Additional vegetation and naturalisation of unused areas under existing fig trees and on dangerously steep slopes (in Richardson’s Lookout) to increase biodiversity, habitat values and provide for a safe park.
• Provision of a river viewing platform, additional signage, seating and other park furniture.
• Retain open space for informal recreation.

Mackey Park

• Naturalisation of the Sydney Water drainage channel with passive recreation items to increase park use opportunities.
• Increase recreation opportunities along the foreshore with seating and picnic tables.
• Provide an additional pathway connection from the foreshore to Richardson Crescent.
• Reconfigure the playing fields to reduce cricket ball conflict with the adjacent children’s playground.
• Reconfigure the playing field line markings and the additional of new goal post sleeves to increase flexibility of playing field and reduce turf wearing.
• Upgrade children’s playground with new equipment, seating, shade and landscaping.
• Implement staged exercise circuit with new equipment along the foreshore.

Kendrick Park and Fatima Island

• Retention of Fatima Island as a natural river asset.
• Additional planting areas including the development of a low vegetative buffer with the Princes Highway to enable better mental separation from the traffic and noise.
• Upgrade the existing children’s playground, barbecue facilities and shade structures.
• The design strategies are described on scaled plans as well as in text and imagery.

Implementation of the proposed plans

The implementation plan articulates the estimated costs for each project. Performance measure targets and a time frame for implementation is also provided. Each of the proposed upgrades are prioritised according to community feedback and have informed the former Marrickville Long Term Financial Plan.

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