After removing barbecues and play equipment from Townhead Park that posed a safety risk in 2017, Council has now endorsed a revised Landscape Master Plan to guide its re-development.
The draft will be placed on public exhibition and the total cost for implementing all options included in the three-stage plan has been estimated at $4m.
From creating a bus and RV parking area and a children’s playground adjacent to the cafe in stage one, to constructing an exhibition space during stage three, the overall aim is “to create a destination for travellers by providing them a range of facilities and features that encourages motorists to take a break to reduce driver fatigue, to be made aware of the attractions that are available within the Singleton area and to provide an area/space for events”.
Consultants – Terras Landscape Architects - were engaged to develop the conceptual landscape plans and have undertaken extensive consultation with Council staff, including establishing the primary purpose and objectives for the park.
The following options were considered for the park:
- Improved delineation and signposting approaches to the park extending from the intersection of the New England Highway and Kelso Street;
- Improved entry with easy recognition from further away – this may involve the inclusion of turning bays subject to consultation with the RMS;
- A reduction and co-ordination of signage located at the front of the park;
- Improved visual access to the Visitors' Centre and other facilities from the New England Highway;
- Improved parking and access including bus and caravan parking;
- Construction of a new exhibition space, art gallery and display area linked to the Visitors' Centre with the possibility of incorporating a sculpture park re-using existing public art and augmenting it with the work of local artists;
- Custom designed shade structures and seating associated with electric barbeques and hot and cold water linked to solar cells;
- .New play equipment catering for various age ranges, linked in close proximity to the new VIEC cafe;
- An informal, kick-a-round area which may also double as public gathering space (e.g. markets);
- Provision of a fenced, pet-friendly exercise area;
- Relocation of Matilda Tank either somewhere on site or elsewhere within Singleton;
- Attractive gardens and amenity planting generally having regard to crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) requirements;
- retention and management of existing significant trees.
Townhead Park is located at the south-eastern entry to Singleton and is home to the Visitor Information and Enterprise Centre, part of which is now utilised as a cafe.
According to the associated council report the completion of the Hunter Expressway presents a unique opportunity when it comes to future of the park.
“Singleton Council has realised that Townhead Park has the potential to be redeveloped as an important gateway to the town offering travellers the first opportunity of taking a significant break having left the Hunter Expressway,” the report states.
“It is proposed that the park be redeveloped in a manner that complements the Singleton Visitor Information and Enterprise Centre that was completed in 2010 and so making better use of the park's strategic location.”
And, now the public will soon have a chance to comment on the plan.
More to come….