Plan for a new accessible path queried

Memorial Park
Memorial Park

A draft plan for a new accessible path in Blackheath's Memorial Park has been queried by the Friends of the Park and Streetscape group.

They believe the path, from the Park Avenue gates down to the duck pond area, would destroy one of the large swathes of lawn which characterise the park.

They argue the money would be better spent improving access from the new Anzac gates to the park's main attractions, including the pool, barbecue area and children's playgrounds.

Council has received a grant from the Western Sydney City Deal to put in an accessible path and other amenities.

But the Friends argue that the slope of the land precludes a safe pathway.

"We don't recognise the need for an accessible connection between the top and bottom of the park," they submitted. "The elevation difference between the Menin Gates on Park Avenue and the new Anzac gates is approximately 28 metres, which presents a significant challenge to disabled users."

The proposed route "would traverse the centre of the park and see a highly visible and exposed lawn area, currently fully grassed, become paved".

The Friends also submitted that there was no need to fill in a timber-lined heritage drain; that the new toilet block should be located near Prince Edward St, rather than in place of one of the existing children's playgrounds; and that a specialist arborist or landscape planner address the important issue of succession plantings, including the type of species that are to be used and their suitability for a changing climate.

Submissions on the draft masterplan close on Friday, February 14. The plan is on the "have your say" section on council's website.